Vol 35 | No 2 | Spring 17
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From the University Librarian

ImageDear colleagues,

As the student population on campus has grown over the last couple of years, it has been very exciting to see a corresponding rise in energy and traffic in the Libraries. The Libraries play a critical role as the laboratory, study/research sanctuary and center of many students' academic lives outside of the classroom.

Students have told us that they choose the Libraries when they want to engage in serious, focused work. Research has documented that students who use library resources and services have higher retention rates and GPAs, so ensuring that the Libraries meet their needs is important to their success.

We regularly refresh furnishings and technology to make the Libraries the top choice for serious and engaged study. We try to keep pace with how library spaces are being used by students, faculty and other visitors. And we know that providing attractive and up-to-date library spaces helps UCI to attract and retain outstanding students and faculty.

However, meeting student needs within the constraints of our existing buildings is an ongoing challenge. On a typical afternoon, particularly during mid-terms and finals, it seems like nearly every seat is full, and students often resort to sitting on the ground in a quiet corner to find space to study. As one UCI student commented in response to a recent survey, "I wish there were more study spaces available for students. During midterms or finals week, it is super difficult to find a study space, even if it is just for me studying alone without a group."

As a consequence, the Libraries have formed a Space Planning Team to review current uses of library space and develop a forward-looking vision for enhancing the library buildings to meet current and future needs. This vision will seek to:

  • leverage the use of public space to support student success,
  • strengthen the central role of the Libraries on campus,
  • encourage partnerships, collaborations, innovation, and creativity,
  • and provide a variety of learning spaces that meet diverse needs
We are excited about this initiative, which we hope will make a positive difference in the academic life of the campus. We will share more news about the Team's progress as this vision develops.

Lorelei Tanji
University Librarian

For more information on the work of the team, contact Kevin Ruminson, Associate University Librarian for Administrative Services x44440 or ruminson@uci.edu.