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Glendon’s Frost Library receives a makeover

Nov. 7, 2012

On Nov. 5, more than 2000 students taking courses at Glendon Campus received a special gift in the form of a new study area in Frost Library. Glendon Principal Kenneth McRoberts, University Librarian Cynthia Archer, York student ambassador Jaclyn Volkhammer and Acting Department Head of Frost Library Sarah Coysh, jointly unveiled the Frost Library’s first major renovation in almost 50 years.

From left, University Librarian, Cynthia Archer,  student ambassador, Jaclyn Volkhammer, and Glendon Principal, Kenneth McRoberts, cut the ceremonial ribbon and unveil Frost Library’s new Fireside Reading Room

Faculty, staff, students and donors attending the unveiling were the first to see the former “Reserves Room” transformed into a multi-modular, student-centred space. The aptly named “Fireside Reading Room” boasts a comfortable seating area nestled around a fireplace, four large collaborative study spaces and a bank of eight additional computer carrels.

In an effort to make the space more conducive to the evolving needs of York’s 21st-century students, open dialogues and student focus groups were conducted. Under the leadership of Architect Michael Guido and Project Manager Sean Thibeault, work on renovating the space began in last spring.

The Leslie Frost Library was York’s first library and has been an integral part of both the Glendon and York communities for the past five decades.

McRoberts welcomed guests to the reception with his opening remarks. “I’ve known many libraries over my life. I’ve spent a great deal of time in them and have developed a real love for libraries,” McRoberts explained. “But there’s no library that is more loveable than this one. This is a library that has really contributed to the community, which is appreciated by the community, and has a very special place at Glendon.”

Volkhammer spoke about what the renovated space will mean to Glendon’s students. “My favourite part of the renovation is the fireplace and the seats around it. Frost [Library] already seems like my home on campus – I think I probably spend more time in the library than in residence! It’s fitting that there’s a room like this. It wouldn’t seem out of place in your home.”

Archer spoke of the continued commitment by the York University Libraries to refreshing the student experience at Frost Library. “We are committed to revitalizing Frost Library’s welcoming atmosphere as funds become available,” Archer said. “The creation of the Fireside Reading Room is just a start. Our vision for Frost Library is to completely renovate the first floor so we can continue to serve a student population with diverse learning styles and technological needs.”

The first phase of the renovation was made possible because of York University Libraries’ donors.

To conclude the reception a video titled “Rediscover Frost Library” was screened. The video features Glendon alumni and Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies Professors Emeriti John Lennox ’67, J. Paul Grayson ’67, Bob Drummond ’67, and current Glendon students, Emma Price, Drew Pinkerton and Alexandra Tangorra. The six reminisce about their first impressions of Frost Library, with memories that span five decades. They discuss how the renovated space will affect a new generation of learners.

York University Libraries partnered with Learning Technology Services (LTS) to create the three-minute video that celebrates Frost Library’s past while focusing on its future. “Many of Glendon’s alumni and donors are spread across the country and the world. We knew many of them wouldn’t have the opportunity to see, first hand, the renovation that resulted from their generosity,” says Coysh. “The ‘Rediscover Frost Library’ video allows us to show our appreciation through a medium that can be easily disseminated and shared among our Frost Library supporters – on websites and through social media.”

View Frost Library’s newly renovated Fireside Reading Room. Watch the Rediscover Frost Library video or view the FlickR gallery.