June 15, 2006

South entrance to Morris Library open again

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Library officials at Southern Illinois University Carbondale reopened the south entrance to Morris Library this morning (June 15) after construction crews completed work that necessitated its temporary closure.

The move means the library, which is undergoing a $48 million renovation and expansion, is once again accessible to disabled patrons. Library officials this morning locked the building's west entrance, which patrons used as a temporary entrance this week. All other entrances remain closed to the public as work continues on the project.

Library officials closed the south entrance on Monday for safety reasons as workers began removing brick and cooling towers from that side of the building. The work constituted the final demolition of the building's exterior, which workers will replace as part of the project.

Officials said special arrangements to supply disabled patrons with materials during the south entrance closure remain in effect for requests already pending. Disabled patrons should follow normal procedures for obtaining materials beginning today.

Library officials say the project, which began in 2005, is on track for completion in 2008. It includes a 50,000-square-foot addition on the building's north side and various technology and efficiency upgrades throughout the nearly 50-year-old structure.

The core undergraduate collection and majority of staff remain directly available to the public on the first floor and basement of Morris Library. Other materials are available at McLafferty Annex.

Enhancing the library and knowledge resources is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.