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Bookstore Moves to Museum Location

By Caroline Ryan
News Editor

Many changes were made on campus before the start of the fall semester. The Barnes and Noble bookstore, which was previously located next to Pell Hall, has been moved to the Steinberg Museum location on the second floor of Hillwood Commons.

Photo: Caroline Ryan
Photo: Caroline Ryan

The Museum has moved to the Hutchins Gallery in the lower level of the library. The bookstore was closed from Aug. 13-20, and reopened for business on Aug. 22.

“This was a joint decision between the University and Barnes and Noble,” said Jorge Lanas, the Barnes and Noble bookstore manager. “It was done to put all the campus shops in one place.”

Abagail Van Vlerah, dean of students, concurred. “Hillwood Commons serves as the central location of the university; it brings together all members of the community and student life. It provides various student services and serves as a comfortable place for students to meet, organize and attend a variety of events,” she said.

Lanas hopes the new location will be more convenient for students to shop. “We hope this change in location will drive more sales and create a more student friendly atmosphere,” he said.

According to Van Verlah, the former bookstore location will now be home to administrative offices for the Alumni Relations and Career Services teams.

According to the LIU website, the Employer and Alumni Relations building is located in the Winnick house. Employer Relations will assist in creating greater career success experience for current students and alumni, Van Vlerah said.

“By allowing the Alumni Relations and Career Services team to work together in one location, we can further ensure success at landing an internship, full-time employment, and/or placement in the right graduate school program,” Van Vlerah said.

The Steinberg Museum, formerly known as the Hillwood Art Museum, which was built to be an exhibition space for professional artists, had been in Hillwood Commons since 1972.

Although the Hutchins Gallery is currently vacant due to an exhibition that was cancelled, it will remain open until Oct. 31. After the last exhibition in October the Hutchins Gallery will be closing permanently. The Hutchins Gallery features more local and community based exhibitions whereas the Steinberg Museum features more scholarly exhibitions.

The Steinberg Museum is temporarily closed until the last exhibition at the Gallery comes to a close on Oct. 31 and the renovations to the space will begin in November.

Barbara Applegate, the director of the Steinberg Museum, hopes that they will be able to open the Steinberg Museum for the spring semester in January. The exhibitions that were planned at the Steinberg Museum for all future semesters have been canceled.

According to Applegate, the exhibition space would be comprised of the current Hutchins Galley with changes to make it a space more in line with best practices for museums, such as, enclosure of the portico facing 25A, improvements to the wall coverings and ceiling coverings, new lighting, and other modifications.

The art department will continue to use the Hutchins Gallery while it remains open, and will then have to occupy other spaces while this renovation takes place. The department used the gallery for students to take a look at exhibitions and study the art.

The Steinberg Museum has a collection of about 5,000 pieces of artwork, including African Sculpture, and various types of pottery. The storage, located in Hillwood Commons now consists of large metal cabinets with locks on them, but will soon be transformed into a glass viewing room.

To showcase this artwork, the visible storage area will be attached via a shared entranceway from the north side. It will be comprised of the book stacks on the west side of the building. There will also be aesthetic and security upgrades.

The librarians will begin the process of sifting through the books to decide what must be kept, a process that will take some time. Some of the books will be moved into storage, while others will be donated.

While the Steinberg Museum hopes to reopen in January, students can expect that the visible showcasing will not be completed for at least a year.

“Using the stack levels in this way will enhance the museum and it will also enhance our prestige on Long Island. We have a great art school here and to give our students more access to objects would be fantastic. Being able to do this is really a big deal,” Applegate said.


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