By Lauren Foote
Over the last few years, the Beeghly College of Education has received updated paint jobs, new flooring and carpeting, but the Wilcox Curriculum Resource Center, a division of Maag Library, remains untouched.
The Wilcox’s collection totaling 24,000 items comprises juvenile fiction and non-fiction, games and kits, puppets, K-12 textbooks and media materials.
Charles Howell, dean of the Beeghly College, said the Center needs to be updated, particularly the painting and flooring.
“It gets a lot of use,” Howell said. “It is a very important facility for us. It has a lot of traffic; it is pretty shabby right now.”
Since the start of Project PASS last January, the Center has received increased traffic from students and teachers. PASS uses YSU students to tutor second graders enrolled in Youngstown City Schools to help them pass their third grade reading exams.
Alyssa Annico, curriculum resource librarian, said since the start of PASS, the CRC is responsible for approximately 20 percent of Maag Library’s total circulation. She said the Center’s circulation increased 17 percent in the fiscal year 2015, and game and kit circulation increased over 200 percent.
Because of the increased use, some of the materials need replaced.
Howell said the Center needs about $40,000 to paint, fix the carpet and update some parts of the computer lab.
“It is Maag’s facility, but sadly [Interim Library Co-Director] Ana Torres could not come up with the budget,” Howell said.
He said the University’s budget shortfalls are the issue. According to Howell, the University was set too close their budget deficit in this year, but fell 2 percent short of projections in the fall. This left the University $2 to
“[That] is why they have to be careful with the money,” Howell said.
Torres said Maag wishes it could fund renovation projects to update the facilities.
“However, the library has a fixed budget, and it must prioritize desired projects with its increasing operational expenses, including the rising cost of electronic materials needed for research by the YSU community,” Torres said.
Howell said he could provide the $40,000 for the renovation.
“The college could do the whole thing, but it made sense to Ana Torres and I that since it is a facility of Maag, they should pay for half of it,” Howell said. “What is going to happen is that everything will shift to the College and use all internal funds.”
YSU student James MacGregor is part of the Deans Dozen — an organization within the Beeghly College that discusses grievances in the college. They have discussed renovating the curriculum resource center.
“Ever since the PASS program started, our library usage has definitely increased,” MacGregor said. “We are in need of more updated materials and facilities now that we have so much traffic coming through the CRC.”
MacGregor spoke to SGA to see if they were willing to help with appropriations.
“I know that they definitely cannot help with all that we need, so I have been looking into various grants and such,” MacGregor said. “Nothing has sadly come out. Maag does not have enough money to meet [the dean] half way.”
The project has been put on hold until the college is able to locate funding or donations for the renovations.