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Unveiling of the new Sidley Lounge

On Monday, April 22, 2024, King Library unveiled the new Sidley Lounge space, marking the completion of King Kickstart Phase I. The Sidley Lounge features an open common room with comfortable seating and workspaces, a classroom and conference room equipped with whiteboards and TVs, and a breakout space for informal classes and meetings with floor-to-ceiling whiteboards and flexible furniture. 

At the official ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, many supporters and friends of the Libraries spoke about the completion of Phase I of King Kickstart and what the new Sidley Lounge had to offer. Students Abby Haverkos and Emily Davis said “we know this space will be a really great learning environment, whether that be for classes, organizational meetings, or just a place to concentrate and get work done.” Provost Liz Mullenix shared about her excitement for the new space, joking that if she wasn’t in her office, she might be asleep on one of the new couches in the common area. Jerome Conley, Dean of the Libraries, thanked the attendees and everyone who was involved with the project. He also expressed that this was just the first step for a refurbished King Library.

The space was dedicated to Pat and Connie Sidley (Class of 72’), who spoke about their support of this project and their involvement with Miami Libraries. Pat said “The libraries are one space that can influence students across divisions in the University.” The Sidleys, longtime library supporters, mentioned how important it was for their patronage to have the widest impact on the student body, and therefore was why they had found a home with the University Libraries. 

‘King Kickstart’ is a multimillion dollar phased renovation plan to overhaul the ground and first floor of King Library. The final product would feature a grand staircase linking the ground and first floors, a new lobby with a reconfigured circulation desk, and the relocation of the Makerspace to the first floor to improve visibility and accessibility. The completion of the first phase of this project, the Sidley Lounge, serves as a proof of concept for what a modernized King Library could offer. 

The new Lounge coincides with other efforts to update King Library- geothermal energy piping throughout the ground floor was finished in 2023, and the windows for the building are set to be replaced this summer. 

The amenities in the Sidley Lounge will be immediately available for students. The lounge space will be open during all of King’s business hours. The facilities offered- the classroom, conference room, and breakout space- will be open for checkout similar to study rooms after 5 p.m. The Sidley Lounge is a great place to study, meet with a class or group, or even just hang out with some friends. We are excited and proud to finally open this space up for everyone, so please come visit, and explore the Sidley Lounge as soon as possible!