In 2017, the University of Hartford completed a year-long renovation and expansion of the Harrison Libraries.
Centrally located on campus, the library serves as the symbolic and literal “Heart of the University.”
The renovation project updated the physical space, as well as the technology and infrastructure of the libraries, to better serve the University’s community of learners, scholars, creators, and supporters.
“The goal of the renovation was to give our students more space, we added about 10,000 square feet to the building,” said Randi Ashton-Pritting, Director, Harrison Libraries.
In May 2017, the University of Hartford completed a year-long renovation and expansion of the Harrison Libraries. Centrally located on campus, the library serves as the symbolic and literal “Heart of the University.” The renovation project updated the physical space, as well as the technology and infrastructure of the libraries, to better serve the University’s community of learners, scholars, creators, and supporters.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
This project included two storage spaces which required compact shelving to achieve maximum storage capacity and free up space for community, collaboration, and technology.
Allen Library houses music & dance materials and supports The Hartt School programs. This installation is part of an expansion and renovation of the University Libraries. The year-long construction project seeks to further enhance both the Mortensen and Allen Libraries as centers for 21st century learning and collaboration.
Allen Library houses music & dance materials and supports The Hartt School programs.
It was relocated to a newly renovated space that the University calls a “library within a library.”
Allen is a learning hub and intellectual center for the Hartt School, and its services, collections, and facilities are open to the entire University community.
Paying special attention to code requirements and ease of use, the system for the Allen Library was designed to accommodate the music collections, which are highly varied with regard to size, weight, and format.
Within the compact shelving system, we utilized different types of shelving to accommodate books, sheet music, CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes, and vinyl records. The material ranged from very light, to very heavy, which necessitated using specialty shelving, along with cantilever library shelving, in order to safely accommodate heavier collections, or smaller items, without sacrificing storage capacity.
“The aisles are very wide…and it is a pleasant browsing experience,” according to Tracey Rudnick, head of the library.
In this new space, users have one-stop access to collections, services, and research and technical assistance. The new Allen Library has larger seminar space, larger (and better soundproofed) listening rooms, equipment, areas for collaborative work, and study space.
Take a look at what’s new at the University of Hartford’s Harrison Libraries now that the expansion and renovation project is complete.
WILLIAM H. MORTENSEN LIBRARY
The Mortensen is the main library at the University of Hartford; serving the needs of the University’s undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. The library houses:
- Approximately 450,000 books
- 3,400 print and electronic journal titles
- over 3,100 videotapes, microfilm and fiche
- online resources supporting the educational mission of the University
The compact shelving system for the Mortensen was designed to primarily store standard library volumes and bound journals. For this system, we utilized standard cantilever library shelving and, since the ceilings were high in this space, we designed the system with higher than standard shelving to help achieve greater storage capacity.
“We house some of the journals that other institutions don’t have. We have a very strong collection in music and in the arts,” said Randi Ashton-Pritting, Director, Harrison Libraries. “Many of our peer institutions in Connecticut, New England and around the country rely on us to supply them with articles. Access is most important. Institutions cannot afford to own every single journal and book title.”
Additionally, in order to meet codes, this compact shelving system was designed with controls on both ends of each movable shelving range, so that the longer aisles do not end in a “dead end” and the length of the movable carriages was staggered near the walls to allow enough space for a turnaround aisle.