This past week, Laurier’s Brantford campus took a minor intermediate step towards the ultimate goal of having an independent library. On Wednesday, Oct. 16, construction began for Laurier’s digital library and a student learning commons in Grand River Hall’s basement.

“I think it will mean better services for students,” said Brian Rosborough, Laurier Brantford’s Senior Executive Officer. “We worked with Student Union leadership to determine what is the right approach to addressing the concerns of the students, and we believe that creating a dedicated space in GRH will serve them better.”

Laurier’s library space is currently situated in the basement of Brantford’s Public Library, located beside Grand River Hall, and remains the primary means for students to find academic resources. According to Laurier Brantford librarian, Irene Tencinger, construction of a new digital library is another step toward developing an independent university library, something many students have expressed is a dire need in years past.

“This is an intermediate step, or an interim library space, until we can get a library and learning commons that has been outlined in the Brantford campus master plan,” said Tencinger of the library situation.

As it stands, Laurier Brantford’s hardcopy physical resources collection will remain at the Brantford Public Library space, along with the online resources computer stations. In addition to the online resources stations at the current Laurier library space, there will be more created for the new digital library. To facilitate any assistance that students might need, the university’s librarians will also be moving from the main floor of GRH to the basement, where the digital library will be.

The process was unofficially started when the university’s librarians were moved from the Brantford Public Library to new offices in GRH. With these alterations, Laurier hopes to  establish an academic literature resource centre that is actually within the confines of the school’s campus buildings.

“By creating an additional library space in GRH, we’ll be able to situate the librarians there,” Rosborough said. “I think it will mean better services for students.”

Tencinger, similarly, believes that this reallocation of librarians should improve access to them. Access to librarians is something that has been problematic due to the separation of the librarians from the online resources that students often need help with.

Construction, having begun on the Wednesday, is expected to be completed by December and in full use by January.

On the greater nature of this project, Brian Rosborough commented, “Our long-term goal is to have a university library that will support growth on the campus, and provide students with state-of-the-art university library services.”

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