Students concerned about Keffer Library move

The first floor of the Keffer Library. (Lizzy Schmitt/TommieMedia)
The first floor of the Keffer Library in Opus Hall at St. Thomas' Minneapolis campus. The library will be moved to the second floor in less than a year to make room for the new Interprofessional Center for Counseling and Legal Services. (Lizzy Schmitt/TommieMedia)

Plans for downsizing the Keffer Library at St. Thomas’ Minneapolis campus are underway, and the consolidation has some students concerned.

The Keffer Library is housed primarily on the first floor of Opus Hall, with additional materials on a smaller second floor. The plan is to move the library from the first floor and relocate it to the second floor one year from now.

The move will make room for the Interprofessional Center for Counseling and Legal Services on the first floor. The IPC is currently located near the Minneapolis campus in a leased space.

Jason Johnson, a full-time MBA student, said he is skeptical about the move.

“It seems unbelievable that they’re going to fit everything on the second floor,” he said.

<p>The second floor of the Keffer Library, which will be remodeled about a year from now. (Lizzy Schmitt/TommieMedia)</p>
The second floor of the Keffer Library, which will be remodeled in less than a year. (Lizzy Schmitt/TommieMedia)

The first floor houses book shelves, a large computer lab and a children’s storybook area. The Keffer Library materials will move to the O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library on the St. Paul campus, and the Keffer Library will install compact shelving for the smaller space.

Christina Milanowski, a master’s student, said the location of the library is very convenient and she is uneasy about the change.

“I would be concerned because I do rely on free Internet and printing before class,” Milanowski said.

While many library materials are online and will be easy to move, some resources could be difficult to relocate.

“We have a curriculum section that supports teacher education, and those materials are not online,” Andrea Koeppe, Keffer librarian, said. “They are the kinds of materials teachers use to learn how to prep for classes, and that’s a very unique collection.”

Three computer labs on the first floor of Keffer will move, but the new location is not decided.

“We’ve been given the time frame of about a year,” Koeppe said. “The move will probably take close to six months.” In addition to the move, both the first and second floor will need to be remodeled, she said.

“We will do whatever it takes to make this happen,” Janice Kragness, a research guide at Keffer, said.

Floor plans are still ongoing and administrators said they want the move to work out in the best interest of all involved.

“Appropriate people continue to work out the logistics of what is planned so that no library services are eliminated,” said Linda Halverson, associate vice president for administration.

Lizzy Schmitt can be reached at

3 Replies to “Students concerned about Keffer Library move”

  1. I use the Keffer Library extensively because it is downtown and very convenient to work on some of the assignments  before going to class, or print slides during breaks.

    Going over to St Paul takes up a lot of time.

    Another asset is that it has lots of space and printers and copy machines available. 

    The 1st floor is a functional, convenient work platform for the Graduate students whose professional life keeps them very busy, looking for instant access and multiple options on the same site.

    So, where are we going to have the same amount of space, options, and functionality onsite downtown?

  2. I don’t think that you will have the same amount of library space.  That’s kind of the whole point of the move — compressing library space to make room for the IPC.  However, there’s a *lot* of extra square footage in Keffer (at least, that was my impression of it), so we should end up with the same options and functionality.

    And the university will stop having to lease downtown real estate for the IPC.  Financially, that’s the right move.  Presumably that will mean a lower tuition increase for the students.  A very good thing.

    A big headache for the Keffer staff this year, though!  Good luck!

  3. I don’t see how you can justify having Keffer operating out of a closet when you have a 40,000 square foot/four floor law library sitting next door?  Certainly the same reasons given for downsizing Keffer can be applied to the Law Library and we can expect the University to make further sacrifices.

Comments are closed.