PHOTOS: Inside AACC's New Truxal Library

The community college's renovated library will formally open on Monday for the start of fall classes.

Anne Arundel Community College's newly renovated Andrew G. Truxal Library is graced with a modern look.

The college's staff conducted group tours of the renovated library this week, a few days ahead of the grand opening on Monday. Take one step into the building and you are immediately treated to two-story tall windows that douse the whole building in sunlight.

New technology in the facility measures that light and adjusts the level of the artificial lighting accordingly, as a way to save on energy costs.

When designers set out to renovate Truxal, they asked students what should be added. Library Director Cindy Steinhoff said students surprised them by saying that they wanted quiet spaces. The request was a departure from where libraries had been gravitating toward in recent years, Steinhoff said.

"In some ways I think we're at the leading edge of a trend here," Steinhoff said. "We found that students still want quiet, study spaces. Libraries over the past decade have gotten louder, as more and more they're converted to collaborative spaces."

The renovated library offers 20 group study rooms, where before there were only three. There also are rooms specifically labeled quiet study rooms on the third floor—the most secluded of the bunch.

There also are collaborative work spaces where groups of four students can work around a widescreen monitor on a single project. And on the main floor, there are more than 85 personal computers in a huge, open-air computer lab.

"I think we did a good job of listening to what students wanted," Steinhoff said. 

The large windows throughout the library also afford students a view around the campus, which was another request of theirs.

Truxal library was built in 1969, and hadn't undergone much of a change since its construction. The new renovation cost $19 million, and increased its space by 40 percent—adding 31,000 square feet. The building doubles as the student support offices.

Over the summer, the library’s thousands of books were transferred to a nearby modular building on the tennis courts while construction crews tear down walls to make room for the new, expanded facility. A few weeks ago, librarians and some student support services began moving back into the renovated library.

They're now putting the finishing touches on the building, which is set to open for students on Monday at the start of the fall term.


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