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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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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

- Shain Renovation

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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No pane, no Shain

Photo of window being removed as part of Shain Library renovations.

The first of several windows to be removed from Shain Library was taken out on July 31. The replacement windows will be much larger to allow more natural light into the building. The window openings are covered during this part of construction to protect the books still inside.

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No more moat

Photo of construction being done outside Shain Library

The space behind the new retaining wall in front of Shain Library has been filled it. This area will become the new walkway and outdoor plaza.

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Shain renovation project boosted by grant from George I. Alden Trust

- Shain Renovation

The George I. Alden Trust has awarded Connecticut College a $175,000 grant to enhance and expand technological resources available in Shain Library. The Alden Trust supports higher education by focusing on small, independent undergraduate colleges recognized for educational excellence and strong leadership.

The grant will support the state-of-the-art upgrades that are part of the ongoing renovations, including the addition of more comfortable, usable, technology-rich study spaces as well as new tools and services to foster digital scholarship.

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PC Classroom takes shape

Photos of the PC Classroom under construction

One of the busiest rooms on campus is one of the first to be reconstructed in Shain. Here are two views of the new PC Classroom: from outside (left) and from inside (right).

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What's the plan?

Katherine Bergeron and Ulysses Hammond with construction plans in front of Shain Library.

Vice President for Administration Ulysses Hammond, President Katherine Bergeron and Adam Moore, senior project manager for KBE Building Corporation, review construction plans for Shain Library.

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Don’t mess around with the demolition man*

Shain Library Reno Construction GIF


The sidewalks, patio and part of the bridge in front of Shain Library have been jackhammered into oblivion.

*With apologies to Sting.

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Open for business

Ernst Common Room in the summer

The temporary library headquarters is open for business! Visit Ernst Common Room in Blaustein Humanities Center for a reference desk staffed by librarians, a circulation desk for requesting and picking up materials, group study spaces and shared computer workstations. As the summer progresses, additional study spaces and computer areas are being set up to prepare for the 2014-15 academic year.

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It's a sign!

Photo of billboard in front of Shain Library announcing renovations.

Visitors to campus will learn about what's happening in Shain Library thanks to this lovely billboard.

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