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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

What’s up with: Founders Memorial Library escalators

Sean Reed
An escalator sits still in Founders Memorial Library. The escalators have been shut down for the last six months due to an underground power failure and possible mechanical issues. (Sean Reed | Northern Star)

DeKALB – The Founders Memorial Library escalators are turned off to prevent further mechanical damage and will not be inspected for specific breakage points until summer. 

For the past six months, the escalators have been shut down due to an underground power failure and possible underlying mechanical issues. 

“All of the repairs and updates to any elevator, escalator or even lighting is handled by the University Plant Engineers,” said Fred Barnhart, dean of University Libraries. 

While the library does not plan on making any repairs during the current semester, this summer an outside electrical contractor will be hired to look further into the damage done by the power failure. Other mechanical issues will also be investigated before a cost estimate can be reached. 

“I have studied in the library almost every day since my first semester,” said Kiana Clingon, a first-year English major. “But ever since the escalators have stopped working, I do not want to go to the library and have to walk up all of the stairs to get to the fourth floor.” 

Students and faculty can use either the staircases or available elevators to move to different floors. 

“I think they are doing this to not disturb students during the academic year, as there has been talk of extensive work to be done on the escalators,” Barnhart said.

The Founders Memorial Library was recently voted Best Place to Study in the Best of Dekalb 2024 edition. As such, students are constantly entering and exiting the building to study. With the heavy foot traffic, the library’s four floors are filled with students.

“I don’t really mind the escalators being broken because there are elevators if I really want to go up to a higher floor,” said Gabriella Willson, a sophomore elementary education major. “I also prefer to work on the first floor, so it doesn’t affect me as much.” 

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