The second and third floors of the College of Charleston’s Marlene and Nathan Addlestone Library will be closed from May 3 through August 18, 2014, during a major improvement project designed to improve the usability of the space.

RELATED: 5 reasons a library renovation is like a jigsaw puzzle.

Addlestone Library Books

Boxed books have sat in the Library’s rotunda since spring break

“This renovation lays the foundation for us to create a real 21st century library,” explains John White, dean of libraries. “Even though the building seems new, it was planned in the mid-to-late 1990s and access to information has changed dramatically since then. Now every student is at the library with at least two devices that may need to be plugged in.”

Library Improvements

For students, this renovation means 200 additional seats, power outlets throughout the building, and three more group study spaces. The additional power outlets will enable students to plug in their laptops, phones, and tablets. Starbucks will replace Java City, with plans for additional outdoor seating.

Other changes include putting the entire book collection on the second floor, expanding the Special Collections Reading Room, and expanding capacity for the library’s unique manuscript and rare book collections.

“We’ve put as much thought into our print collection as we have into access to digital resources,” White says. “We will still only be at 55 percent capacity, which will allow us to add at least 10,000 books to our collection each year. We’re maintaining the serendipity of discovery – when someone goes into the stacks looking for a book and finds others to read.”

RELATED: See the new floorplans.

White says changes will be made on every floor of the library, which means the entire print collection will be unavailable from May 3 through August 18. Students and faculty can borrow books from other S.C. libraries and almost all libraries across the country quickly and easily through interlibrary loan and PASCAL.

Making Room for S.C. Historical Society

The improvement project will also make room for the South Carolina Historical Society’s collections of books, manuscripts and archives, which will be housed in Addlestone Library starting in January 2015.

RELATED: Learn more about the partnership between Addlestone Library and the S.C. Historical Society.

In January 2015, S.C. Historical Society archives will be in Addlestone's Special Collections space

In January 2015, S.C. Historical Society archives will be in Addlestone’s Special Collections space

The thousands of fragile maps, letters, photographs and books in the Historical Society’s collections will be stored in a reconfigured and expanded Special Collections area that is secure, climate-controlled, and allows space for continued collection growth.

“We are a 21st century archive, with dedicated, modern facilities to repair, restore, and protect rare manuscripts and artifacts,” White explains. “By locating the rich resources of Charleston and the S.C. Historical Society in one facility, the Addlestone Library will rank with the top research centers in the nation in Southern Studies.”

RELATED: Get the latest updates on the Addlestone improvement project.