Bierce Library Reinvents the Curriculum Center for Families and Students

With a 2021 grant, librarians Sean Kennedy and Mike Monaco were able to create a family study room, replace furniture and carpeting, and add a new “award-winners” collection of children’s and young adult books for the Center.

By Abigail Geiser, Correspondent

Bierce Library is known for its features for students. From the bean bags on the ground floor to the Starbucks and the study rooms, the library is a safe place for people to study and meet up with friends. Now, it has a special space for families as well. 

The ground floor of Bierce Library houses the Children and Young Adult Center. The area is comprised of a family study room, an awards collection, and the Curriculum Center. 

Main collection of the Curriculum Center and bean-bag seating. Image via Stephanie Everett.

Stephanie Everett, Manager of Planning, Communications, and Engagement for Bierce Library explained that the Curriculum Center is a collection of educational materials that Education majors can use for course-related work and to prepare for practice teaching. 

The resources that the Center provides include a plethora of titles. Everett noted that the Center is home to both fiction and nonfiction books for children to young adults. The Center even provides resources for students and teachers to use such as textbooks, teacher activity books, reference books, teaching kits and educational games. 

After receiving a 2021 grant, Collections & Content Strategies Librarian Sean Kennedy and Coordinator of Cataloging Services Mike Monaco knew they wanted to do more with the space. 

“The Curriculum Center has always been housed on the ground floor but we wanted to make a cohesive space that grouped our services and resources together. We wanted to make the Children and Young Adult Center area more engaging, and especially welcoming to students with kids,” Kennedy said.  

The student room has been turned into a family study room. A student assistant’s mural, new carpeting and bean bags contribute to the overall atmosphere.  

The seating is also close to the Center’s section for award-winning books. Some recent additions to this section are New Kid, a graphic novel by Jerry Craft, We Are Water Protectors, a picture book by Carole Lindstrom and The Black Flamingo, a novel by Dean Atta. 

Shelved award-winning books in the Curriculum Center. Image via Melanie Smith-Farrell, Assistant Dean of Public Services and Facilities for the University Libraries.

Everett hopes the changes to the Curriculum Center will provide a source of entertainment for the University community and their children while also serving as a learning environment for Education majors. 

“We anticipate students with children using the area as a family-friendly study space. The Curriculum Center is of particular interest to Education students for use in designing lessons and curricula, but the extensive collection of juvenile and young adult literature will be of interest to everyone in the University community and their children to read for enjoyment,” Everett said. 

Monaco said his biggest wish is that everyone feels welcome and comfortable in the space and that the Center will bring the library experience some may be missing out at home into an academic space. 

To stay up-to-date on other changes and events coming to the library, check out Bierce Library’s website at and social media @biercelibrary.