UCI Libraries - Where the UCI Community Comes to Life
Overall, nearly 10,400 digital and physical library items are checked out, renewed, viewed, or used, including:
- 1,490 physical books and journals
- 6,600 electronic full text journal articles
- 1,600 electronic book sections
- 560 reserve items
- 130 items lent or borrowed through Interlibrary Loan
- About 260 research and directional questions are answered by reference staff.
- 33 students participate in research instruction sessions.
These statistics give a vivid picture of the constant activity and energy that the UCI community brings to the use of the Libraries. But the numbers don't quite do justice to a deeper shift in the role of the Libraries in supporting and expanding the concept of an academic community. Undergraduate and graduate education has changed to become much more participatory and group-oriented which has led to a difference in how many students use the Libraries' facilities.
The UCI Libraries still brings together students who are pursuing individual study and seeking personal scholarly excellence. But the Langson Library, the Ayala Science Library, the Libraries Gateway Study Center, and the Grunigen Medical Library are all now much more than a collection of documents and traditional library services, however important that remains. The UCI Libraries is the place to meet - for group study, talking over the events of the day, and simply rubbing elbows with fellow students, especially when other campus facilities are closed late in the evening.
To ensure our ability to meet these new, escalating demands, the Libraries continue to renovate study areas to allow for more active, participatory learning. Ayala Science Grand Reading Room was renovated last summer to upgrade lighting, replace carpeting, and freshen the paint. This effort follows the renovations of Langson Library, the Libraries Gateway Study Center, and Grunigen Medical Library over the last two years.
The Libraries are still a key symbol of what it means for an individual to participate in the community of the mind. But we gladly embrace this new role of community center that our users now require. In a survey last spring students expressed their firm expectation that the Libraries provide essential space where they can join like-minded individuals in the pursuit of academic excellence. Since many students live off-campus and work during the day, the Libraries' facilities are of critical importance to them for a safe and inviting study and meeting environment when they need it most. We are increasingly a center of active research, gathering, and sharing of ideas and it is a role which we are enjoying immensely.
Interim University Librarian
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