Students will have more space in the Leichter Listening Library next semester.
The deans of the Wanda L. Bass School of Music made plans to run construction on the music library over the summer, finishing in time for the Fall 2017 semester.
The Leichter Listening Library is in Wanda L. Bass Music Center and contains more than 10,000 music scores, along with several music reference books, CDs and music audio resources. It also houses the Music Education Resource Room, which contains more books, CDs and DVDs.
The added space will provide more room for musical scores that previously wouldn’t fit, a designated area for computers and additional shelves to hold scores that couldn’t be held before, said Beth Fleming, performing arts librarian.
“We got up to about 98 percent capacity in this room just toward the end of last year, and since the shelves were added in November of this year, they’ve filled, and we’re just now back up to about 92 percent capacity,” she said. “So the decision was made that we needed to go ahead and go on out.”
Funding for the construction was greatly helped by the Wanda Bass Trust.
The space that will be occupied is outside the library’s west wall, from the window to the parapet a number of yards away. The space was already designated to be part of the music library when the building was constructed in 2005, Fleming said.
“They needed to cut funding, so they brought the wall in a bit,” Fleming said. “Now we’re just going to go ahead and take that territory that was originally planned to be a library anyway.”
The majority of the scores to be stored in the extra space and the small storage room that will come with it consist of vocal material and scores too large to be accommodated by the library’s regular shelves, Fleming said.
“There’s mostly vocal material over there and it’s almost completely full, and so we’re going to have to expand the vocal stuff out into there as well,” she said. “There’s going to be purpose-built shelves for oversize music scores because we have quite a few music scores that are enormous, and the depth of the shelf that we have in here was not necessarily planned to be used toward that kind of thing.”
Micah Gilley, music sophomore, works in the music library. She said expanding the music library is a good idea because it will allow Fleming even more ability to improve the library than she already has.
“I think already the music library is such an asset to the music school because we already have so much,” Gilley said. “I think the expansion is just going to give them more reason to fund Dr. Beth more because she just really knows how to get literature that we need.”
Construction is scheduled to begin May 7, and officials hope to see it complete by the end of the summer. The music library will still be open during the summer with a false wall to keep construction from interfering with the library space.
Fleming said she hopes the expansion of the music library will increase the amount of student participation and aspiration already present.
“It should be a grand way for us to have more room, which we definitely desperately need, but also to have more space for people to gather,” Fleming said. “This is my favorite place to be on the whole entire earth. For a music major, this is like dreamland. It’s where you can test out who and what you want to be in the future, as well as see what you want to do right now, and I like being in that kind of dreamland.”