Iowa State University holds ribbon-cutting ceremony for renovated space at Parks Library

Oct 31, 2019

October 31, 2019


AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University held an official ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 30, to mark the completion of a $1.2 million renovation of the first-floor commons area at Parks Library.

The project transformed the south portion of the first floor, formerly occupied by the circulation desk and staff offices, into a hub for student services and expanded collaboration and study space. The project also improved traffic patterns through the main floor, created seven new technology-equipped collaboration rooms, increased individual study spaces and enabled the library to offer a one-stop service experience to meet the needs of students, faculty and visitors.

In addition to support from the university, the project was made possible by a generous $200,000 commitment from The Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust of Muscatine, Iowa, and gifts from Linda and Richard Soukup, Lois and John Mather and many alumni and friends who donated gifts of all sizes to the University Library Strategic Fund. The majority of funding for the project came from private donations.

“When we opened up the space, students said it was awesome and modern,” said Hilary Seo, University Library interim dean. “My favorite comment was from a student who said they were proud that this was their library. They felt like these changes were made with them in mind. We are grateful to the Carver Trust, Linda and Rich Soukup, Lois and John Mather and our loyal alumni and friends for making this student-centered workspace possible.”

Iowa State University undertook a comprehensive feasibility study in 2016-17 to reconceptualize Parks Library to meet the learning and research information needs of a 21st century library. One of the primary goals that came out of the feasibility study was to make available additional, technology-equipped student study and collaborative spaces.

At the heart of the Iowa State campus, Parks Library is a busy, high-use resource that serves a student population of nearly 35,000, as well as faculty and staff, and the community. Over the past five years, foot traffic into Parks Library has steadily increased; last year, 2.2 million visitors passed through the front doors.

The library advances the Iowa State University’s commitment to academic excellence and land-grant mission by collecting and preserving world knowledge for faculty, staff, students and the community; by teaching information literacy skills that enable researchers at all levels to identify, access and use high-quality information; and by participating in the creation, sharing and application of knowledge, research and creative activity. The library energizes and empowers library users to create a vital future for the state of Iowa and the world.

The Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust of Muscatine, Iowa, is one of the largest private philanthropic foundations in the state of Iowa, with assets of $325 million and annual grant distributions of nearly $16 million. It was created through the will of Roy J. Carver, a Muscatine industrialist and philanthropist, who died in 1981.

The Iowa State University Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization committed to securing and managing gifts that benefit Iowa State University. The Forever True, For Iowa State campaign, with a historic goal to raise $1.5 billion, will help support Iowa State in becoming the premier land-grant university for the 21st century and beyond.


Nacuya Rucker, external relations director, University Library, 515.294.2155,

Elaine Watkins-Miller, communications, Iowa State University Foundation, 515.294.1005,  


1. Larissa Holtmyer Jones, President and CEO, ISU Foundation

2. President Wendy Wintersteen

3. Beth McNeil, former library dean

4. Hilary Seo, interim library dean

5. Seo welcomes ISU Student Austin Graber, senior

6. Giant bookmark

7. Cutting giant bookmark

8. Celebratory cheeses, desserts and beverages