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Ohio State’s SEL plans to change name to 18th Avenue Library

Lantern file photo

The familiar Ohio State Science and Engineering Library nickname the “SEL” will soon be outdated as the building is renamed the 18th Avenue Library.
After taking suggestions from students, faculty and staff last Spring Quarter, finalist names were emailed to representatives from the College of Engineering, College of Arts and Sciences, the department chairs for the School of Music and Department of Dance, and University Advancement to gather input, said Larry Allen, spokesman for University Libraries, in an email.
They settled on the 18th Avenue Library.
“We’re not sure what will be coming down the road in terms of how that library will evolve, so we didn’t want a name that tried to represent all the subjects and so we wanted a name that would live longer into the future kind of as that building continues to evolve and change,” said Carol Diedrichs, director of University Libraries.
Diedrichs added that the new name for the building open 24/7 and located at 175 W. 18th Ave. might not be permanent.
“We consider it a transitional name … We hope that someday there might be a donor after whom the library would be named,” Diedrichs said.
The name change will go into effect in January, Diedrichs said.
“The Board of Trustees has approved the name already, but there’s a lot that’s involved in actually changing the name both internally and sort of how the computers work that show you where the collections are and the signage on the building,” Diedrichs said. “So we anticipate that we’ll start calling it the 18th Avenue Library in January, and I’m not sure yet exactly when the signs will change.”
Diedrichs said that University Libraries doesn’t yet know the cost of the change because they have not looked into how much the signs changing and the extra staff time required to change the name will cost.
SEL was the main library on campus from 2006-2009 while the William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library was being renovated, Allen said.
When the music and dance collections moved into the SEL in 2011 to prepare for the renovation of Sullivant Hall, their former home, serious talks about changing the name began, Diedrichs said.
“It was at that point that we knew that the current name was not an accurate reflection,” Diedrichs said.
The SEL also hosts the Digital Union, which provides support for teaching and learning with technology, Allen said.
Some OSU students said they are not happy about the name change.
“I’m not really a big fan of the name change since it’s always kind of been called the SEL, so I think it should just stay the SEL,” said Zach Saylor, a second-year in mechanical engineering. “The content of the library isn’t as important as the people that use it, and since (SEL) is on the engineering side of campus. I think it should be the engineering library.”
Other students said that the name change is unnecessary.
“I don’t think it’s necessary because I mean, just because music and dance are in this building, there’s a lot of other things in this building, too, not just music and dance,” said Laura Williams, a second-year in mathematics. “It should just still be called the SEL.”
Williams said she thinks it will take a while for people to adjust to the name change.
Diedrichs said she doesn’t know what students will call the library now.
“One never knows what students will come up with,” she said.

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