Located on the third floor of the Dana Porter Library, the Peter and Betty Sims Reading Room houses current periodicals and is enclosed by a series of paneling and glass, while presenting a front facade with wheelchair accessible doors. The reading room is carpeted and contains 16 comfortable leather chairs, along with several small tables for using library materials. A plaque dedicated to Peter and Betty Sims' "outstanding friendship and support of the Library" is installed in the reading room.
Additional renovations to the third floor included enhancing student and faculty research space with the provision of updated computer workstations outside of the new reading room. There are 12 new workstations providing access to the Library's electronic resources, TRELLIS, the Internet, and email. Each workstation provides ergonomic seating, with two of the workstations allowing for table height adjustment.
Following extensive consultation with students and a month of renovations in September, the Sims Silent Study located on the west side of the Davis Centre Library is now equipped with new study carrels, chairs, and carpet. According to Anne Fullerton, the UW Librarian who chaired the project: "as fast as staff set up new carrels, students filled them. Each of the 128 study carrels has a well lit 2x4 ft. desk surface with 2 power outlets and space for a laptop, course notes, books, and other study essentials. Students can even secure their laptops by sliding a security cable through the grommet on the lower side panel of the carrel." The renovations to this study area also addressed student recommendations for increased privacy and a minimization of visual distractions.
Peter and Betty Sims are respected leaders in the K-W community who have demonstrated a passion and commitment to education. Peter's father, Kenneth Sims, was a member of the founding board of UW. Peter joined the University's Board of Governors in 1986, and served as its chair from 1994-1997. During the same time, Betty served as the Chair of the Board of Wilfrid Laurier University. This is a first in the history of Canadian higher education. Their enlightened public service has benefited numerous causes, local hospitals, and service organizations.
The Economical Insurance Group was first established in Kitchener (formerly Berlin), Ontario in 1871. It is currently one of the largest property and casualty insurers in Canada. They are a major contributor to many local charities and fund-raising events in the Waterloo Region. Economical has been a major donor to UW in the past. Their first gift to the university was directed to the Centre for Environmental and Information Technologies (CEIT) building, which is home to the Electrical and Computer Engineering department and Earth Sciences department.
For more information about the Peter and Betty Sims Reading Room and Sims Silent Study, please contact:
Director, Organizational Services