Last winter in Louisiana was one for the books; students and faculty enjoyed a few days off due to snow and inclement weather. Unfortunately, that same frigid weather caused unbelievable damages to Southern University’s John B. Cade Library. Each floor of the library sustained nearly two inches of water after pipes succumbed to freezing temperatures.
The unforeseen winter disaster called for some major renovations, the most recent of which were funded by The Home Depot annual Retool Your School competition. A total of 67 HBCUs participated, and SUBR placed second in its cluster, winning a $40,000 grant intended to improve our campus.
The grant was put to use on August 17 at the Home Depot’s kickoff day. Volunteers from the community, the Alumni Federation and SUBR joined forces to take care of some of the library’s smaller needs. “We were able to paint some of the bathrooms, we were able to get furniture from that grant and you probably saw some of that furniture on the first floor,” Dean of Libraries Emma Perry reported. Other renovations left some students in disbelief.
These repairs were made possible largely in part by SU students, and the library staff is ready to give back. If you have not yet checked out John B. Cade, here are a few reasons you may want to:
Elevators With the help of The Home Depot Retool Your School award monies, the library extended its repairs to every floor. Students can now ride new elevators for the first time in nearly four years.
Freshman Mechanical Engineering major, Cailan Williams, took the elevator for a ride, herself, noting, “They’re great. Hopefully students keep them clean so they can be useful for a long time to come.” Cleanliness should be no problem with as much attention to detail as the library staff pays. Dean Perry has seen to it that the library has been taken care of, down to the freshly painted handrails on the stairs; but we won’t be needing those anymore!
Textbooks By now, professors have hit the road running in their courses, leaving behind those of us waiting for refund and scholarship funds to be released to purchase textbooks and other materials. For those of you in classes where professors will not allow more time before diving into the course work, the library likely has what you need. Visit the [desk by Java City] and get what you need; when it’s time to return it, just take pictures. Late fees are charged at 10 cents per hour, but a picture is worth one thousand words.
Courtesy Charging Stations If you ever need somewhere to pass the time during that gap between your classes, stop by the library. Grab a drink in the [food] area, check Moodle in one of the second floor computer labs, or take a seat on some of the new furniture to use one of [how many] courtesy charging stations.
Printers When your suite mate’s printer finally runs out of ink, stop by before that assignment is due and print in the copy center on the first floor or a computer lab on the second floor. The first few pages are printed free of charge and student IDs can be reloaded with a few spare dollars to print at 10 cents per page.
Electronics If you require a resource more portable than the library’s desktop computers, check out its laptop computers and iPads. Take one around the library to a comfortable spot or take care of it at home, but please be aware of late fees!
The library is documented as far back as 1889 when it first began to spread its roots. Now in 2018, Dean Perry updates, “We’re really pleased about where we are now, but there is still a lot of work to be done.” As the very first dean of libraries, Dean Perry is devoted to this library and ensuring that it can provide students with the very best. As contractors continue to work, Dean Perry and her staff look forward to welcoming students back with full services and restoring John B. Cade to its full glory.