Snell dean says fourth floor will reopen in fall, updates students on two-year library renovation


A virtual rendering of the proposed renovations to Snell Library was shared at the Oct. 19 faculty senate meeting. These renovations are slated to take place over the course of the next few years. Photo courtesy of David Madigan.

Sonel Cutler, campus editor

The Snell Library Renovation Project, an ongoing makeover of Northeastern’s sole undergraduate library scheduled to take place over the course of two years, is expected to complete renovations on the fourth floor by the start of the Fall 2023 semester, according to a school-wide email from Dan Cohen, the dean of the library. 

The fourth floor of the library, along with the basement archives, has been closed since Jan. 3 for renovations, leaving only three floors open to Northeastern’s 19,000 undergraduate and graduate students. 

The April 18 email detailed new changes to the top floor, including individual and group study spaces, reservable study rooms, single-person pods for phone and video calls, a glass-enclosed quiet study room and improved acoustic dampening. 

Updates to the basement archives include new and expanded space for archives and special collections, on-site access to high-use print books, increased study space and reservable group study rooms.

When the top floor reopens to students in the fall, work will then progress to the third floor, meaning additional closures. Cohen also announced construction on the first floor will be completed in sections over the summer. Cohen’s email referred to the Snell Library Renovation website, where students can track construction and closure updates

At an Oct. 19 faculty senate meeting, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs David Madigan acknowledged the inconvenience of the closures, but highlighted the long-term goal of increasing use of space as Northeastern’s student population grows. 

“[Snell renovations] will cause some pain and disruption in the coming years, but we will end up with a dramatically enhanced library with a lot more study space,” Madigan said at the meeting.

The remodel of Snell, often rebuked as a library with no books, will see the return of high-use books into the building, The News previously reported. The university will return 40,000 archived books to the building, in addition to the 700,000 books available upon online request and 1.4 million e-books.