Welcome back Bearkats,
The building renovation, starting almost eighteen months ago, is nearing completion. The contractors, SHSU Facilities, SHSU IT, and especially the personnel across all areas of the library, have put tremendous effort into the transformations of services and space within the Newton Gresham Library. We hope you will have a chance to take advantage of the many improvements to the building, especially on the 1st and 2nd floors.
As you pass through either of the Library's new entry vestibules, you will be greeted by expanded options for seating whether in one of the new booths or the many other alternatives. Lighting (both natural and artificial) has been greatly improved in the new design, and an expanded power grid with many more options for plugging in devices has been installed across the remodeled spaces.
New Library service points are set up to assist you upon your entrance of the building. The Academic Success Center and First Year Experience operations are also now housed in the Newton Gresham Library, with their main service desk on the 2nd floor. The NGL Starbucks has also received a remodel which now integrates their space more closely to the rest of the facility.
The large IT@Sam computer lab was redone in its former location on the 2nd floor, and a video recording studio for taping presentations has been added near the lab. New instructional spaces for the Library's and ASC's instruction are now in operation on both renovated floors.
Subject Librarians continue to be available to assist you with your research needs, with an online appointment system now in operation. A new Research Commons on the 2nd floor provides space to receive in-person assistance from librarians. Individual study carrels can be reserved online, as can numerous new group study spaces that are equipped with large-screen wireless monitors and dry-erase boards. You can check out a laptop, calculator, and soon even board games from the Library. We have also added family-friendly amenities such as kits for the kids, changing tables in many restrooms, and a Mother's Room.
Some work is still in the final stages of completion. This includes exterior enhancements with lighted panels on the east and west façades. The 3rd and 4th floors of the library have received more modest changes with window shades being the most noticeable improvements. The restrooms on these floors are also being remodeled, with the final work on the new women's restrooms scheduled for completion later this Fall. There have also been some shifts of collections with print reference and new books collections being reconstituted on the 3rd floor. Additional improvements on the upper floors are planned (on a smaller scale) for later this academic year.
We recognize that COVID-19 still is a factor in all our considerations, and we ask that all Library users join our efforts to help keep all Bearkats healthy. Following current campus recommendations, all unvaccinated members of the SHSU community are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings when indoors, in public spaces. Those who are fully vaccinated are also strongly encouraged to wear face coverings indoors in public spaces during periods of "substantial" or "high" transmission. The Library has also implemented the following safety measures:
- Hand sanitizing stations
- Regular cleaning of facilities
- Plexiglass barriers at service desks
- HVAC equipment upgrades with improved filtration
Looking forward to this semester! We have a Grand Re-Opening Event taking place throughout (and outside) the Library beginning at 12:30 pm on Thursday September 2nd. This event includes a collaboration with numerous departments across campus and marks the last of almost three weeks of welcoming activities for Sam Houston State University's new and returning students. More events in the Newton Gresham Library will be planned throughout the academic year so stay tuned to @shsulibrary on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tik-Tok for more details! As a sneak peek we are looking to host a Midnight Breakfast to sustain and support students during finals week.
I hope you all will take some time to visit our facility and take advantage of the many supportive personnel, services and destinations housed in the Newton Gresham Library.
Eric D. Owen
Executive Director of Library Services