Why Can't I Enter the Library from the Elmwood Street Side?
Unfortunately, the building was not constructed in a manner to have efficient, effective and secure entrances on both the east and west sides of the building. First, the east side of the building would need an entryway similar to the west side of the building so energy would not be wasted and trash/snow/slush would not be directly brought into the building. Second, the corridor connecting the north and south wings of a normally very busy building is not very wide.
Currently, during the fall and spring terms that corridor is an active area with students studying and students going back and forth between the two wings of the building. If an entrance was opened on the east side, it would add an east-west traffic flow to this small area. This would cause a good deal of congestion in that relatively small space. Third, security gates work best when placed close to the Circulation Desk. The current door on the east side would present a security issue for the physical materials that we purchase for student and faculty study and research.
The University is currently considering the possibility of a major renovation of Polk Library. We have made clear to campus planners that the courtyard on the east side of the building could be utilized much better and that a reconstructed lobby area with both east and west entrances would be helpful to many students and faculty. I hope that a remodeling of Polk could accomplish that effectively.