Opening And Public Lecture Set For Oct. 3
Renovated Science And Engineering Library Offers Inviting Ambience
For 21st Century Scholarship
September 22, 2003 --
The University of Virginia’s renovated Science
and Engineering Library in Clark Hall, a $ 10 million project blending
the best traditional elements
with the latest technology, will have a grand opening Friday, Oct. 3. The U.Va.
Board of Visitors will attend the ceremony, open to the University community
and the public. 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 in display there throughout
the academic year. (See related article.)
state-of-the-art library that students and faculty find waiting
for them this fall is designed to meet
the needs of today’s technically-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,” she
in the Depression era, the high-windowed library with its
entrance hall of grand murals was once the heart of the University’s
School of law. After the law school moved, in 1975, the venerable
building took new life as a busy
Science and Engineering Library.
by the 21st century, as U.Va.’s
science programs grew in stature with the highest aims, 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.
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
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
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
arrangements for collaborative study, in keeping with the learning
methods of today’s students.
addition to serving as a science and engineering library,
the library aims also to be a convenient study
and information-technology center
open to all
students and faculty, Hunter said. On the first day of classes, more
than 1,500 users
made their way in, a testimony to the fact that library’s staff
kept the building open and not forgotten during the entire three-year
students now find a new state-of-the-art ITC computer lab
that will allow them to take a project from the
research stage to
ever leaving the library. 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
latest information-literacy skills. The library teaches an on-going
slate of classes in how to find and use digital information, as
well as how
and use it effectively.
part of the renovation, the library now has a new staircase
and elevator to provide easy access
to the collections of books
of the main floor includes a combined reference and circulation
service-desk, public computers for accessing VIRGO and online
seating, and restroom facilities.
renovation is designed to assure that the library can offer
its users the highest-quality
service well into the future, Hunter
a key part of the University’s strong emphasis on science,
by offering the best possible library.”
Charlotte Morford, (434) 924-4254