You may have noticed some of the work crews using scaffolding to fill in the open area around the rear elevator. They have put in new floors and ceilings for the space on the 2nd floor, and the rest of the area will remain open.
There are a few reasons that our architects decided to make this change:
1. A quieter environment. While the 4-story atrium has been a lovely architectural feature, it has not helped to create a peaceful library! Sounds from the auditorium carry throughout the entire building with help from the curved walls around the elevator. With the shaft being closed at the first floor ceiling, noise will carry less and the building will be quieter overall.
2. More square footage for YS. The portion closed off on the 2nd floor will be usable space for the Youth Services department. It will allow for easier sightlines from the reference desk, more room for materials, and easier passage between the northern and southern portions of the department.
As construction continues, you'll notice that the new walls will have large windows, keeping the area full of light and helping to continue the open feeling from before. Though it's a big change, we are excited about the possibilities it offers YS and the overall quiet it offers the whole library.