By Brian Villalba
After months of delays and logistics problems, the Helen Miller Bailey Library has opened, offering more student space and state-of-the-art technology.
Most of the upgrades to the library were ready for the opening, but the books could not be moved in as the bookshelves were not up to the Division of the State Architect code specifications. Also, the books were moved in the summer heat from four different locations to the library.
“It was like putting 10,000 puzzle pieces together with a short deadline, and it was truly a team effort for the library to be able to open the first day of fall,” Library Chair Choonhee Rhim said.
Forty-three pallets of books were transported from a storage facility on Firestone boulevard. The on-campus migration consisted of nearly 80 heavy-duty book carts. The move was planned, executed and supervised by Jacobs Pacifica Construction managers.
InnerVision was contracted for the setup and installation of all the computers in the library, and the ELAC IT department provided all the programming necessary to make them operational.
Unisource was contracted to clean, relocate and reconfigure all of the staff workstations. Library services are now available after a complicated logistics effort. As of now the library is safe and ready for Elans to take full advantage of.
There are 240 “thin client” or virtual desktop computers, 23 study rooms, two library classrooms and a wide range of study tables and areas to meet student demands.
The “thin client” or virtual desktop computers are not actually PCs in the traditional sense, and are the first of their kind in use in the Los Angeles Community College District.
The “thin client” consists of a monitor, keyboard and mouse connected to the main server in the IT Datacenter, as opposed to the traditional PC with everything kept locally.
There has been a huge spike in the usage of the library since it has opened. Rhim said, “The daily count of students using the library has increased three to five times.”
The increase in library usage is attributed to the increase in services and features that the upgraded library has to offer. “Many students take advantage of the newly renovated physical space however, not all students are aware of our equally impressive online resources,” Rhim said.
Rhim said textbooks for classes are usually on reserve at the library, but it is up to the professors to provide the books as it is library policy not to buy textbooks as it would take up the entire book purchasing budget every year, preventing the library from purchasing books that are needed to keep the library current.
There is a new children’s room that is equipped with child-sized tables and chairs. This environment is ideal for parents who are seeking a family friendly environment to study.
“Supervising adults can study at the tables next to the Children’s Room while their children read or play,” Rhim said.