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Renovations Are Completed at Sherrill Library

[Editor’s Note: When students are able to return to campus, they will notice something new:  the Sherrill Library has been renovated.]

After months of construction, the newly renovated Sherrill Library is finally ready. The basement and first floors of the library have been remodeled and a small cafe had been added to the first floor. These renovations come after the remodeling of Washburn Commons this past
fall.

The general setup of the library is the same.  When you walk in, you are facing the public safety desks, and there are still classrooms to the left. To the right is the new cafe with a seating area along with the info desk. Dubbed “Sherrill Cafe,” this cafe is an upgrade from the Sherrill Coffee Cart that was introduced in Fall 2018. It will be serving Starbucks coffee, pastries, fruit, sandwiches and other cafe-type foods and drinks. Along with the cafe, the first floor has been renovated with more tables and work spaces, giving the library more of a cafe vibe. It makes the perfect place to grab a cup of coffee with a friend, meet with a professor or get work done. There are also issues of magazines, journals and other publications available for students and faculty to read.

The basement of the library has been remodeled with newer carpets and painted walls. More tables and computers have been added to allow for more computer usage and for students to sit in groups as they work. There are also multiple accessible workstations equipped with
computers for those with disabilities. Along these workspaces are shelves upon shelves of books, from young adult to juvenile fiction and even books written by faculty and alumni.  Additionally, more handicapped accessible, gender neutral restrooms have been added.

As a student, I love the newly renovated library. I think the cafe was a fantastic upgrade to the Coffee Cart. I am glad that there is more sitting space on the first floor of the library since there wasn’t much before renovations. Additionally, I am glad that more computers and tables were added to the basement as well so I could do online homework without having to carry my heavy laptop around and so I could study with friends. I’m also pleased that the library is more accessible for people who need additional resources.

Something that surprised me about the renovation was how much the library was upgraded.  I originally thought that they were just doing construction to add the Sherill Cafe. I thought the cafe was going to replace a large classroom in the basement of the library. But the basement and first floors of the library look totally new and different from they were before, but in a good way! It feels more open, especially with the first floor’s cafe-like seating section.
Another thing I noticed was that the second and third floors were not renovated at all. However, there are no books on either of these floors. They’re very bare with rows upon rows of empty shelves. It’s a weird contrast compared to the open feeling of the renovated floors. I wonder what will become of the upper half of the library.

When we are all back on campus, I encourage my fellow students to check out the new Sherrill Library. It is a great way to take a walk
away from Porter or Doble to enjoy the much quieter Brattle campus. Grab a warm meal at the Washburn Dining Hall, then head to the Sherill Cafe for a treat later on and to get work done.  The library also provides incredible resources for research– the librarians are very helpful, and they can offer good advice if you need it.   Overall, the renovation of the library was definitely a great investment and I cannot wait to spend more time there and to see it thrive.

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