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Davis Centre Information Commons Project

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Information Commons?

The RBC Information Commons is an area at the front of the Davis Library, near the Information and Circulation Desks. It is equipped with 38 workstations (one is barrier free) and an extensive suite of supported software (including MSOffice) and research tools to assist students through the entire sequence of steps when researching and completing their assignments. There will be sufficient space and seating for collaborative work and easy access to library staff for help with research strategies and skills.  Think of the RBC Information Commons as a space where technology and expertise support the scholarly use of information resources.

Why is UW renovating the Davis Library?

  • The Library was built in 1988 for a user population of approximately 8,000. Today, we provide services to more than 12,000 students and faculty.
  • Davis Library was built in the era of card catalogues, printed indexes and abstracts, and individual study. In 2004, more than half our journals are electronic. Reserves, renewals, and document delivery are online. Students work in groups.
  • The infrastructure does not support modern information transfer in many areas of the Library. (Study tables, carrels)
  • The renovation will be done in Phases as funds are raised. Phase 1 will be completed this summer.

What are the Benefits of Phase 1 of the Renovation?

  • 38 new workstations (one is barrier free) where you can sit to search databases and the web or read email or use MS Office software to write a paper or analyse data.
  • Internet and power at many study tables and carrels.
  • Noise management in the entrance and first third of the Library with acoustic panels and by separating quiet and noisy study areas.
  • New lounge seating at the entrance on the main floor.
  • More natural light in the Library through the all-glass entrance and rearranged book stacks.
  • New carpet in the front third of the Library.
  • Coordinated Information and Circulation services.
  • Chairs for you at the Information Desk for those long consultations with staff.

Why is the Davis Library Closed?

We examined the safety, cost and logistics of installing and moving protective barriers around the areas to be renovated, temporary service desks, entrance and exit options for patrons, ceiling installation of acoustic panels over study areas, dismantling and moving shelves, moving the entire main floor collection, carpet laying etc. The increases in contractor time and material costs to ensure safe access would put us over budget and delay the September opening. This would not take into account any problems which could arise during renovation. Therefore, - in order to complete the work safely over the summer and on budget, we need to close the Davis Library.

Porter Library staff and relocated Davis staff will provide circulation, course reserves, and reference services in the Porter Library. There are more than 1,100 study spaces in Porter.

Davis Copy Centre will also be closed. Carbon Copy on the 2nd floor of the new EIT building is a nearby alternative.

What do I do if I need to get a book or journal article from Davis Library?

Search TRELLIS and display the item you need. Use the request item from TRELLIS button to order the book or article just as you would if it was at Guelph or Laurier. Pick it up at the listed locations.
Questions? Contact Circulation ex. 5544.

When will Phase 1 of the renovation project start?

Late April 2004.

When will the project be finished?

Phase 1 - End of August 2004.

Who is planning this project?

Davis Library Renovations Planning Team :

  • Anne Fullerton
    Liaison Librarian; Chair
  • Sharon Lamont
    Head, User Services
  • Carl Nagel
    Systems Operations Manager
    Workstations and Networks
  • Eric Boyd
    Facilities Manager
  • Ian Donaghey
    Library Assistant, Facilities
  • Ted Harms
    Library Assistant; Recorder
  • Dan Parent
    UW Architect
  • Stephen Lefneski
    Walter Fedy Partnership
  • Areta Lok
    undergrad student rep.
  • Shima Shahidy
    undergrad student rep
  • Heather Murray
    grad student rep.
  • Linda Norton
    UW Graphics
  • Susan Schaefer
    UW Graphics
  • Lorraine Beattie
    administrative contact
  • Susan Routliffe
    administrative contact

When was the current Davis Library built and who designed it?

The Davis Centre was built from 1986-88 and opened in 1989. It was designed by Ron Keenberg of IKOY Architects. His recently opened School of Information Technology and Engineering at University of Ottawa is reminiscent of the Davis Centre design.

How will this project be funded?

The $5 million renovation of the Davis Library is a key project within Campaign Waterloo. RBC Financial Group's leadership gift of $1 million has provided the funding necessary to complete phase 1 of the project.

Who is the architect for the project?

Stephen Lefneski and Roger Farwell from Walter Fedy Partnerships, a Kitchener architectural firm, who have worked on several projects on the UW campus over the years.

Will anything happen before spring 2004?

You'll see more empty shelves as the abstracts and reference areas are cleared. Following the last exam, staff will empty 10 rows of book shelves on the lower level so compact shelves can be installed. These will hold all the Government Publications from the main floor and some periodical volumes.

Information Commons home

Anne Fullerton, Project Chair

February 23, 2007