New cafe and learning commons coming to Syracuse University’s E.S. Bird Library
New cafe and learning commons coming to Syracuse University’s E.S. Bird LibraryJanuary 22, 2007Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
Students and faculty returning from winter break likely noticed the beginning of a transformation on the first level of Syracuse University’s E.S. Bird Library. With construction just underway, the Library will soon introduce a new cafe and learning commons that reflects a new vision of library space across the country.
Scheduled to be completed in late summer 2007, the modern, 2,500-square-foot cafe at Bird Library will offer food, coffee and other beverages in a space that will also include an adjacent dining and study area. Among the cafe’s highlights is coffee service provided exclusively by Freedom of Espresso, a popular business locally owned and operated that produces whole bean coffees, espresso, lattes, cappuccino, flavored coffees and other beverages. With Freedom of Espresso as the exclusive vendor, the Library is also able to build on community connections between the University and the city of Syracuse.
The learning commons areas, in proximity to the cafe, will include a wide selection of current national and international periodicals, and in the future may include a selection of DVDs for checkout. The Library’s book checkout process will also be improved — students and faculty will have the option of signing out books themselves using a scanner.
Both the cafe and learning commons are a part of a new master plan developed with the Boston architectural firm Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson and Abbott. Future space changes at Bird Library will reinvigorate the Library as a place for study and comfort to coexist.
“In the last 10 years, the trend has been for libraries to offer space that accommodates better the social and research habits of students,” says Suzanne E. Thorin, University librarian and dean of libraries. “The new cafe and study areas are a visible sign of change as the Library moves toward creating more areas where students, faculty and others can come to meet, read, conduct research or attend lectures in a comfortable setting.”
As the renovation project progresses throughout the spring, the Library will tap into the creativity of University community members to help name the new cafe. A naming contest will be conducted soon to collect suggestions.
For more information on E.S. Bird Library and the SU libraries, visit http://library.syr.edu.