May 29, 2022

Major Library Renovation Projects Getting Underway at College of Charleston and Emory University

1. From the College of Charleston:

The second and third floors of the College of Charleston’s Marlene and Nathan Addlestone Library will be closed from May 3 through August 18, 2014, during a major improvement project designed to improve the usability of the space.

“This renovation lays the foundation for us to create a real 21st century library,” explains John White, dean of libraries. “Even though the building seems new, it was planned in the mid-to-late 1990s and access to information has changed dramatically since then. Now every student is at the library with at least two devices that may need to be plugged in.”

For students, this renovation means 200 additional seats, power outlets throughout the building, and three more group study spaces. The additional power outlets will enable students to plug in their laptops, phones, and tablets. Starbucks will replace Java City, with plans for additional outdoor seating.

Other changes include putting the entire book collection on the second floor, expanding the Special Collections Reading Room, and expanding capacity for the library’s unique manuscript and rare book collections.

“We’ve put as much thought into our print collection as we have into access to digital resources,” White says. “We will still only be at 55 percent capacity, which will allow us to add at least 10,000 books to our collection each year. We’re maintaining the serendipity of discovery – when someone goes into the stacks looking for a book and finds others to read.”

See Also: College of Charleston Moving 750,000 books (via Charleston Regional Business Journal)

See Also: Addlestone Library Improvement Project Blog 

2. From Emory University:

The Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL) at Emory University will undergo a major transformation over the coming year, creating a dynamic, inviting space with dramatic views throughout its 10th floor home atop the Robert W. Woodruff Library.

The complete redesign and remodel of level 10, pending final University approvals, will result in a new, expanded reading room, a technology-enhanced dedicated classroom, new exhibit spaces, seminar and meeting rooms, and interactive digital media that will provide students, scholars, and visitors enhanced access to MARBL collections in innovative ways.


Highlights of the renovation include:

• New seminar and meeting spaces for group study, instruction, and individual consultation that will support research and teaching with MARBL’s collections. The Woodruff Room, to be renamed Woodruff Commons, will be reimagined to accommodate meetings, seminars, discussions, events, and receptions.

• New and enhanced exhibit spaces that will showcase the rich contents of MARBL collections, while highlighting the contexts significant for their use as primary evidence and enabling patrons to interact with the physical materials as well as the digital components.

• A dedicated, technology-enabled classroom with flexible furniture for class use of collection material and for both small-group and large-group discussion. Gabrielle Dudley, a research library fellow in MARBL’s research services unit who has led many instructional sessions for Emory classes in existing spaces, notes that “These improvements will make a huge difference.” Audio-visual capabilities will allow instructors to share materials such as recorded protests from MARBL’s civil rights collections. “It’s one thing to read a memoir or other printed accounts, but it’s another to hear protesters singing freedom songs or giving speeches,” Dudley says.

See Also: MARBL Renovation 2014-2015 Info Page

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.