Beeghly Library is, and always has been, a hub of student activity at Ohio Wesleyan University. Whether you’re there to study, visit the media center, or simply kill time between your classes there is no denying how essential of a resource it has been for many students
across the campus for decades.
Photo courtesy of the OWU Flickr page.
However, with time comes age and with age comes wear. As temperatures continued to climb over the summer, older buildings find themselves with the most difficulty adapting to the change due to anything from a lack of proper air conditioning or simply being unable to maintain the proper humidity.
This is why, on July 7th, an email was issued from Maura Donahue, OWU vice president for finance and administration to all OWU students.
“As I described in my report for the April 2022 faculty meeting, a confluence of factors is affecting our ability to keep Beeghly operational and inviting, and that continues to be the case. For the time being, the library is closed to the campus and community while Provost Crowley, Director of Libraries Dee Peterson, Senior Director of Facilities Bob Oehler, and I discuss with President Matt vandenBerg the physical limitations of the building.”
Donahue noted the ongoing structural problems with the building included high humidity that produced notable concentrations of common molds within the space.
Many of the internal systems like the previously mentioned HVAC had grown worn with time, which only served to exacerbate the problem. All these issues and more were outlined in an update email from the university’s president office.
“We must be proactive when it comes to the health and safety of OWU students, staff, faculty, and visitors, which is our top priority. Therefore, after consulting carefully with numerous campus leaders, expert partners, and trustees, we have decided to close Beeghly Library for the 2023-2024 academic year.” Matt vandenBerg, OWU’s president stated within the email sent out on August 1st.
Photo courtesy of John Hulkenberg on the OWU Flickr page.
Signs have been placed on the doors of the library as well, repeating the same messages of closure. The reality of the library’s loss has finally begun to sink in as the academic year gets underway, but adjustments have been made in turn.
Within the President’s Office’s initial email on the situation, promises were already initially made to move many of the essential services within the building to Hobson Science Library.
The library, located within the Schimmel/Conrades Science Center, was quickly staffed and an email was sent by Brian A. Rellinger, an associate provost for academic support.
“We will continue to provide periodic updates as necessary. We are working with conservation/preservation experts to help us determine our best next steps for the physical collections. Please review the online FAQ anytime for the latest information about library services and materials, including where to direct questions.”