PROCESS & PLANNING
In 2018, a steering committee was formed to develop the master plan that would inform the future library. The team evaluated the physical aspects of the buildings, as well as the existing program and use. Throughout an eight-month period in the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 academic calendars, the team held workshops, interviews, focus groups, and presentations. Through shared information and stimulating discussions, the team learned from the campus community. With over 300,000 square feet of space between the two buildings of the existing library, prioritizing the goals was a critical next step.
In May 2018, a Planning Team consisting of architect s, structural expert s, engineers, AV specialists, and Library administration noted the following observations and challenges within the existing library buildings:
- Poor internal circulation in both buildings, including two-bay main interconnecting stairs in Library North
- Lack of appropriate wayfinding - particularly at Library North's first floor and B Level
- Poor daylight penetration in Library North and
- Low utilization of exterior spaces at plaza level, and no utilization of library North's fourth-floor terrace
- Water infiltration at B Level spaces in Library North
- Poor loading capabilities for Café
- Outdated building systems, including lighting and lack of electrical outlet
- Two separate building identities
- Misaligned floors between buildings at third and fourth floors
Many of the identified observations are typical to buildings of the 1950-60s eras. Item s related to outdated infrastructure often contribute to reduced student utilization and lack of desirability for study space. However, the stated challenges also become opportunities to guide the Library Master Plan.
Once goals were set through a group activity, the team engaged in a joint discussion to validate the result. The final concept was presented by the architects with images, floor plans, and an interactive physical model. The model was reviewed floor by floor and the Committee provided feedback to finalize the Master Plan. On November 5th, 2018, the Planning Team conducted two Town Halls on campus to share the recommended concept with the community.
The Library today is a multi-faceted point of convergence. From study space and faculty offices to departmental occupants of the Divisions of Academic Affairs and Student Life, the Library serves students, faculty, and staff in a variety of ways. To be responsive to a university that is experiencing continuous change and increased engagement, the University Library will embrace strategic risk-taking as the path to innovation. We will embrace collaboration and diversity of thought as we respond to a changing information landscape, new and emerging technologies, and a greater focus on supporting academic success.