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Webster Library Transformation


1. What is the Webster Library Transformation project?
  • This project will address a longstanding need for more study space for students.
  • However, it is also part of Concordia’s overall plan to reinforce the library’s role to:
    • support learning and research activities;
    • provide a foundation for intellectual life within Concordia; and
    • foster a culture of research and innovation, and collaborative learning.
2. How will this project benefit students?
  • We will be expanding our study seats by 114 per cent. This project will also improve the quality and variety of spaces, improving the functionality and technology to create an intellectually stimulating learning environment for our students.
  • Students will also be able to participate in more active and collaborative learning activities through new quality study spaces that will have more natural light, wide-open spaces and modern design.
  • Graduate students will have designated study spaces.
  • Students will have greater access to digital scholarly publications.
3. Does Concordia really need more study space?
  • Since the Webster Library opened its doors more than 20 years ago, the university’s enrolment has almost tripled (from 16,000 students to 46,000 in 2014).
  • In 2010 and 2013 university-wide surveys on library spaces, services and collections, Concordia students said a lack of quality study space was an issue that needed to be addressed.
  • As a result of this project, we will increase the number of study seats by 114 per cent.
  • The project will also bring Concordia’s total library space per student in line with norms established by the Ministère de l'Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche et de la Science.
  • Based on norms set by the ministry, Concordia’s Libraries have the least amount of space per square meter among full-time equivalent students in relation to other comparable Quebec universities.
4. Why is Concordia undertaking this project now, especially at a time of budget compressions?
  • In addressing budget compressions, Concordia has made a commitment to ensure that key academic priorities continue to be funded. We must make strategic investments to support and advance our academic mission, and be responsive to the needs of our current and future students.
  • The majority of project funding is not coming from Concordia’s operational budget but from the Government of Quebec, specifically from a budget earmarked for infrastructure projects and equipment. This budget is not affected by current budget compressions.
  • There is also a substantial investment by students.
5. What types of spaces will the project provide?
  • Students will have access to individual study seats and zero-noise spaces, silent reading rooms, a social learning environment, practice rooms for individual and team presentations, collaboration rooms with digital inputs and large high-definition screens, as well as spaces reserved for graduate students.
6. What is the project timeline?
  • Construction will begin in January 2015 and is expected to be completed in December 2017.
  • There are various phases to this project, which will be shared with the Concordia community via various communications tools, including the NOW newsletter and a blog on the Libraries web page.
7. What kind of disruptions should faculty, staff and students expect?
  • Concordia is currently finalizing its project plans and will share information in advance of potential disruptions.
8. Where can I get more information?
Updated: Thursday 14 September 2017
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