Publication Date

October 2005

Document Type

Book Chapter


Library and Information Science


Setting/Resources: The Lamar Soutter Library is a mid-size academic health science library. The Library occupies 41,000 square feet within the Medical School and employs 41 full time employees. The budget for the renovation was $1.5 million.

Objective: The goal of the renovation was to improve the functionality of user service points, the overall comfort and general appearance of the Library, and update staff and public areas to incorporate current advances in technology. The Library has been using a team based approach to operational problem solving since 1998 and wished to include faculty, students, administration and library staff in the renovation project using this team structure.

Methods: In 1998, the first Facilities Team was formed to look at the condition of the Library and recommend both short term and long term improvements. From there, four other teams were created with charges ranging from studying building options to following-up with problems after the renovation was completed. Membership on teams came from across all Library departments and from a variety of University departments.

Results: The renovation project was completed in the Spring of 2003 and successfully improved the Library’s physical space by offering more seating options, better lighting and increased accessibility to the Library’s resources. Staff work areas were also enhanced by becoming more centralized by department and by creating a more open work environment that is conducive to collaboration.

Conclusion: The renovation was successful because the team based approach to its management made faculty, staff and students feel like they were included in the decision making process throughout the project, and gave them a sense of ownership and pride for the “new” Library. Decisions made in the team structure created staff buy-in, so that when it came time to implement renovation changes, staff supported the changes. Involving staff and users proved to be invaluable in completing a project that truly met the needs of the Library’s users.


Library renovation


Published as Chapter 8 in: Planning, Renovating, Expanding, and Constructing Library Facilities in Hospitals, Academic Medical Centers, and Health Organizations, edited by Elizabeth Connor, Haworth Press, 2005, ISBN 0-7890-2540-X or 0-7890-2541-8.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Planning, Renovating, Expanding, and Constructing Library Facilities in Hospitals, Academic Medical Centers, and Health Organizations