Library to reopen in spring semester

The J. Paul Leonard Library is nearing completion of the renovation, expansion and seismic upgrade that began in 2008. Library Services will resume in the building on a gradual basis during the spring 2012 semester.

A photo of the J. Paul Elonard Library from the quad side.

“Right now we are working actively with Academic Technology and Campus Space Administration to plan the relocation of staff, services and collections and the delivery and installation of furniture, equipment and signage,” said University Librarian Deborah Masters. “We do not expect all services and collections to be available initially, but the high-volume student and faculty services will be among the first to open.” She expects that all services and most of the collections currently located off-site will return to the Library building by summer 2012.

Among the services expected to open in the Library next spring are 12 group study rooms in the 24-hour Study Commons area, which includes computers and quiet study space similar to what is currently available in Library Annex I. The Book Pickup/Checkout Desk, currently located in the HSS building, will also operate from the Library next spring.

Library users will no longer have to wait 24 hours to retrieve books, as they have throughout the renovation. Books located in the Library Retrieval System (LRS) will be available five to 10 minutes after a request is submitted online from anywhere, at anytime. Book pickup and return will be available every day during the Library’s building hours.

Thirty-four percent more total space has been added to the Library since construction began in 2008. Student survey responses and other comments during the planning stages requested more seating, computers and study space with electrical outlets. The renovated Library will house 50 percent more seating, 300 percent more group study rooms and 100 percent more computers. The combination of the LRS and open stacks will provide 50 percent more capacity to accommodate the Library’s collections of more than four million items. Collections currently located at the Sutro Library, a branch of the California State Library, including its extensive special and genealogical collections and the Labor Archives and Research Center, will also relocate to the J. Paul Leonard Library.

The Library’s first floor will feature a 100-seat café adjacent to the extended hour Research Commons with computers and study space. The second floor will be devoted to digital learning and instruction, featuring video conferencing rooms, online learning classrooms, instructional labs and digital media editing rooms for student and faculty use. The ground floor will house media and equipment that students and faculty can borrow.

“It’s going to be a very dynamic place,” said Maggie Beers, director of Academic Technology. “Faculty and students will have access to technology that can help them teach classes, organize projects and learn the latest in multimedia applications.”

Currently, 75 percent of the Library’s interior construction is complete according to Simon Lam, associate vice president of Capital Planning, Design and Construction. The installation of ceilings, carpeting and lighting fixtures will continue throughout the fall semester.

The $121,794,000 project was financed by capital outlay bonds, approved in 2002 under Proposition 1D in Governor Gray Davis’ economic stimulus package, supplemented by private donations.

Visit the Capital Planning, Design and Construction website for more information and updates.


-- Denize Springer