Dana Porter main floor renovations

The main floor of the Dana Porter Library underwent renovations in 2008 to update services and add new features. These renovations were made possible because of support received from University of Waterloo students, faculty and staff, as well as community supporters through initiatives such as the Kresge Challenge.

Renovated main floor computer area


Updates to the work areas upon opening include:

  • 62 public access workstations (increased from 48)
  • 4 black and white laser printers (increased from 3)
  • High speed and eco-friendly colour printer
  • Electrical and network connections at all study tables, with an approximate 30 additional network drops available

The floor’s spaces include many new areas:

  • Individual study along the northeast window
  • A laptop counter along the southeast window with power and data outlets
  • Several group study areas

Laptop counter

Design elements

The floor is designed to inspire and encourage information discovery. In certain areas it is also designed to provoke thought and conversation. Features such as this include:

  • A glass quotation wall separating Browsers Café and the reference collection
  • Digtal display screens by the elevator to provide information about the Library’s services and resources, as well as campus events and news
  • The copy centre that divides Browsers Café seating and the lounge area. The walls have a pattern of rotated wood window boxes and are finished with coloured acrylic, frosted glass, bulletin boards, and display windows

Copy centreGlass quotation wall


The main entrance has sliding doors with motion sensors to provide easy access. Aisles in the reference collection are spaced according to the defined accessibility width in the Ontario Building Code. The Circulation and Information Desks remain accessible with an adjustable counter at the Circulation Desk and counters of differing heights at the Information Desk. The floor’s varying textures, inset path, and contrasting colours create spatial and visual cues for individuals with vision loss.