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Western Libraries to undergo renaissance

October 2, 2018

Weldon Library
Big changes are in the works for some of Western's libraries, including The D.B. Weldon Library, the largest academic library on Western’s campus.

Students seeking study spaces filled with natural light, better technology and unique architectural designs are in luck thanks to some big changes on the horizon for Western Libraries.

The University recently made significant commitments to the future of two of its busiest locations – The D.B. Weldon Library (Weldon) and the Allyn & Betty Taylor Library.

As the largest academic library on Western’s campus, and one of the largest academic libraries in the country, Weldon is well-known to undergrad and graduate students alike. Western will invest $15 million in this iconic building. Changes will include a large, two-storey Learning Commons, a Digital Scholarship Centre, enhanced space for community outreach and engagement, and possibly a rooftop reading garden.

Designed as a flexible, multi-purpose learning space, the Learning Commons will feature bleacher-style stairs and be used as both an everyday meeting place and a dynamic venue for events and community engagement. A separate mezzanine level will overlook the Commons and include areas for student learning services.

Exclusive space will also be set aside for grad students to work individually and collaboratively and to gather for community-building events. The new rooftop garden will provide a green space for students to relax.

It will also serve as an environment for teaching, learning and special events.

The Allyn & Betty Taylor Library will see some significant changes, with a planned multi-storey atrium housing a Learning and Research Commons and a dedicated technology sandbox and makerspace for digital learning and research activities.

The changes to the libraries are guided by Western Libraries’ Space Master Plan. Recently created after extensive consultations with students, faculty and staff, the Master Plan provides a long-term road map for the transformation of Western’s library facilities for the 21st century.

“We gathered feedback from as many groups and individuals across campus as possible, and we combined it with our own ambitions for the future of research libraries,” said Vice-Provost and Chief Librarian, Catherine Steeves. “We now have a plan for more varied learning and study spaces, more natural light, more technology-enabled spaces, and more inspiring places to learn, collaborate and research. We are very excited for what the future holds.”


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