Change to Mabee Library crucial to Washburn

Victoria Garcia

With the 2008-2009 Washburn Student Government Association elections well underway, both administrations have turned their focus to the much-needed modernization of Mabee Library.

It has been more than 30 years since the library has seen any significant cosmetic updates, and it seems voice of the students is finally being addressed head-on. In comparing the student issues of Patrick Muenks and Billie Jean Bergmann against those of Whitney Philippi and Amy Billinger, the desired improvements for Mabee Library are very much the same amongst the two potential candidates.

Both candidates hope to tackle some of the top complaints of Washburn students: lack of computers, lack of space and an out-of-date atmosphere. While Philippi and Billinger hope to physically expand the library, adding extra space and a more open environment, Muenks and Bergmann want to focus on increasing the library’s hours and its number of computers as well as centralizing departmental tutoring to the library’s location.

Alan Bearman, interim dean of libraries, agreed that the library is in dire need of some updates. His hope is to transform the library into an intellectual, social and cultural hub on campus and he believes attention from the candidates can bring this vision to life.

“Whatever we decide to do, we’re doing for the students in conjunction with students,” said Bearman. “Students know exactly what they need.”

One of the top issues Bearman hopes to tackle is opening the accessibility of the Mabee’s laptop computers. Once Information Systems and Services upgrades the campus’s wireless connections, Bearman plans to have 30 to 35 laptops available for students to use throughout the library instead of just in the current designated area.

“It’s time for us to move forward,” said Bearman. “We need to make this library the heart and soul of the university, much like others are on college campuses across the nation.”