Library opens new chapter of excellence

Many operations have been in progress amid Kirkwood Community College’s President Dr. Lori Sundberg’s retirement, one of which includes the renaming of the library to the Sundberg Library and Learning Commons following a donation to the Kirkwood Foundation.  

Dean of Communication, English, and Media and Library Services Matthew Gilchrist said he has been working with Sundberg on the library renaming operation. “I’m responsible for the administrative support for the Library and Learning Commons so my role is to help usher in this change,” said Gilchrist.  

An open house and dedication ceremony was held on Oct. 5 in recognition of Sundberg and her husband, Rick, for their financial support to the Kirkwood Foundation. Both Sundberg and Gilchrist spoke at the event.  

Other changes will also be taking place inside the library. Gilchrist added, “We’re hoping for a renovation of the first floor that will bring about the kind of Learning Commons we would like to see at Kirkwood. It would include spaces that are made for learning support like study spaces one-on-one.”          

Renovations are still being planned, but the process has been in the works since the beginning of the Fall 2023 semester. Sundberg hopes that the renaming of the library will bring more students in an accommodating place to study and use helpful resources in a place  where she utilized often as a student.

Collection Services Librarian Ryan Strempke-Durgin touched on the process of the library being renamed. “The library renaming won’t change how we do our jobs or what we do, but it has been in progress since the beginning of this semester.”  He added that he would like to “Change from the Dewey Decimal System to the Library of Congress organization.” 

Digital Services Librarian Kate Cameron also spoke about Sundberg’s retirement and the library. “She left a donation for the college and at the same time we had already been looking at having a learning commons, formerly known as tutoring. They will be sharing the same space eventually, but we wanted to rename it the Sundberg Library and Learning Commons,” said Cameron.   

In the future, the Learning Commons will move from the second-floor of Cedar Hall to inside the library. Staff members currently working in the Learning Commons will have desks and a designated area for students to have study resources and more.

Image courtesy of Gibson Lowenberg | Kirkwood Communiqué

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