The Library Student Advisory Committee just released a draft of changes its members feel need to be made to the Cullom-Davis Library.
The committee was created in response to low Princeton Review rankings the past two years.
It is comprised of students, and it aims to address students’ needs and concerns when it comes to the library. We are grateful for the creation of such a committee, and we think the draft is pretty inclusive.
However, we think the committee is selling itself, the library and the entire Bradley campus short.
The library is, frankly, an embarrassment to all current Bradley students, faculty and administration.
We feel the draft is nearly complete, but the committee can ask for more – and we think the university can afford to give more than what is being asked for.
The committee has prioritized renovations, and at the top of the list is printing. The renovations marked as top priorities on the draft will cost an estimated $1.1 million.
The Markin Family Student Recreation Center cost about $25 million, and the university plans on building a men’s basketball practice facility.
We understand that a lot of that money came from donors, and the university does not necessarily get to choose what the donations go toward.
But there is no reason that the university can’t fundraise for the library. And fundraising efforts for the library should be more aggressive than those efforts geared toward raising money for a new a men’s basketball practice facility.
Projects such as the Markin Center are not cheap, and making the library an acceptable place to study and work won’t be cheap either.
So what is holding the committee back from asking for more money right now?
We think it is great that the draft calls for all renovations to be completed within five years. But we want to see those things done sooner.
The Princeton Review rankings are based on student responses to surveys, and since we are the students who have ranked the library, we want to see the benefits of those renovations.
We understand why the committee may have been a little timid in asking for money. This is a difficult time financially for many people, and Bradley is no exception as its endowments have dropped 26 percent during the last six months.
But, needless to say, this is the library we’re talking about, and this is a private institution.
The library should be the focal point of the university, not a disgrace or something that we try to hide.
We are not saying that it is the library staff’s fault that the library has fallen by the wayside, but what we think the administration needs to realize is that something must be done.
The draft’s details and research show hard work, but it is not in the hands of the committee to decide whether or not the renovations explained in the draft get funded.
The committee has prioritized renovations in the draft, and we think the library should top the list for campus renovations.