Connecticut College's Charles E. Shain Library underwent an extensive renovation from June 2014 to March 2015. Read all about it here.

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Nothing but blue skies

Blue skies above Shain

Never saw the sun shining so bright
Never saw things going so right
Noticing the days hurrying by ...

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The face of library renovations

One of the most popular costumes at this year’s Staff Halloween Party came from Mark Bliven, the assistant manager of printing and mailing services. Students judging the costume contest rewarded his efforts with a prize for representing the most culturally relevant campus topic, and President Katherine Bergeron couldn’t resist trying out his get-up.

Photo of staff member wearing No Pain, No Shain costume, Halloween 2014.   President Katherine Bergeron in No Pain, No Shain costume, Halloween 2014

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#Shainreno Exposed, Part 2

During the SGA-sponsored #Shainreno Exposed event on Oct. 10, attendees wrote down questions or comments about the project. The renovation team’s answers are below. And remember, if you have questions or comments, use

Will there still be plenty of cubbies? I love cubbies! (Especially cubbies with outlets and near windows.)
The existing cubbies will be redistributed throughout the study spaces. Additional electrical outlets are being added in all renovated areas to increase the access to outlets.

Just a compliment: You are all killing it. My only regret is that, as a senior, I won’t enjoy the amazing new building.
Thanks for the compliment! We do understand that the seniors are paying the highest price for not having library services located in Shain this year. We hope that you will make plans to visit and tour the library once it is completed and open to everyone.

I love all the new collaborative spaces, but individual study nooks are important as well. Will we still have many of those?
Yes, individual study spaces, such as small tables and cubbies, are still going to be available. The existing carrels will return and/or be redeployed throughout the building. There are also plans for several smaller study tables to be added. The project contains several different types of study spaces (cubbies, chairs, tables and group spaces, to name a few) that should accommodate different types of student and visitor study preferences.

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Concrete steps forward

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#Shainreno Exposed

Photo of SGA Oct. 10 event

Thanks to SGA for hosting #Shainreno Exposed, a great opportunity for students to meet the professionals behind the design, construction and coordination of the Shain Library renovation.

Watch this space for answers to the questions posed on paper at the event.

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Take a seat

Options for chairs to be used in Shain Library

Students, faculty and staff have been asked to test drive sample chairs and help choose the future furniture for Shain Library. Test drivers are trying out three different sets of chairs to find the best fit for three different areas of the renovated library.

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Expanding and illuminating

Photo of a crane lifting a steel grid onto the roof of Shain.

The first structural component was put into place for the larger, light-filled facade of Shain Library.

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It was cool in 1976


But the concrete facade was removed from Shain Library on Aug. 19. See the video above. Soon, the front of the building will feature a large bank of windows that will let in much more natural light.

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An update from the vice president for administration

The following message was sent to students on Aug. 20 from Ulysses B. Hammond, vice president for administration:

Before you return to campus for the 2014-15 academic year, I wanted to give you an update on the renovations to Shain Library and what it means for you.

Work started this summer both inside and outside the building, and you’ll come back to find Shain surrounded by construction fences that allow us to maintain a safe environment on campus. The “moat” in front of the building has been filled in to allow for the installation of a beautiful plaza, and the facade of the building has been removed, to be replaced by a large bank of windows that will let in much more natural light. Existing windows were removed and will be replaced by larger windows, and interior walls are being put into place for the new collaborative study spaces, classrooms and the Technology Commons.

There are many exciting changes ahead, and construction will continue throughout the year. Exterior work — which will include removing the roof of the building, among other projects — will continue through the end of November. On occasion, heavy equipment will be used, and there is the possibility the work will generate some noise. Every effort is being made to minimize disruption to our community, but some disturbances can be expected during such large-scale projects. We will alert you in advance of any substantial work that is scheduled to take place so you can plan study time and place accordingly.

After November, most of the renovation work will take place inside the sealed library and have little impact on the surrounding buildings and areas.

The contractors work from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays. Again, they know they are on a residential campus and make every effort to minimize any disruption their work could generate. The same firm managed construction of the science center at New London Hall and they are very familiar with Connecticut College and the needs of our community.

We have identified many alternate study spaces that offer opportunities to study away from the library. A guide and map showing these study spaces, as well as the locations of library services and other helpful information, will be distributed by your housefellow or floor governor upon your return to campus. And you can always find vital information and updates at

NO PAIN, NO SHAIN. Our lighthearted motto during this project has a kernel of truth: There could be some occasional distractions while the library is renovated. But when Shain reopens in time for the Fall 2015 semester, Connecticut College will have a state-of-the-art library, full of technology-rich study spaces and tools and services to foster digital scholarship, as well as a beautiful look, comfortable furnishings and welcoming  atmosphere.

Thank you in advance for helping make this project one of the most important in the College’s history.

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