The long-awaited remodeling of the University Library finally gets under way this month, resulting in the relocation of a number of library and student services functions beginning this summer and during the anticipated 18 months of construction.
University Library Changes
Kemp Bros. Construction of Santa Fe Springs was recently selected to create the design vision of Caldwell Architects of Marina del Rey. The library portion of the remodeling plan will result in:
- New, larger Information Commons student computing and reference facility.
- Redesigned circulation desk.
- Remodeled lobby area.
- Starbucks Internet café.
- New public rest rooms on first and fifth floors.
- New ceiling and lighting on main floor and new carpeting throughout.
- Large reading room on fifth floor to compensate for loss of seating in east library.
- A graduate study center.
- Glass storefront entries on lower level and second, third, fourth and fifth floors.
- Children’s literature, special collections and archives departments moved to more convenient locations.
- Installation of Online Remote Collections Access (ORCA), an automated book retrieval system for 850,000 volumes.
- Critical electrical and cabling upgrades.
“As planned, the sequence of the construction will occur two floors at a time, starting with the lower level and working up,” said Henry DuBois, associate dean of the University Library. “Lower level and first floor will be done at the outset, beginning this summer; then, after that’s complete, it will move to floors two and three; then four and five. In addition, construction of ORCA, the automated retrieval system, could occur at the same time, independently of the interior work on the library.”
But with a construction project of this magnitude, the adage “no pain, no gain” is apropos, and this is especially true when there is no “swing space”—no areas in which to temporarily store displaced staff, furniture, and library materials during construction.
“If you think of the lower level and first floor, you know that the heart of our operations is in those two places,” DuBois said. “We have an enormous computing facility, when you consider both electronic reference and the Information Commons. When those areas must be closed during construction, we must redeploy those services elsewhere within the building,” entailing some underlying infrastructure changes as well. “We’re anticipating that for the first stage of the move, except for a small temporary circulation desk on first floor, services will be concentrated on the second floor,” including service desks for reference, interlibrary loan, media, Link+, and reserve services.
“We won’t know how long those services will remain in temporary locations until we’ve had a chance to meet with the contractor,” he said.
“We want to make this place as hospitable as we can for our students and for the campus community to use. Access will be maintained during construction, but it’s going to be disruptive and there’s going to be inconvenience for our own employees and for our customers. There will be less seating, fewer computers, and no dedicated quiet study area. We’re sorry, but we’re working as much as we can to minimize that,” DuBois added, “and at the end of the day there is the promise we all can enjoy a much more functional and attractive library.”
Library East and Horn Center
The remodel also will result in relocation of the Academic Advising Center (AAC), Learning Assistance Center (LAC) and Prebaccalaureate Academic Student Services (PASS) from Library East to the Steve and Nini Horn Center.
“In Library East, the second and third floors are being remodeled into classrooms and faculty offices. This will do a great deal to ease the terribly acute problem that particularly Education and Liberal Arts face with regard to faculty office space,” said Vice Provost David Dowell. “With the departure of the LAC and Academic Advising, the Library East first floor will be a faculty-oriented area with the Academic Senate, the Anatol Center and the College of the Arts dean’s office, all of which will stay. We are planning now to decide which other largely faculty-oriented activities to locate there.”
In seeking a new site for AAC and LAC, “The campus is very interested in improving support for students. One national trend is to conveniently locate services so that students can get academic advising, financial aid advising, enrollment services, learning assistance and access to computers all in one location,” said Dowell. “With Enrollment Services and Financial Aid already located in Brotman Hall, the best place on our campus to locate a one-stop shop for students is in the vicinity of that building. It’s also the heart of campus and along the walkway that the vast majority of students take from the parking lots to anywhere on campus. Most students pass through this area of campus, over the bridge and past Brotman Hall, over Maxson Plaza. It’s the most heavily trafficked spot on campus. The Horn Center is very convenient as a location for key student services.
“These programs literally serve thousands of students each year,” he continued, adding that, “Demand for some of these services has increased dramatically due to the new policy on the Graduate Writing Proficiency Exam.
“The Horn Center is a very nice space,” Dowell remarked, and it also will see improvements, including a student study area with wireless Internet access. “The computer lab will stay the same because there is a tremendous demand for open access computing.”
Subsequently, some functions within the Horn Center will return to the library as part of its reorganization as Library and Academic Technology Services (LATS).
“This reflects the incorporation of Academic Computing Services, the BeachBoard learning management system, the faculty technology center, the Technology Help Desk, and the Horn Center computing facility into a broader and more comprehensive support system for teaching and learning,” DuBois explained.
Changes This Summer
- Construction staging area in Parking Lot 6.
- Learning Assistance Center, Academic Advising Center and Prebaccalaureate Academic Student Services permanently move from Library East to Horn Center.
- Several library functions temporarily relocate to library second floor.
- Anatol Center remains open to faculty and staff use only.
- Academic Senate Office remains in current location.
For updated information on service changes and construction progress, visit www.csulb.edu/library.