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C of I students work to set foundation for new library

January 9, 2018
A group of C of I students cart books to new shelves inside the Cruzen-Murray Library

On Jan. 31, The College of Idaho will soft open the Cruzen-Murray Library for students on campus, but before that can happen there is a secret force working behind the scenes ensuring that this will be possible.

Twenty-six dedicated and hard-working student employees led by Library Director Christine Schutz and Assistant Librarian Lance McGrath are migrating books from the current N.L. Terteling Library towards the new Cruzen-Murray Library. However, the move is not as simple as it may initially seem. The student workers essentially perform two moving shifts. The first shift occurs by moving books from upstairs Terteling down towards its lobby. From here, the students load carts full of books while at the same time securing them with straps. The students then traverse the snowy campus towards Cruzen-Murray.

This transition period is more than a simple moving job for the students here. “I think it’s really cool to be a part of something that’s kind of new,” said Sean Weimer, a C of I freshman whose major is currently undeclared.  “Moving books from the old building to the new building is kind of like you are the first person to be in the building. You are kind of setting the stone for how the building will continue on for however long it’s on campus.”

The transition period allows the student workers to appreciate the beautiful design of the Cruzen-Murray library. While the students are moving books into the new library, they are allowed to roam the library in order to discover the unique features within it. This self-paced adventure allows the student workers to look forward to spending time within the library.

“I’m just excited to spend time in here,” said Shannon Murphy, a senior elementary education major. “It’s my last year and I’m kind of bummed that I don’t have more time to hang out in the new library, but I’m excited to come do my homework in here and be able to see the outside world from inside the library, which is different from the old one.”  

Murphy also added that the presence of the new library is already a landmark on campus because as soon as drivers turn off the highway and turn into Caldwell, it’s one of the first buildings they notice. Sophomore Hayley McInnis agreed with this by saying, “It’s kind of like a spotlight on campus because everything else is brick and the library is all glass.”

The conversion of glass building from brick doesn’t replace the rich memories of Terteling Library, however, because as students are helping to move books, they reminisce about its features. Some students have noticed the extensive backlog of books that the library has obtained, as well as the finer details that made the Terteling Library unique.

Danner McGrath, a freshman studying political economy, recalled his favorite feature of the Terteling Library: the three floors within the library. Danner is fond of this feature because it allows students to dictate the direction in which they wish to study. If a student wants focus on less noise, they are free to move upstairs. If students seek comfortable rooms where they can discuss group projects, then the basement comfort rooms are the place to be.

Altogether, the students and staff who work behind the scenes play an integral part of being part of the soft opening day on Jan. 31. While this work happens they enrich the future of the new library by reminiscing about the old.

“I’m excited,” Weimer said. “I think this is really cool. I’m happy to be one of the pioneers of this and I’m excited to use this for the rest of my college experience.”

The College of Idaho has a 125-year-old legacy of excellence. The C of I is known for its outstanding academic programs, winning athletics tradition and history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, four NFL players and countless business leaders and innovators. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. The College’s close-knit, residential campus is located in Caldwell, where its proximity both to Boise and to the world-class outdoor activities of southwest Idaho’s mountains and rivers offers unique opportunities for learning beyond the classroom.  For more information, visit