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Fishbowl may be renovated for classroom use

Photo by Riah Roe

The Fishbowl may undergo an overhaul in 2012. The Carl B. Ylvisaker Library’s popular study area is on the docket for changes that will make it a classroom.

Sharon Hoverson, library director, said the library needs more space for instruction.

“We are doing so much teaching that we need another classroom,” Hoverson said.

The plan would make the Fishbowl compatible with both instructor and student needs.

The library hired Larry Hardesty, a library consultant, to obtain student feedback in March. The consultant will compile the student comments so the library staff can implement their suggestions in the planning process.

The plan will not be approved until next year because library funding has already been allocated for this year.

Other needs contributed to the idea of a new classroom. Many classes that come in for library instruction are too large for the current classroom. Once the 26 stations are occupied, the remaining students have to sit on the floor and work on laptops.

In addition, the only library classroom is not handicap accessible.

Hoverson said the Fishbowl will still be available to students as a computer lab when it is not in use as a classroom.

“I don’t want it to go away for students to use,” Hoverson said.

Junior James Vair is concerned that the possible renovation will not really solve the library’s space problem.

“It’s just a short-term solution,” Vair said. “It’s not addressing the real problem. There’s just not enough space.”

Other students are not convinced that the Fishbowl will really be free for student use if it is turned into a classroom.

Sophomore Michelle Pederson is afraid the Fishbowl will not function the way students have used it since the last major renovation that took place in 2007.

“It’s a place for students to get together to do group work and not worry about getting in anyone’s way,” she said. “Where else are we supposed to go if we don’t have the Fishbowl?”

In the short term, the Fishbowl will change slightly over the summer. The room will be wired for more computers to be added to the cubicles in the center of the room and the asbestos will be removed.


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