Adding style to the stacks


Story by Emily Albrent , Op/Ed Editor

For senior art students Emily Hultman and Kelsey Temanson, creating a new, modern look for the McIntyre
Library’s reference desk was an opportunity to add something eye-catching to their resumes.

The new desk is made out of bent and curved wood, so for Hultman, the design in general posed some potential technical issues. Other than some bumps along the way, Hultman said it was a hard but valuable process.

“I think the most challenging aspect of this project was changing a 2-D drawing into a 3-D sculptural piece,” Hultman said.

Temanson said the planning and making sure that they could fit into the library’s budget were two of her biggest worries.

Jill Markgraf, associate professor and head of research and instruction at McIntyre Library, said students would pass by the old reference desk without even realizing that it was a service area. She said sometimes the library personnel would even find students studying at the service desk.

“For us, people now know where we are,” Markgraf said.  “When people come and ask at the circulation desk for help, they can now point to our desk and it now looks like something.”

She said Hultman and Temanson did an amazing job on the desk and she enjoyed working with them on the project.  Markgraf said this new reference desk will be in the library indefinitely.

For Hultman and Temanson, who received service learning for the project, creating something for the community and for the university was something they loved being a part of.

“Just being able to have the freedom to make whatever we want, they were really open about the idea
and building it was a lot of fun,” Temanson said. “I learned a lot about carpentry.”

Markgraf said the library contacted Assistant Professor in sculpture Jason Lanka and asked if he knew of any art students who would be willing to take on such a project for service learning hours. Lanka said he chose Hultman and Temanson because they had the talent and the time to commit to such a large project.

Lanka said the real problem with this project was the time element. He said the students worked from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for three weeks over winter break.

This project also draws attention to the art department and the students who have spent their time creating the new desk.

“Any time that we can have students that are successful and do work with the university community, the community at large of Eau Claire … it is always beneficial,” Lanka said.

Lanka said he is very proud of Hultman and Temanson and said they did a great job on a project that was difficult to execute. Lanka said  this project was a way to give Hultman and Temanson a way to show professional looking work.

Hultman said this project was a great opportunity and an amazing way to gain more experience.

“(It was) an opportunity to learn something new, to have a public piece that’s on display, to contribute something to the university,” Hultman said. “It was a big confidence booster.”