Holman Library is Getting a Makeover

By Abigail Kishimoto, Head Culture Co-Writer

Photos from Phoebe McCutcheon, Head of Photography and Design

Did you know that the McKendree Holman Library was built in 1969? That means that our library is 52 years old! The library is genuinely one of my favorite buildings on campus, as it captures the historical nature of McKendree because of what it has offered for so many years and what it will offer in the years to come.

I am not the only one who holds Holman Library near and dear to my heart. Through discussion with some of the library’s staff, I was able to gain insight on why they love the library. They wish to share their favorite spots with you, the readers of the McKendree Review! 

Paul Worrel, Deborah Houk, and Jennifer Funk

Deborah Houk, director of Holman Library, explained how one of her beloved spots inside is the stained glass window alcove on the second floor. The stained glass window depicts Bishop William McKendree on horseback and was donated in 1972. During her time as a McKendree student, she spent many hours studying in this spot and says that it is still one of her favorite parts of the library. Additionally, she is always excited about the archives, located in the basement of the library, that allow her gain insight on so much of McKendree’s history. If you are ever interested in going through these archives, you can schedule an appointment here to do just that! 

McKendree’s public service librarian, Jennifer Funk, described the reading room—located in the nook to the left of the front doors as you first walk in—as her favorite spot in the library. The space has study tables for students and plenty of windows for natural light, and Funk is a huge proponent of natural light! I highly recommend testing out this space if you haven’t before; the reading room has also quickly become one of my favorite spots to study in. 

Lastly, Paul Worrel, McKendree’s reference and instruction librarian described the comfy lounge on the upper level as his favorite space in Holman. He explained, “The colorful cushions and whimsical posters make it a great place to unwind and get work done in comfort.” Now, this upper level will be seeing some updates in the near future, but do not worry—the comfy furniture will find its way to other areas of the library!

There are several desirable spots in our campus library, but change is sometimes inevitable. In case you have not heard, Holman will soon be going through renovation! As put by Paul Worrell, “The library hopes to become a modernized, collaborative space for students to meet, challenge one another, and grow.”  President Dobbins met with his cabinet this past Summer to determine how to do just that. 

The upper level of the library will be transformed into a whole new space, filled with updated technology and modular seating. There will now be enhanced video and sound technology to encourage creation and allow for as many as 75 McKendreans to gather whether in person or remote. Gatherings that may be held in this new space include the board of trustees’ meetings, SJEC meetings, Brown Bags, and possibly library instruction. Plus, the new space will take advantage of the top floor’s beautiful view of campus.

Apart from minor renovations like new carpet and fresh paint, Holman Library has not seen too many changes since it was built in 1969, so these renovations are much needed! Deborah Houk explains, “This renovation will allow us to better serve the student population—we can have more collaborative spaces, areas for studying, and allow for better use of technology.  The library is a great place for resources and to receive assistance with your assignments or projects.  I believe the renovation will increase the visibility of the library and make it a place for more students to collaborate and study.” 

Keep an eye out for these changes as they begin to occur in the library. Progress has already been made to prepare for the transformation that is to come in the new year. If you have not had a chance to take full advantage of Holman Library and all that it has to offer, wait no more, and get excited for everything that is to come!

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