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Academic Heart

The Academic Heart of Cal State LA

The University Library is central to the successful achievement of Cal State LA’s mission of cultivating and amplifying our students’ unique talents, diverse life experiences, and intellect through engaged teaching, learning, scholarship, research and public service. 

Here at the library, we advance intellectual discovery, stimulate creativity, inspire learning and transform our diverse and engaged communities by connecting people to knowledge, providing learner-centered spaces, and delivering innovative and responsive services. 

But we can’t do it alone. Our vision is to be a transformative physical and digital center of intellectual exploration, knowledge creation, and scholarly and creative engagement that will prepare students to be lifelong learners and information-literate global citizens in an increasingly digital environment. 

Thank you for your interest in supporting the hub of learning and engagement for Cal State LA. Your gift fosters an environment of creativity and intellectual growth, and allows the University Library to provide the services, learning tools, spaces and collections that are relevant and easy to access and use.  

Our Funding Priorities

Learning and Academic Commons

Learning and Academic Commons

Supports a comprehensive plan to reimagine and transform the library to become the campus hub for teaching, learning, research, knowledge creation and student success.

Center For Academic Success

Bringing together the Tutorial Center, Writing Center, Student Research Consultant Program, Testing Center and Smart Start, the Center for Academic Success will be the first of its kind in the CSU system, and a national model for providing comprehensive and fully integrated peer-to-peer academic success services for our students.

Center for Faculty Excellence

The Center for Faculty Excellence is a faculty-facing space that combines existing library occupants: Office of Research, Scholarship, and Academics (ORSCA); Center for Effective Teaching and Learning (CETL); Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC); and a new Digital Research & Scholarship Center. The co-location of these programs indirectly enriches the student experience by enabling a synergy between faculty through workshops, curriculum development, emerging technologies, and refined pedagogy. Additionally, to foster engagement between faculty and student outside the classroom, an adjacent Faculty Commons will host adjunct faculty and lecturers and provide an area where faculty and students could interact.

Study Spaces & Flexible Classrooms

Lack of study space both in the library, and campus wide, is an ongoing challenge for the University as the student population continues to increase. Many students commute and often seek a location as a “home base” between their classes. Additionally, students prefer a variety of spaces and seating types conducive to individual or group studying. In a generation where individuals have one or more personal devices, students expect spaces to be well-connected, technology-capable, and reservable. Student Study space, largely associated as contributor to Student Success, was a shared high priority for everyone involved with programming. Study space will be distributed throughout the library with different atmospheres including a silent reading room and outdoor space.

Graduate Resource Center

Academic and professional development are at the center of the Graduate Resource Center. Offering focused support for academic success, professional development, and community building, our graduate students will be able to rehearse presentations, form study groups, and prepare their work for publication – all in one place.

Special Collections

Endowment for Special Collections & Archives

Supports the acquisition and preservation of rare and distinctive materials focused on the cultural and local history of the diverse communities in greater Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley.

Develop the Collection

With its globally recognized Mesoamerica and Colonial Mexico Collection, Collections of East LA, among many other culturally and historically important collections, Cal State LA’s Special Collections & Archives will be housed in world-class facilities, complete with exhibition spaces, climate-sensitive storage, and study rooms for students, classes and visiting scholars to interact with these rare resources.

Gallery Spaces for Exhibits

A future space would have the ability for multiple configurations for activities such as lectures and screenings, plus the ability for a variety of media types to be displayed. Exhibits may also display student and faculty scholarly achievements and innovations. The gallery would be in partnership with the School of Fine Arts and the Luckman Art Gallery.

Digital Library Initiatives

Endowment for Digital Library Initiatives and Emerging Technologies

Supports the development of expertise and services that support and advance digital scholarship, and emerging technologies that impact teaching, learning and research.

Makerspace Studio

A low- and high- tech creative studio for students to do everything from 3D printing to filming on a green screen to using specialized software and sewing machines, the Makerspace Studio will be a state-of-the-art workshop for the entire campus. It would have capabilities for multimedia production and staffed with full-time student technology specialists to provide focused teaching on use physical and software-based resources. It would include dedicated audio recording and production studio(s) for oral history recording, podcast and music recordings, as well as multiple multimedia-rich workstations (post-production bays). VR capabilities, 3D printing, and other emerging technologies may also be incorporated.

Experiential Classroom

A desire was noted for an Experimental Classroom to be in the library as a student and community amenity. The interactive and collaborative teaching space would have the ability for multiple configurations with mobile panels, movable monitors, and furniture. When not in use, the room may function as a wellness room for yoga and other wellness classes and activities.

Digital Research and Scholarship Center

The Digital Scholarship Center is to be co-located in the Center for Faculty Excellence. It shall feature an immersive touch-interactive wall to create, collaborate and enable data visualization, data analytics, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) visualization and more. The space may host a small group for a presentation and would be equipped for web-streaming and lecture capabilities.

Special Initiatives


Supports programs, projects and other activities that benefit the University Library and university community.

Modernizing the General Collection

The General Collection consists of approximately 750,000 volumes. Much of the General Collection has already been consolidated as resources transition to digital media. Compacting the print collection into a smaller footprint allows the University to maximize available space within the library as programmable areas. The Master Plan aims for half the collection to be in compact shelving.

24/7 Zone

The desire for a 24/7 zone in the library was strongly noted in student feedback. The existing 24/7 computer lab in the Simpson Tower Annex would relocate its 24/7 function and ITS desk to the library’s first floor. A secured area could expand during peak use, such as mid-terms and finals, and would provide study space and vending to adapt to a student’s schedule.

Large Gathering Space

In addition to meeting spaces provided in the library, there was a strong need expressed for a gathering space for 200 people. The required footprint for this space is larger than what can be accommodated in the existing buildings due to column spacing. A new separate pavilion was recommended to be outside the library’s footprint and located on the west side of Palmer. As a flat-floor pavilion, it would contain telescoping seating and allow for multiple configurations depending on lecture, screening, or collaborative activity. Other similar spaces on campus are in heavy use, therefore, this pavilion would be a resource for not only the library, but for the campus as well. When not in use, the space may be available for student study space.