Renovation? Transformation!

At last, after 6 combined years of planning and construction, Chester Fritz Library’s (CFL’s) renovation is officially complete – and looks amazing!  (There are a few bits left – a switch here, a sign there – but who’s counting?)  And before we say any more, we’d like to thank the UND community, and our patrons across and beyond Grand Forks, for your patience, kindness, and feedback.  We’re very grateful to all.

Next, if you haven’t visited recently, we’d love to see you!  We’re proud to have retained the beauty and tradition of CFL’s exterior, along with many interior features, collections, and services – while adding new services and updating spaces.  We’re now more in alignment with Chester Fritz’s original vision:  he wanted a grand entrance with a fine staircase leading to a desk where one could check out items, ask questions, etc.  With our renovation, help is available at our Knowledge Commons at the top of the grand staircase, from many academic services.  We’re a true “Academic One Stop”.  New partners in the space include University IT, the Writing Center, and an Artificial Intelligence/Virtual Reality (AI/VR) Lab.  Some renovations continue:  we’re upgrading the One Button Studio’s soundproofing, and the Skywalk to the Nistler College of Business & Public Administration is underway.  We’re also working with UND’s Curator and Art Committee to select art to display.  But there are many new features you can see now!

Some highlights of our transformation, for the Library and its partners, include:

  • Many new group study rooms, equipped with excellent technology facilities;
  • A new AI/VR Lab (3rd floor), which includes facilities for project work and research using Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Big Data Analysis, 3D Scanning, Robotics, and more;
  • The Writing Center (3rd floor);
  • A great events space, in Room 406 – which you can book at no charge (more info to come);
  • 3D printing services (near UIT’s 1st floor Help Desk);
  • An updated One Button Studio and video editing facilities (2nd floor), where you can record yourself, do a Zoom interview or meeting, and more;
  • New and improved instructional rooms (301, 108);
  • A gorgeously updated Reading Room, complete with fireplace and multiple types of furniture;
  • New open study areas;
  • An updated Archives Reading Room and Family History Room, with new carpet and furnishings, to make working with historical treasures more comfortable;
  • A well-equipped vending area on the 1st floor;
  • A Knowledge Commons (2nd floor) where you can get help from multiple units, including Library Services, Peer Research Consultants, and more. Also, many units that provide academic support services will periodically use this space as a “perch” for temporary services, e.g. Orientation, Career Services, etc.;
  • Self-checkout machines on multiple floors (or you can download the app, and use your smart phone to check books out from any floor);
  • A family space (4th floor, near Archives) housing our children’s book collection and equipped with children’s furniture (funded by our Office of Student Services, thanks to VP Halgren’s generosity). Coloring pages, whiteboards, markers, etc., are available.  We want to ensure parents feel welcome to bring their children while they work in the Library; and much more!

Come check us out – or watch our preview video!  The official Grand Opening will be held on Oct. 22, 2021, during Homecoming Week.  We hope to see you all there.  Please stay tuned for more details!