Renewed space on campus

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by Sarah Ostman

Thirty-four years ago, the doors of a brand new science and engineering library opened its doors on Northwestern’s campus. Named in recognition of a $1.4 million gift from the Seeley G. Mudd Fund, the Mudd Library stood three stories tall, measured 44,000 square feet, and featured what was then considered an exciting, space-saving technology: microfilm.

Now a new renovation is complete, one that has reshaped the Seeley G. Mudd Library into the premiere study space on the northern end of the Evanston campus.

A re-opening celebration will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday, October 25 at the library, located adjacent to the Technological Institute at 2233 Tech Drive.

“We're very pleased to be able to renovate the Mudd Library to enhance this study space for Northwestern students,” said Dean of Libraries Sarah Pritchard. “The new space provides some much-needed modernization in work areas and flexible space for group collaboration.”

The renovated space contains six new group study rooms, including a large meeting room that can accommodate up to 30 people. The window-filled spaces – many with lake views – are controlled by an electronic reservation system and can be reserved from inside the library or online. Digital signs outside the rooms indicate when the space is reserved.

The library also received new windows, carpeting, and paint; new desks and casual seating; added power sources for laptops; and improved wireless access. A new system of storage cabinets will also allow students to store materials for ongoing projects in a safe place.

Students at McCormick have been enthusiastic about the new space since it opened for student use last month, said Clare Roccaforte, Northwestern’s director of library public relations.

“When the new furniture was being delivered, the crew would no sooner set down the couches than students would be sitting on them,” Roccaforte said. “They are that eager to use this space.”

The project was a joint initiative of the dean of libraries and Julio M. Ottino, Dean of the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.