The Briscoe Library went through some “growing pains” this year, with the construction of a suite of offices and removal of all of the books from the 5th floor. The end of August saw more changes as we closed the 5th floor for a week for installation of new furniture. Students were very gracious and understanding, perhaps because we clearly communicated the reason and because they were able to peek in and see the progress. The end result was worth the temporary inconvenience of having fewer available study tables in the library.
Thanks to collaboration between library administration and UT Health Science Center Facilities Management staff, the 5th floor now has a variety of study options, including 12 individual study rooms with lighted tables, 69 carrels, 32 booths, 9 club chairs, and innovative lounge seating. Electrical outlets are available in all study rooms, at every carrel, and at most of the booths. Twelve computers and four data connections for hardwired laptops are available.
Group study rooms are equipped with media:scapes like the one pictured here. The media:scapes facilitate collaboration through shared viewing of what’s on an individual laptop screen. The X-Ray collection is still located in Room 5U and continues to be heavily used.
Student feedback has been very positive, and the proof is in how busy the 5th floor is throughout the day and into the evening. Future work, scheduled during the winter break, includes some aesthetic carpet and ceiling enhancements, improvements in lighting, and use of an innovative whiteboard paint in the group study rooms, which will increase the writing surface area from the current 4 x 6 ft whiteboards to the width of a wall.
For updates on future improvements and more photos of the changes to date, go to
Jonquil Feldman, Director of Briscoe Library and Outreach Services
Tags: October 2012