Flathead Valley Community College’s new library is now open to students and the public. While crews were still installing shelves and hauling in books, students were taking full advantage of the Broussard Center Library and Learning Commons, which features a host of amenities, including computer labs, a quiet writing room, a studio for podcasts and video production, two conference and classrooms and outlets and chargers in just about every nook and cranny one can think of.
“We wanted something to meet every student’s needs,” said librarian Susan Matter.
The 12,000 square-foot space is bright and airy, with big windows and even a coffee bar. There’s seating for groups and individuals alike, including a Brody chairs, that have a movable computer stand and light, a foot stool and multiple plug-ins.
“I love it,” said wildlife biology major Courtney Windorski as she did chemistry homework next to one of the library’s huge windows last week. “It’s super nice.”
The library, Matter noted, is also open to the public.
“If you are a Flathead Valley resident, you are welcome to get a library card,” Matter said.
The library is far more than books. It has 16 desktop computers, two conference rooms and a copy center for making copies, which will also create pdfs of documents.
The furniture is unique as well. The chairs in the conference and other rooms all have wheels, as do the tables.
“The furniture doesn’t dictate how the room is used,” Matter said.
One of the most interesting rooms is the virtual reality lab that includes educational virtual reality programs. For example, the psychology class uses a virtual reality program to overcome common fears, like spiders and heights.
The idea of the library is to make it a “one-stop shop” for students so they can develop skills “that put them above other applicants,” Matter said.
The $3 million library, which is attached to the Rebecca Chaney Broussard Center for Nursing and Health Science, was made possible through a grant of $2.5 million from the Broussard family.
This marks the 30th anniversary of the FVCC campus as well.
More expansion is planned at the college in the coming years. The second phase is the development of a College Center to include a large performance and lecture hall, a multi-purpose activity center, an outdoor amphitheater and a reception hall with an art exhibition gallery. As part of the school’s ONE Campaign, the FVCC Foundation has raised approximately $14.3 million for the $15 million College Center project.
For more information about FVCC’s ONE Campaign or to make a charitable donation in support of the College Center, visit www.fvcc.edu/one or contact FVCC Foundation Executive Director Colleen Unterreiner at (406)756-3914 or email@example.com.