Making New Spaces at Burke Library
Coming in Fall 2023
The library’s first floor will include the College’s first enclosed makerspace with VR/AR spaces, 3D design and printing, and other features, as well as four soundproof production booths and a new permanent classroom for Library and Information Technology Services (LITS) instruction. At the entrance to the library, patrons will be greeted by a multi-touch digital kiosk highlighting collections, programs, and services, as well as a custom-made curved bookshelf to prominently display faculty publications and Burke's browsing collection. Another digital kiosk will be available outside the makerspace.
The project also includes adding permanent exhibit spaces and areas to highlight the library’s physical collections, a new movable glass partition in the All-Night Reading Room to improve programming use, all new finishes such as furniture and carpet, a new Circulation/IT Help Desk and Research/Digital Media Desk, and new offices.
“LITS staff offers innovative programming and opportunities that excite and energize our students and faculty, and this renovation will ensure we have spaces that are best suited for that work,” said Director of Learning and Research Services Beth Bohstedt, LITS’ renovation project lead. “The new spaces will also be flexible enough to be used for future needs that we can’t imagine yet.”
Accessibility and sustainability are top priorities for the renovation and have been infused into nearly every aspect of the project, according to Bohstedt. The service desks and collection exhibits will be fully accessible along with the makerspace, and a bathroom will be modified to further increase accessibility. Lighting on the first floor will be upgraded to LED lighting in order to improve energy conservation.
In preparation for the opportunities that will be available to the campus community following the renovation, LITS has launched the Technology Exploration and Collaboration at Hamilton (TECH) Lab, a suite of services for students to pursue their passions in the digital realm using Burke’s new spaces.
“TECH Lab is for today’s Hamilton student—the artisan, scholar, and innovator who questions what is and reimagines what is possible,” said Associate Director for Digital Innovation, Learning, and Research Nhora Serrano. “Thanks to these new spaces, we were able to design TECH Lab to provide opportunities for students to further explore the digital landscape and map a path suited to their personal interests and goals.”
LITS selected its first student TECH Lab Fellow, Dani Bernstein ’24, whose work will begin this summer and extend through the spring 2024 semester. Bernstein will spend the summer collaborating with LITS staff on special digital and media projects related to documenting the library’s renovation.
Construction for the estimated $5.15 million project, which encompasses all 17,000 square feet of the building’s first floor, will commence following the end of spring semester final exams. The building will be closed for the summer and is slated to reopen for the fall 2023 semester. All LITS services will remain available throughout the summer without interruption. (For more information on the summer project and accessing resources, visit the Burke Library Redesign website.)
Hamilton is committed to ensuring students leave College Hill with the ability to use digital media to effectively communicate and collaborate in a digital world.
Part of the Burke Library renovation is made possible thanks to a gift from The George I. Alden Trust as part of the Because Hamilton campaign, the most ambitious fundraising effort in the College’s history. To date, $395 million of the $400 million goal has been secured with the campaign scheduled to close on June 30.
Burke Library opened in 1972 and is named for Daniel Burke, Class of 1893. A long-time chairman of the College’s Board of Trustees, Burke played an integral role in the building of the College’s original library, which is now the Christian Johnson Building. Today, Burke Library is a highly collaborative academic space that provides a fusion of great library and research support services, digital learning, and faculty research and scholarship support. The library houses Library and Information Technology Services (LITS), the Hamilton College Archives, and Special Collections.
The contracting company that built Burke Library, Daniel O’Connell’s Sons, will also complete this summer’s renovation.
- Dedicated makerspace with VR/AR spaces, 3D design and printing, and more
- Four soundproof production booths
- Permanent classroom for LITS instruction
- Moveable glass partition in the All-night Reading Room
- Upgraded finishes (new furniture, carpet, ceilings, and help desks)
- Two digital kiosks highlighting collections, programs, and services at the entrances to the library and makerspace
- LED lighting
- Modified bathroom to increase accessibility
- New offices for LITS staff
- Estimated project completion: Fall 2023 semester
Bristol Swimming Pool recently underwent a $12.8 million renovation that included a total roof replacement as well as several major pool enhancements and equipment upgrades that make the facility more sustainable and accessible while providing a better experience for student-athletes, fans, and patrons.