Aislinn Forbes Contributing Writer
Returning students are sure to have noticed some changes to the Mantor Library, including the larger menu at Mantor cafe and the new layout of the second and third floors.
Tamra Hartley is the full-time supervisor at Mantor Cafe, and she had a lot to say about the new menu. Last year, Hartley and two student workers created specials nearly every week, and Hartley said customers enjoyed that. “We took the most popular ones and added them to the menu,” said Hartley.
The updated menu includes frozen beverages and fresh spices. The chai tea is now homemade, entirely with fresh ingredients. “The old Chai we had was pure sugar,” said Hartley. “I know that students and faculty are tired, stressed, and sick, so we want to give them the best.”
Not to mention, some of the best selling specials from last year are now full-time items. Hartley assured that there would continue to be specials again this year created by the staff. “It’s a real group collaboration,” said Hartley.
The menu isn’t set in stone either, new favorites will continue to be added if they have enough support. “It’s about having a real cafe experience,” said Hartley.
While Tamra and crew were updating the cafe, the summer Mantor staff were busy doing manual labor. Three summer work study students and the full-time staff moved nearly all of the books that were on the second floor into the basement or third floor by the cartful. It took them about a month to get all of the books shifted into their new homes. Opening up the second floor has turned the space into a quiet study area, as well as a place for presentations.
Bryce Cundik, the library director, felt that the move provided the best use of space for the library. “We just finished a seven year “weeding project” which freed up a lot of shelf space,” said Cundik.
Weeding is the process of removing books that are outdated or not in use, something Jessica Isler, the Head of Circulation, described as a normal and necessary practice for a good library.
The weeding process left a lot of empty shelf space. This presented Cundik with an opportunity to solve another problem he had noticed in the library. “Pre-Student Learning Commons, [the first floor] was our reference area and it was a quiet space,” Cundik said. “We removed the shelves there and turned the whole reference area into the active learning space that it is right now.”
While Cundik recognizes that the Learning Commons is great and popular, it’s no longer quiet. “One of our goals was to get a silent study space back into the library,” said Cundik.
There is another reason the space would be useful on campus. When Cundik spoke to Eric Brown, the Interm President, Brown was interested in having a new meeting place on campus. “If you’ve got the Chancellor coming, and you want to have a nice room to meet in with everybody, something that’s not necessarily as big as Lincoln, but you’d like it to look nicer than the North Dining Hall,” said Cundik. “We didn’t really have anything like that.”
Despite the multi-use of the space, both Isler and Cundik said that quiet study space would take priority. Around Midterms and the final two weeks of the semester, the second floor will be exclusively for students. “We’re very protective of the idea of keeping a quiet study space for students,” said Isler.
These changes have been made to create a library that’s more welcoming to everyone, and an opportunity for students to influence campus. “This is kind of like a work-in-progress, this is not the final itteration,” Cundik said.
If students have ideas about how to make the second floor a better place, email firstname.lastname@example.org or stop into Cundik’s office in the Learning Commons.