On Thursday, August 8, the Wyoming Library Association honored the Laramie County Community College’s Ludden Library & Learning Commons as its “2019 Outstanding Library,” for its major renovation. The award recognizes a significant special project completed within the last two years. The staff, library board, community, or people served must all have been involved in the work for which recognition is sought. The library was nominated by Maura Hadaway, the former Associate Dean of the Ludden Library.
In 2013, the LCCC Board of Trustees approved a strategic plan to achieve four major goals by 2020. The fourth of these was a physically transformed college — and the Ludden Library has been truly transformed. It’s now not just a library, but a learning commons where all student academic support services are in one beautifully renovated and expanded location. The new Ludden Library & Learning Commons is truly a student-centered entity that meets them where they were and gets them the support they needed to be successful inside, and outside, of the classroom.
Planning and fundraising began that year for the project that would ultimately cost $6.2 million. Over the course of five years, the LCCC Foundation was able to raise $2.7 million from donors including a $500,000 donation from Randy & Yvonne Ludden, $100,000 from John & Esther Clay, and an additional $100,000 via the Ludden Library endowment. The State of Wyoming matched the dollars raised at LCCC with $2.5 million from Abandoned Mine Lands funds, LCCC added $500,000 from Major Maintenance funds, and $500,000 from One Mill funds from the taxpayers of Laramie County. Together, all of these groups made it possible to make this goal a reality.
Today’s students need spaces that provide research assistance, technology support, extended hours, and presentation rooms to review, practice, and critique each other’s work. Spaces that offer tutoring and availability of learning objects (anatomy models, microscopes, slides, etc.) as well as writing/communication tutorial services to assist with essay composition, test preparation, and class presentations or capstone/seminar papers, peer mentors and tutors, research and library assistance, online tutoring, and ADA-compliant services for students with disabilities.
The final plans includes numerous features to meet identified student and staff needs, including:
- 7,000 new square feet and an elevated exterior with glass to allow for natural light
- 8 study rooms, seminar rooms, a conference room and instruction room a with collaboration tables, smart TVs, and natural light
- Strickland Family Study Room, with 2 student computer workstations, puppet theater, youth seating and workstations, arts & crafts kits, children’s books
- More student study and work spaces including a less cramped computer workstation space
- An expanded tutoring center space with offices for staff, increased privacy for tutoring appointments, and more space for the tools needed to deliver tutoring
- Cultural heritage space with built in display cases, lots of natural light, and room for presentations and exhibits
- Open study area with expanded hours, 2 computer workstations, 2 collaborative work tables with smart TVs, and booths for group study, this space is open on an expanded schedule so that students can work even when the library is not open
- Innovation Lab with flexible data, power, and furniture options to allow for flexible work and hands-on experiential learning; Mac computers, CAD computer, 2 interactive monitors
The Grand Re-Opening ceremony, held in April 2019, was packed with community members, staff, faculty, students, and foundation donors alike. Randy Ludden, in his address, was brought to tears with pride in the work that was accomplished by LCCC staff to bring his dreams for LCCC students to fruition.
Maura Hadaway wrote in her nomination, “I burst with pride when I think of all of the work that the Ludden Library & Learning Commons staff put into this renovation project. It was, in time, effort, heart, soul, and mind, the singular most impactful project that the LCCC community has experienced in recent memory. The true compassion and care that our staff has for the students here is something that I find myself unable to put into words. Through their work, they change the lives of our students every day and now their workspace can help them, help others, and continue this legacy of excellence that is embodied in each of them, each day. Teresa Authier, Paula Badgett, Carolyn Cuestas, Candy Ferrall, Linda Herget, Meghan Kelly, Stacy Landon, Dana McCammon, Cindy Munoz, Maggie Swanger, Jennifer Volyes, Richard Walsh, and every retired staff member, every part-time student library worker, every part-time employee, every tutor, every proctor, this nomination is you. The physical space is nothing without YOU. YOU are the Ludden Library & Learning Commons and YOU are the Outstanding Wyoming Library.”