Book it to the library: Woods Branch reopens after construction

By Bella Yoakam, Lauren Kaled, and Gianna Roux

After nine months of construction, the Woods Library has finally reopened its doors to patrons, with brand new features. Improvements such as a Dream Lab, also known as the Design, Record, Experiment, Access and Make Lab, self checkout, and new seating arrangements have allowed the library to be more open to the public.
The library has now changed into a more modern environment. North librarian Amanda Pata has seen the Branch and reflects on the change the library has gone through.
“I think that what libraries are has changed a lot since even when I was younger,” Pata said. “There [are] a lot less book-pushing spots, and a lot more community areas. We try to reflect that [in our library] too.”
Books are far from the only thing available at the Woods Branch. A bigger and better Dream Lab, allows people to record and create their own music, 3-D print, sew, use a Cricut, and more. Drop-in hours for the Dream Lab are listed on the library’s website to gain free access to any of these tools. Branch Manager Pat McClary believes that the pandemic allowed libraries to learn about ways to become more accessible.
“I think that with the lab it’s created some other opportunities to offer other services and other ways to get information, or to use it to communicate,” McClary said.
The staff at the Woods library is continuing to provide quiet spaces, and many resources that can be utilized by students, according to sophomore Molly Spence. Spence, who works at the library, explains that the library is always trying to improve and make locals feel welcomed through their diversity.
“I think that the new improvements will attract more people because there are more places to sit, charge your phone or computer, and it’s more organized,” Spence said.
While waiting for the new reopening of her own library, Pata states how these new additions at the Woods branch are going to be similar to what is going to happen in the North library.
“Once we reopen, we’ll have more of a social creative space, which might reflect some of the things that are going on at the Woods Branch too,” Pata said.
The new reopening of the Woods library is herding in new and returning faces with new additions and improvements, according to McClary.
“What we’re doing now is adding to our digital databases for movies, magazines, books, and music,” McClary said. “It goes beyond the physical collection which people still find endearing and [that’s] why we are still maintaining an AV collection, because everybody uses different things to get their information and access it.”