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FSU Nuts & Bolts: FSU Executive Committee Statement on Healey Library


Dear Member,

The FSU Executive Committee supports a Healey Library that is a gathering place for scholarship, engagement, and conversation for all members of the UMass Boston community.  A library is the heart and soul of a university campus.  

We often say that our teaching conditions are also students’ learning conditions. This is equally true for the condition of the library: it is a place for students to gather, to study, and to promote student success in a holistic way.  Librarians play a vital role as archivists, as instructors, as mentors to students and partners with faculty.

The Healey Library staff work very hard to make our library the best it can be.  Unfortunately, the physical building condition and design are not conducive to quiet study, research, active learning or collaborative work:

Building temperatures are not consistent throughout the building.

   - Daily building temperatures can range from 50 degrees to 80 degrees.

   - Much of the archives collection is not in a climate-controlled room.

Student study spaces

   - Lack of group study spaces

   - Dated furniture

 Library staff

    - Limited staff meeting locations

    - Limited private workspaces

Campus services

  -Limited food options for patrons and staff.  There are a few vending machines with standard machine fare. 

We are committed to working with Dean Stephanie Walker and all library staff, but we recognize that the library’s many pressing needs cannot be resolved by the Dean and the library staff alone.

Therefore, we send the following resolution to the Chancellor and the Provost:

Physical Space

Temperature control must be the top priority for the safety of library staff and patrons and for the protection of our invaluable archive materials.  Our current holdings are in real danger and our ability to solicit new materials will be compromised if we cannot guarantee that donations will be housed in climate-controlled rooms.

Additionally, the 70 outstanding facility work orders need to be resolved.

Library Staff

  - Support their request for gender neutral bathrooms.

  - Workspace design needs to include private spaces.

  - Work computer upgrades.

Student Support

    -  Private spaces where there can be a one-on-one librarian and student instruction.

    -  Dedicated instruction space for those who are in a virtual instruction.  Background noise needs to be eliminated.

    -  Add new group study rooms.  

    -  Redesign the open study areas with inviting colors and furniture.

Technology Access

   -Establish a program to update public computers used by our students.  Many of our students rely on library computers to complete their class work.

Library Amenities

   - Access to food (beverages, snacks, fruit) is essential when studying and researching.  Reopen the café or open a similar establishment to provide basic beverages and healthy foods. 

Reintroduce the Library

   - Include a library visit for first- year seminars.  Library access has not been easy during construction. We need to reintroduce our library to the community.   

We ask you all to join us in this endeavor. 

Student success demands it.  Successful teaching and scholarship demand it. Fostering community demands it.

From FSU Executive Committee