With academic libraries all over the country embracing the latest technology and rethinking design elements to make spaces more aesthetically and functionally modern, veteran librarian Mary Moore, Ph.D., insists that the Miller School’s Louis Calder Memorial Library rise to new heights. She began with a survey of almost 900 students, faculty, and staff. It revealed that while many were happy with library services, training opportunities, and collections, most felt there was room for improvement, particularly related to the library’s design.
“It’s time to revitalize the library and its mission,” says Moore, executive director of the Calder Library and Biomedical Communications. Next, she hit the books and began researching the connection between workplace design and the promotion of innovation and productivity.
As the first phase of the project, small changes were made last spring to give the 46,000-square-foot building an instant facelift.
To let in more light, the dark, protective film installed when the library was built in 1972 was removed from all the windows, and the ceilings and walls were repainted using a luminescent “Miami sea and shore” palette of muted blue, grey, and seashell. New carpet has replaced old flooring.
The circulation desk and resource section were combined and moved to a more central location on the first floor to create an efficient “single service point.”
In upcoming months, library staff will weed through and update the current collection of medical books, bolster electronic journal collections, and expand the Web site for Spanish-speaking health care providers. Moore and her team are also considering expanding the popular reading collection.
The ongoing renovations run the gamut from aesthetic to conceptual, with plans in place for the creation of a collaboratory—a dynamic workspace where groups can come together, brainstorm, and solve problems.
Moore is also looking to develop a Center for Informed Medical Decisions, with the mission of providing resources to help people access the latest research, form collaborative partnerships, and make informed decisions in medical settings.
“We want the library to be at the heart of the medical campus. We want people to be inspired to do the best work of their careers here, using library space, services, and resources,” says Moore.