Library dean presents current initiatives at Student Government


Alex Connor/Iowa State Daily

Dean of Parks Library Beth McNeil addressed the Student Government during its weekly senate meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 11. 

Alex Connor


This is the number of students, faculty, staff and community members that entered Parks Library on Monday, said Dean Beth McNeil.

In a brief presentation to Student Government, McNeil outlined several initiatives the library has taken on, including a recently opened Mindfulness Room.

“It’s small space,” McNeil said. “But it’s a space to move in this direction…. It’s an opportunity to step away from hectic nature of what we know to be the student experience.”

Additionally, McNeil touched on a recent renovation effort the library is undertaking – an overhaul of the bathrooms.

“If 15,000 people are coming into your building a day, you need bathrooms that are accessible and work,” McNeil said.

McNeil touched on the addition of 60 new outlets in the historical reading room on the second floor.

“It’s a less expensive way to benefit students,” McNeil said.

Senators gauged questions to McNeil, which included a question asked by Sen. Kathryn Neilson about short and long-term plans. Questions were also asked about the noise on the third floor and tier utilization.

McNeil said eventually, Parks hopes to add more classrooms and create more collaborative study spaces.

She also hopes to create a new dining experience and open the library for 24 hours a day, seven days a week all the time and not just during Dead Week.

Vice President Cody Smith asked McNeil to describe the funding structure of the library.

The library funds, McNeil said, is based off a formula determined by administration with money coming from the colleges. 

However, McNeil said she’d like to tap more into fundraising. 

“Growing our donor program is something I’d like to do,” McNeil said. 

Overall, McNeil said she is always looking toward ways to improve the overall experience and appreciate students input. 

“We really do want to meet students needs,” McNeil said. “[The library] is about your experience, and that’s very important to me.”