Walking up to Fintel Library, it seems as though not much has changed. However, upon entering the first and main floor, the renovations that have been made over the summer are clear. The smell of fresh paint, the equipment and the obvious lack of books show that the renovations are not quite complete, but the new and colorful lights that completely change the atmosphere prove that this library is not the same Fintel Library that we remember from last year.
Since July 21st of this year, construction and renovation teams have been busy turning Fintel into a more welcoming and updated space for Roanoke students, staff, faculty, and the public. The main focuses of the changes are to increase the space for CUPs, improve the technological and environmental aspects of the building, as well as making it more open and community focused. More tables and chairs will be added throughout the library to encourage and accommodate increased amount of student use.
After walking through the entry area, the visitor to the library is engulfed in a colorful and spacious first floor. A ceiling peppered with significantly more lights illuminates the open space and its well-sectioned parts. New names will further clarify the distinction between the library’s parts, such as the Information Commons, which will hold many of the new computers and desk space, areas for laptops, and the printing station. The Collaboration Zone will be where the computers were before, and this area, now cleared out, will host guest speakers and other college events that are related to the library. The Focused Study Zone will be a specified quiet area for individual work. It will house traditional desks and booths for the specific purpose of giving the students what many of them come to the library specifically for: a place to work in quiet and peace. Having these specified zones will help give students this peace and quiet more explicitly by separating them based on why they came to the library. Resource centers such as the lending area/help desk, the Center for Learning and Teaching, and the Writing Center will remain in the same areas as they previously have. Lastly, many changes have been made to the area that CUPs moved into recently and successfully. Even with the rest of the library cleared of books, this café area is still recognizably separate from reading areas, study spaces, and rooms for shelves that are also present on this main floor.
Fresh carpet, artistic lights, colorful walls and improvements such as the white board wall and a new, large television make Fintel notably more modern and comfortable for students to accept as a space not only for studying and reference, but also for resources and aid, relaxation, and even time for being social. The staircase also has been modernized; the classic spiral transformed into a more angled version leading to upper and lower floors that, while currently unchanged, have been hinted by the college to follow in the upcoming years.