Library now offers inviting
ambience for scholarship
by Andrew Shurtleff
Clark Hall Library was originally the heart of the Universitys
School of Law (below). Built in the 1930s and expanded in
the 1950s, the library served generations of law students
until 1975, when the school moved to new quarters on the North
Grounds. The Clark Hall space then became the Science and
Engineering Library. The library remained basically unchanged
until now. Renovations make the space a popular study haven
for technologically savvy patrons. Source: www.lib.virginia.edu/science/clark/
By Robert Brickhouse
Universitys renovated Science
and Engineering Library in Clark Hall, a $10 million project
blending traditional elements with the latest technology, will
have a grand opening for the University community, including the
Board of Visitors, and the public on Oct. 3. At 2:30 p.m., Joe
Palca, senior science correspondent for National Public Radio,
will present a public talk in the main room with a reception following.
An art exhibition by Art Department faculty will be on display
there throughout the academic year. (See related article.)
state-of-the-art library is designed to meet the needs of technologically
savvy users and help them keep abreast of the knowledge explosions
in their fields, said Carol R. Hunter, director of the Science
and Engineering Libraries system, which includes departmental
satellite-libraries. But, we intend never to lose sight
of the fact that a library should be a lively, inviting space,
in the Depression era, the high-windowed library with its entrance
hall of grand murals was once the heart of the Universitys
School of Law. After the Law School moved in 1975, the venerable
building took new life as a Science and Engineering Library.
by the 21st century, as U.Va.s science programs grew in
stature, the old library remained almost unchanged. Students still
studied at long oak tables used by their grandparents. To find
books and journals, they had to climb down a narrow stairway.
exhibit inspired by sciences
By Jane Ford
Themes of nature are a fitting topic for an art display
at the Science and Engineering Librarys new reading
room. The exhibit will be a highlight of the librarys
grand opening in Clark Hall on Oct. 3.
the librarys director, Carol S. Hunter, inviting the
McIntire Department of Art faculty to exhibit their works
was a natural.
a way to bring the scientific and artistic together,
she said. Exposure to the arts completes the person
and the education Jefferson had envisioned.
exhibition represents a blurring of categories,
added studio art faculty member Dean Dass. A lot of
faculty artists are involved in works based on scientific
faculty have long drawn on resources in the Science and
Engineering Library for inspiration. Elizabeth Schoyer,
who teaches painting, uses texts from the library to create
works inspired by explorers and natural history chronicles.
Dean Dass, who teaches printmaking and works in many mediums,
is creating work inspired by geysers, volcanoes and natural
hot springs he researched in the librarys collection.
Bill Bennett, chairman of studio art, will exhibit his work
Starcatcher or Catch a Falling Star,
which depicts the tools a butterfly collector might use
to assemble an astronomical collection. Another sculpture
he created for an exhibit on Browns Island in Richmond
relates to engineering and industry that took place there
in the 19th century.
William Wylie will exhibit his photographs of water that
capture the timeless qualities of changing flow patterns
and light fluctuations.
Megan Marlatt will exhibit works on paper influenced by
19th-century botany illustrations, which she arranges in
what she refers to as her own collection of paintings.
exhibit will also feature works by Richard Crozier, Tom
Doran, Bogdan Achimescu, Seth Hunter and Doug Dertinger.
considers the exhibit the first of numerous collaborations
with artists and groups in the University community.
library is a place where you study, reflect and think,
she said. The exhibit is a way to give art visibility
and is a catalyst for communication going back and forth
with a high skylight in a new addition, an array of glassed-in
meeting and study rooms, comfortable chairs and cozy corners,
the library emphasizes natural light to the fullest and encourages
users to enjoy its open spaces. Every seat and study carrel has
complete wireless access.
the library looks high-tech with its computers and digital materials,
we made sure we took the best of the past with us,
Hunter said. The old tables have been refinished and repositioned
for use by a laptop generation, and there is even a gas fireplace
ringed with armchairs in the new reading room. Designed by Ellenzweig
Associates Inc. architects, the renovation provides different
arrangements for collaborative study.
now find a new state-of-the-art ITC computer lab that will allow
them to take a project from the research stage to the finished
product. A multimedia center offers scanners, digital media workstations
and other technology designed to teach students multimedia skills.
An expanded electronic classroom will enable librarians to teach
students information-literacy skills. The library teaches an ongoing
slate of classes in how to find and use digital information, as
well as how to create and use it effectively.
part of the renovation, the library has a new staircase and elevator
to provide easy access to the collections of books and journals.
The center portion of the main floor includes a combined reference
and circulation service-desk, public computers for accessing VIRGO
and online databases, comfortable seating and
renovation is designed to assure that the library can offer its
users the highest-quality service well into the future, Hunter
said. Were a key part of the Universitys strong
emphasis on science, by offering the best possible library.