The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Golden Library sits in 'whole different world'

 

September 2, 2018



Almost three years ago, I was in a Portales audience for one of the many local presentations done by Melveta Walker, who has been the director of Eastern New Mexico University’s Golden Library for the last 19 years.

Walker was pounding the pavement to let people know about the massive renovations that were in store for the facility that anchors the eastern side of the ENMU campus.

Many of those looming changes were due to a factor that didn’t exist even in the imaginations of the people who founded the institution back in 1934, Walker told us.

“Nearly every one of our students today carries one of these,” she said.

She reached in her pocket and pulled out a smart phone, and then proceeded to explain how smart technology has revolutionized the needs of current students.

The library at Eastern had only been called Golden Library for two years when I got my first “real” job there in 1979.

It was a much different place than the gleaming green and silver and glass facility that was dedicated Tuesday afternoon as the Golden Student Success Center.

With the completion of the $26 million renovation, Golden Library is now officially one of several departments housed in the Golden Student Success Center, or GSSC.

Besides a streamlined library collection, Walker said the 93,539 square-foot building also houses a large high-tech presentation room on the first floor, a lounge for veterans, and a full-service coffee shop.

The first campus library back in 1934 was a collection of mostly donated books in one room in what is now the Administration Building. I have no idea how many electrical outlets it had, but I’d bet on no more than a dozen.

Compare that to the just unveiled GSSC, which Walker said has 449 outlets wired into the walls, plus countless more built into furniture and equipment, as well as 170 upright extension cords with room for six plugs each.

It’s a whole different world.

And it’s wide open to the public, Walker stresses.

The renovation included adding a street-side entrance that opens onto North Avenue K, the main road that runs through campus. Walker said “at least a hundred people” have already told her how happy they are to have easier access to the building.

Those of us in the crowd on the sizzling hot ribbon cutting day Tuesday likely appreciated the air conditioning more than anything else, but there were plenty of oohs and aahs for the sweeping vistas and new art work as well.

Plan on a visit soon. If you’re a New Mexico taxpayer, you helped make it happen.

Betty Williamson has lots of golden memories from Golden Library. Reach her at: [email protected]

 
 

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