"Innovation," "revolution," "transformation." These are a few of the words UCF President Alexander Cartwright used to describe the upgrades made to the UCF John C. Hitt Library on Wednesday morning.

The official ribbon-cutting ceremony welcomed a crowd of about 50, from faculty, administration and students, who gathered for the 21st Century Library grand opening.

“Libraries aren’t just about books,” Cartwright said. “These buildings hold knowledge, and with the new technology that has been added, students now have the resources to a world of potential.”

Advancements within the 21st Century Library weren’t devised in one night. Frank Allen, interim director of UCF Libraries, said 15 years has gone into planning the new section of the library.

“Multiple trials with seat arrangements, study rooms and quiet space configurations have been conducted to cater toward our students,” Allen said. "The library is designed for the students, so they can optimize their studying and learning experiences.” 

Spanning over four floors, each section contains power outlets at every work station, better lighting, new AC units, improved privacy for studying and more seating.

With 57,000 additional square feet, Cartwright said the 21st Century Library aims to create a collaborative workspace for students.

Savannah Molaskas, a 21-year-old senior biology student, said she had never set foot in the library because it always looked under construction and eerie.

Molaskas also said she never felt the need to study anywhere other than her home, especially because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Now that I am back to in-person classes, and the construction is over with, I have been to the library probably five times already, and it’s only my second day back on campus," Molaskas said. 

With construction completed, the new facility is open to all students, including incoming Knights.

Meghan Zak, an 18-year-old undecided freshman, said it's a relief to know she will now have a reliable space to study.

“I have a difficult time when it comes to studying at home, and now that the library is up and running, I will definitely be spending most of my time here,” Zak said.

For more information on hours and other resources, students can visit the UCF Libraries website. 

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