The University Library began a state-of-the-art transformation in 2013 to meet the growth of internet-based research and instruction, facilitate an increase in student collaborative projects, and integrate the Library's resources and services into campus wide partnerships to further student learning and respond to faculty needs. The Library has implemented specific library infrastructure changes that now provide more open and flexible technology-enhanced study spaces with ergonomic, modern furniture, laptop checkouts, more power outlets, an expanded Freudian Sip cafe, and interactive digital signage. We have also welcomed the Learning Resource Center into the third floor, east wing.
Technology has radically changed the way that librarians, students, and faculty think about searching for information. Mobile computing is on the rise, and scholarly communication and publication is becoming a much more open enterprise. There are many challenges on the horizon for academic libraries, but many opportunities as well.
The University Library has embarked on a number of initiatives that are changing the face of our facility and our services. Perhaps our most ambitious endeavor is the new Learning Commons which finished construction in late summer 2013. The Learning Commons, which extends throughout the core of the 1st floor of the Llibrary, integrates the new skillsets of librarians with 21st century technologies; provides students with ergonomic, portable, and flexible furniture; creates a light and open space; is food friendly; and facilitates a teaching and learning dynamic. I have high hopes for the Learning Commons as a new pedagogical and technological model for the 21st century academic library.
I welcome you to the University Library. During our continued growth period, there may be “hard hat” areas where patron traffic will be restricted, but the Library will continue to offer the excellent services and resources students, faculty and staff rely on. I will be updating you regularly on our progress, and hope to hear feedback from you on how we’re meeting your expectations. Whether you need to perform research in one of our many databases, watch a video, work with primary source materials, or simply need a quiet place to study, I hope you will find what you need in the University Library.
Mark Stover, Ph.D.
Dean, University Library