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September 17, 2012

John E. Jaqua Law Library unveils new look

Library adds exhibit, improves facilities in response to student feedback

Throughout the summer, the University of Oregon John E. Jaqua Law Library made several improvements to its facilities after conducting a series of focus groups in order to gauge law students' seating and studying preferences. These improvements are highlighted in a new exhibit titled "It's YOUR Law Library," which details the changes made over the summer as well as services the library provides to its students. The exhibit will be on display through December 2012.

In the focus groups, students stated they desired a space for quiet study that offered privacy, good lighting, comfortable seating and ample space. To respond to students' needs, the law library has added more than 100 new seats, including several soft seats, for quiet study purposes. Shelving on the library's third floor was replaced with tables and carrels to keep noise levels low. Each carrel has its own light and outlets for students who need to charge laptops or other portable devices. Frosted windows on the third and fourth floor have been added to help maintain student privacy. The library's third floor is open to all students for quiet study, while the fourth floor is reserved purely for law students.

In addition to these changes, the library has reorganized the microforms area to make it easier for students to find what they need, and has also purchased a new scanner that allows students to capture content from their own computer files. To beautify the facilities, the library installed four color photographs by landscape photographer Sean Bagby on the third and fourth floors, and photographs by award-winning photographer Carol Isaak on the second floor.

Library Director Mary Ann Hyatt said the library serves a special purpose for law students.

"We found out that the law library is the only space in the building specifically designed for study," Hyatt said. "Sometimes [students] want to work in a coffee shop or with their friends, but when they need serious concentration they come to the law library."

The law library provides 106.5 staffed service hours to its students during the school year, more staffed service house than any other University of Oregon library branch. It contains more than 200,000 law books, offers several informational databases and nearly one million microfiche.

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