Welcome to the Attic: Brooks Library dedicates new music room to CWU alum



Picture of back room in attic.

Quincy Taylor, Staff Reporter

“Generative, dynamic, purposeful and inviting” are words Dean of Libraries Sydney Thompson used to describe the intention of the newly-designed room, the Attic, on the Brooks Library fourth floor. The Attic opened on April 11 to the public and will be centered around music; the space is dedicated to Wilma Stellingwerf, who was a CWU graduate in 1948.

According to Thompson, Stellingwerf donated a gift to help pay for the rest of the renovation, so she was honored at the grand opening. 

Thompson stated that the space was “previously a music library” that held music collections and listening equipment. 

Thompson opened up about the idea of wanting to modernize the space and described how the room will feature a variety of music equipment; they intend to expand their collection, according to Thompson.

“We wanted to have a productivity space, so computers and keyboards…[a] performance space, and [we are] hoping to include recording booths, but that’s the piece we haven’t finished yet,” Thompson said.

Thompson explained that the room will be a relaxing space where students can come in and be group oriented or work alone, and she said the variety of furniture and desks will allow students to be comfortable and “be themselves.”

There were many faces present at the opening, including President James Wohlpart, the nieces of Wilma Stellingwerf, other faculty members from different departments, students and the workers who helped reconstruct the room.

Plaque of Wilma Stellingwerf. (Quincy Taylor)

After the event ended, Thompson and Admin Specialist Kim Hansen spoke about how it was an exciting time and it was very special for people working on the project.

“I thought it was great…It was nice to see so many ‘non-library’ personnel in the space,” Hansen said. 

Thompson echoed positive sentiments about the opening.

“I thought it was very special and well-attended,” Thompson said. “I really appreciated that the people from a variety of different departments came.”

According to Hansen, seeing the Stellingwerf family really made the night extra special. “I think it was just really heartwarming because when somebody gives such a large gift, it really is a legacy of this person who was so fondly thought of,” Hansen said. 

Thompson said the attendance of the Stellingwerf family was “super meaningful and unexpected… to be able to put some names, some faces and stories to the person that was just so generous to us…and the whole gift was unexpected. So it was really, really special that they were able to come.”

Thompson mentioned her favorite parts of the event, including meeting the Stellingwerf family, the people from the libraries that worked hard to put the space together, the catering and the music performances by the students.

A small ensemble of CWU music students played classical music throughout the event.

“It was neat to see the people from the libraries that worked really hard putting on the event…and I also have to say I really like the music, and I was nervous because it was our first performance,” Thompson said. 

When asked about what students can expect from the room moving forward, both Hansen and Thompson shared how there are multiple ways students may come in and either study or work with programming music.

“I think it’s a versatile space,” Hansen said. “I think we’re going to see some programming that is pretty exciting…but it also needs to be a great place to study because most importantly, that’s what this space is going to be used for.”