of Arizona Library
Main Library Improvement Project (MLIP)
Why the Construction?
Do you need a little more study and research room?
Do you think the UA Library is great but it sure could use a few more computers?
Do you want better access to the great materials in Special Collections?
WE DO TOO!!!
Which is why The University of Arizona Library is embarking on an exciting project to improve the UA Library's Main Library. New construction will increase study, seminar and exhibit space at The University of Arizona Library's Special Collections. Once completed, the expansion will create a wonderful space for Special Collections materials. The public will have opportunities to view our important collections from ancient tableaux to contemporary art.
Additionally, the Library's Information Commons, connected to the Integrated Learning Center, will provide new space for users. This 12,000 square foot space includes: 250 workstation areas, 50 production capable workstations, access to the Internet through 500 network connection points, centralized printing and mailing area, central help/support desk.
Because the information Commons will displace about one third of the Library staff, a new 5th Floor wing will be build. This large and expansive center will accommodate space for staff processing and digitizing materials and managing the Library's technical systems.
So please excuse our mess. We will be staying open during construction. To ensure the best service possible, please call 621-6441 before coming.
A little history, a few predictions:
Early 1990s: Concern that freshmen are leaving The University of Arizona in large numbers. Conversations and studies begin on the UA campus: what can the university do to increase first year retention?
Meanwhile . . . Congressman Morris Udall retires from Congress and donates papers to The University of Arizona Library.
1994: Those studies started in the 1990's reveal that one reason freshmen leave is there is no unifying place or center for them on the campus and confirms the role of the Library as the heart of the campus. Discussions begin on how to address the need for a first year place and the role of the Library take place. The idea of the Integrated Learning Center is born, a center for first year students. The Library will be the connector a place where first year students and all other students and faculty can work together in a collaborative and high tech environment.
Meanwhile . . . Senator Dennis DeConcini prepares to retire from the Senate and give his senatorial papers to The University of Arizona Library's Special Collections. He also arranges for federal funding which could be used as seed money to create space for the papers.
1996: The Arizona Board of Regents agrees to build the Integrated Learning Center and the expansion of Special Collections to house the Congressional papers.
Meanwhile back at the UA Library . . . more DeConcini and Udall papers arrive. It is getting hard to make space for those important papers.
1998: After celebrating (for about five minutes) the approval of the Integrated Learning Center and the expansion of Special Collections, the search for the best architect begins. Gresham & Beach are selected as architects for the Integrated Learning Center and Special Collections expansion.
Fall 1999: The hole is dug and construction for the Integrated Learning Center begins.
Summer 2000: Construction comes to the UA Library. Service locations change. Especially for circulation. Special Collections prepares to drastically change procedures for Special Collections services during construction. They tell everyone they can that things are changing and call 621-6441 before they journey to Special Collections.
A hole in the Library's basement connects the Integrated Learning Center with the Library.
Fall 2000: Special Collections is reserving spots in their temporary reading space (Room C318, 3rd Floor, Main Library). They are also providing more electronic reference services because they have been temporarily dislocated. They have instituted a successful "will call" program, where they receive request for materials either electronically, over the phone, or in person and the Special Collection materials are retrieved from its remote but safe location within forty eight hours.
The circulation department is finding that its users are accepting the temporary displacement of services. Interlibrary books are still gathered within forty-eight hours. Users can get their card updated, check reserves, media and maps all from one location. Books are getting checked in, checked out, and reshelved, efficiently.
Spring 2001: Staff working on the west side of the 1st Floor are relocated so the Information Commons can be completed.
Fall 2001: The Integrated Learning Center, the new 5th Floor wing, and the expansion of Special Collections are completed.
2002 and beyond . . . An exhibit of Special Collections treasures is on display. People say I didn't know you had materials written by Galileo or such a wonderful array of early 20th century photographs. People like the expanded space for viewing materials, the graceful and inviting Reading Room, the glass doors that can open onto a stunning patio, the public art, the room for lap tops. The campus community likes how the can check out books, maps, reserve from the second floor, they like gathering information from one location, they like they can quickly find a UA Library employee from the circulation area, in fact, they like everything.
Arizona Board of Regents, 2000.