Nash Library: The Next Chapter

Justin Johnson, Theology and Social Work Programs

For the students who have had the opportunity to watch the entire transformation process of the newly modernized Nash Library, it has become a moment of reflection on their time at Gannon University. 

Nash Library Blessing and Dedication Ceremony

View the Dedication and Blessing Ceremony for the Nash Library and Student Learning Commons.

The nearly two-year and $16 million reconstruction of the library culminated in a Dedication and Blessing Ceremony of the re-envisioned facility on Jan. 19, 2018. This officially opened the doors to a transformed Nash Library with cutting-edge resources and technology that reflect the way students study and learn today. Advanced computer labs, collaborative study spaces, digital studios and a coffee shop are some of the new features creating excitement among students for the next chapter of the Nash Library story. 


My Nash Library Family 

Damali Donovan ‘18, Master of Business Administration Program 

Damali Donovan ’18, Master of Business Administration Program

Attending Gannon University for my undergraduate and graduate studies, I have experienced all the transformations of Nash Library. 

The first time I entered the library, I noticed the bright neon carpets on each level. Walking through those doors was akin to a time warp taking you back in time. Despite its looks, I loved the tranquility and ambiance it provided when I visited. 

My childhood probably had a hand in that, as most of it was spent between bookstores and libraries. In high school, many of my friends would joke and say that my future job would be as a librarian, which, in a sense, became reality. 

I was interested in obtaining a work-study job and was approved to do so my junior year. Now, it was time for the next hurdle: applying to open positions and convincing them I was made for it. My top pick was the library. As I turned in my schedule, I was told the positions were filled, but they would keep my schedule in case something came up. (Cue the sad music.)  

"The newly remodeled Nash is a completely different experience from the one I stepped into my freshman year."

About one week after the first day of classes, I received a call with the wonderful news that the Nash Library was interested in hiring me. I jauntily arrived at the library, went through an expedited interview process and was hired. 

Now, looking back after finishing my graduate degree in May, I didn’t expect to experience the new renovations to the library or the time I spent in Knight Tower.  

The newly remodeled Nash is a completely different experience from the one I stepped into my freshman year. The many services, whether new or not, offered will help many students for years to come. I look at the center of the library and I am still in awe that where there was once the main stairwell, there’s now a café. Believe in the possibilities, indeed! 

Working at the library is certainly an opportunity I am glad I received at Gannon University. Interacting with the patrons—some of those interactions sparking into friendships—has helped me develop excellent customer service skills. There are all kinds of patrons that frequent the library, and the relief seen on their faces after helping find research materials, a textbook for a class or providing technical assistance has always left me feeling content. 

Graduating is a bittersweet ending for me. I’m going to miss working at the library and with the employees. I’ve learned a great deal, whether in developing job or life skills. 

When I am asked why I like Gannon University, one of my responses is, “I like the people who work here.” The library’s employees are the first to pop into my head; they were my work family who truly cared for my wellbeing. 


The Nash Experience 

Carly Shean ‘18, Master of Occupational Therapy Program 

Carly Shean ’18, Master of Occupational Therapy Program

As a graduate student, I find myself reflecting on my first visit to Gannon University quite often. My family and I toured campus with a girl who spoke so highly of her experience. I knew I wanted that “Gannon experience,” too. As a high school senior, choosing Gannon felt like choosing a home away from home. Little did I know the adventure I was about to embark upon.  

My parents encouraged me to apply for a work study position to make a little extra spending money. My mom suggested working at the campus library, to which I rolled my eyes. The saying “mother knows best” was never more true.  

On the first day of class my freshman year, I contacted the Nash Library and within two hours I had a job! As a Service Desk Assistant at the Nash Library, I quickly came to recognize many faces on campus, which made Gannon feel even more like home. A co-worker became a best friend, a supervisor became my “Erie mom” and students knew me as “the library girl who smiles a lot.” 

Working at Nash Library has taught me invaluable lessons that I will apply in my professional career as an occupational therapist. I learned to provide effective customer service, have pride in my job, work efficiently and communicate with various student populations. Occupational therapy is a profession that serves others to maximize their independence in daily occupations. In the library, my role was to encourage students to utilize the resources it offers to maximize their potential to be a better, more independent student. 

"... everyone was rejuvenated and excited for change . With a new look, came a new perspective for learning."

Coming back to campus after fieldwork, I could not wait to study in the new Nash Library for my last semester! My goal was to work here again, and the staff welcomed me back with open arms, hearts and minds.  

There was a buzz on campus; everyone was rejuvenated and excited for change. With a new look, came a new perspective for learning. Now, students choose to study here because it seamlessly fits all student needs. More private study rooms, white boards, state-of-the-art technology and building design, and a delicious café!  

Gannon has truly taken student suggestions and needs into consideration with the new Nash Library, which will ultimately move students, staff and community members in a positive direction.


Coming Full-Circle at Nash Library

Rachel Nye, Physician Assistant Major

Two years ago, as a first-year student, I sat on the third floor of the old Nash Library attempting to complete a lab report for Molecular and Cellular Biology. Across from me, sat my new roommate, whom I still did not fully know. We helped each other with homework and talked about life. Within a few late nights of being there, we became best friends. Nash was the start of a friendship and the start of my academic career at Gannon.

Now, I am a junior, studying in the same area where I once made those connections. This spring, I helped transition the Writing and Research Center over to our new home in Nash. As a writing consultant, I start and end my days in the library, working with students to find their voice through their writing. Within this semester at Nash, I have grown not only as a student, but as an employee.

"This library is a cornerstone for the University."

As a Writing Center consultant, I have gained invaluable experience working personally with students to transform their pieces. Our new home in the library depicts the true nature of the writing process. We start out with a rough draft, a bare skeleton that needs time and energy to prosper. With time and work, students find that their voices are given justice through a well-written piece that precisely conveys who they are.

This is exactly where Nash has taken us over the past few years. We spent some time building up the rough version of ourselves as first-year students and developed into stronger students with our own voices blossoming. This entire experience with Nash has come full-circle. As many of my fellow juniors and seniors can attest, the old Nash was special to us. It helped us grow and become the students we are today. However, walking into this new environment, I see a metamorphosis of sorts. 

This library is a cornerstone for the University. It was and is the home to many friendships, to late night cramming sessions and a place we are blessed to call home for the short time we have here. Watching each piece come together over the past year, I could not help but feel that change was coming. This is what Nash means to us. A place to hold true to our old identity, but to keep adapting to what time brings.

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