As we move closer to the start date for construction, the pace of preparations is picking up. Bids for the project are out and construction is slated to start on June 17th, immediately following Commencement.
The Library has now confirmed that we will be using additional temporary storage space in an off-site building that already houses some of our collections. Staff and student workers have been busy marking and measuring materials in the Library in preparation for moving them. Most of the printed volumes that are moving out of the main Library for the project will have to be boxed up, but we will continue to support retrieval services for specialized items like maps and microform materials. Staff has also been conducting a major interfiling exercise at one of our offsite annexes to support more efficient retrieval in the years to come.
All of the decisions about collection materials were informed by the UCSB Library Collections Survey that was distributed to faculty and graduate students last year. Similarly, decisions about the outfitting of certain key spaces within the Library will be made based on faculty and student engagement over the next few months. Only by truly understanding the academic and scholarly outcomes that our users desire can we provide the furniture, technology, and services that best support these objectives.
A major Library renovation taking place in a single phase while the building and services remain fully operational is almost unheard of. We are confident we can carry it off but also recognize that there will be major disruption – especially during the first six to eight months of the project. The Library is committed to preserving services wherever possible; to this end, we are currently working with campus to identify suitable surge space for student study.
Changes made during fall quarter in preparation for the start of construction have been very well received. Overnight Study is particularly popular, attracting over 800 patrons in the early hours of the morning during peak periods. Similarly, the expanded coffee cart service—recently renamed The Study Bean— provides a much-needed service to hungry and thirsty patrons.
A construction management company was appointed in October 2012. C.W Driver has a wealth of experience and successfully delivered the North Campus Faculty Housing project here at UCSB. They have been working on a detailed timeline for construction that takes into account our objective to minimize disruption to Library patrons and services throughout construction.
Key features of their plan include a “summer surge” of accelerated work during the relatively quieter summer months and the use of night shifts – provisionally between midnight and 8am – for some of the more disruptive but necessary work.
Over the winter break a large number of trees around the Library were removed. The timing of this work was guided by a number of factors, including safety. We are very pleased that we were able to box a significant number of trees for relocation both on- and off-campus, as well as to salvage wood for later re-use in Library fixtures and finishings.
Detailed space planning and preparation activities are stepping-up within the Library, too. Relocation of Science and Engineering Library material continues in-line with the policies agreed following last year’s Library Collections Survey. Marking of materials for future relocation from the tower will commence in February 2013, although the material will remain within the Library as long as possible and may not be actually relocated until summer 2014.
C.W. Driver is now preparing bid documents for over 30 trades who will work together to deliver the overall project. These bids are expected to be issued in February 2013 to support a June commencement of construction.
Staff in the Library worked hard this summer to relocate essential services in preparation for the spring closing of the 2-story building and for code improvements to the 8-story tower. Once construction begins, the Library is committed to minimizing disruption to our users, staff, and services; avoiding diminution of services; and ensuring continued access to all materials. Thus, even though we are months away from groundbreaking, the summer was an ideal time to start transitioning in earnest.
Students returning this fall discovered an expanded and more secure Overnight Study service on the first and second floors of the main Library. In comparison to the old 24-hour Room, Overnight Study offers more than double the seating and additional services such as access to computers, printers, copy machines, and reference books. Only those with campus IDs are able to enter Overnight Study and campus safety personnel monitor the building throughout the night.
Working with UCen, the Library relocated the Coffee Cart to just inside the main entrance for the duration of the construction project. This is an important service to many of our users and now offers a wider range of products, including food and study supplies.
The Library Addition and Renovation Project will require the relocation of some collection materials to an offsite location called West Stacks. In identifying how to minimize the adverse impact of these shifts, we worked closely this summer with the Ad Hoc Advisory Committee on Library Collection Space Planning, made up of faculty and graduate students. The West Stacks facility will be located in a nearby building complex that the University is investing in. It will provide surge and long term storage space for the library and will replace both Annex I and II. Rest assured that all materials at West Stacks will be retrievable, and we are in the process of designing enhanced access services to offset the inconvenience of having to wait for physical delivery.
Other changes you will notice in the building are the relocation of the new books and newspapers, the addition of digital screens in the lobby to deliver quick communications about the building project and Library news, and the mounting of a first-floor exhibition about the Library’s history and future.
Looking ahead to the near future, we are working closely with the construction management company, C.W. Driver, to determine project phasing and construction working hours that will cause the least disruption to Library users, when possible.
In line with the project objectives outlined in the last update, we are delighted to confirm that 24 hour study will remain in the library throughout the project. In fact, it will get even better – from the start of Fall Quarter, Overnight Study Service will offer access to the 1st and 2nd floor areas of the main library with additional seating, access to reference materials, access to vending machines, copiers , printers and more.
We have spent a lot of time identifying the steps needed to ensure a safe and productive environment for library users overnight and, over the summer months you will start to see those changes being put into place.
As part of this change, the coffee cart service has been relocated from the East entrance which will be closed once construction starts. The new and expanded coffee cart plus is located just inside the main west entrance
The collection space planning survey has successfully been completed with good levels of participation and feedback. We are now using what they told us to shape collection policy and to finalize the necessary collection move designs ahead of construction
There is much to do before the start of construction next March/April and selections are now underway for a construction management company who will work with us during Fall quarter as we prepare to bid all the different components of the build project and develop a detailed timeline and phasing plan for the work
It has been a very long wait but the final designs for the new and renovated library are exciting. From the start of the Fall Quarter we plan to open an exhibition space within the Library showing some of the library’s long history, explaining some of the real constraints we face today and showcasing the new library designs and facilities. It will be located on the first floor near the 8-story elevator lobby so please drop by.
Our dedicated Project Co-ordinator for the building project, Mark Hartell, joined us in March. He has been bringing all the previous plans up to date and focusing on two of our big challenges which are where to accommodate library staff and collection materials that will need to be moved out during construction.
Mark is the primary point of contact for the Library project so if you have any questions or suggestions please email him – project [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu
The large construction project that will start in March/April 2013 will, at times, be noisy and disruptive. This is unavoidable. Nevertheless, we recognize the vital services the library delivers to campus and the local community. For this reason we have agreed three key objectives for the duration of the project:
- To minimize disruption to staff, customers and services throughout the construction period
- To avoid diminution of Library services during the construction period and
- To assure access to all UCSB titles during the construction period – whether on-site, on-line or via retrieval
Working with the ad-hoc committee on Library space planning, we have devised and issued a survey to over 3000 Faculty members and graduate students on order to gain a much deeper insight into behaviors and preferences for research and access to material.
The University has recently learned that the 8-story tower in the Davidson Library complex requires seismic retrofitting in order to meet current standards. The retrofit – now being studied – will be incorporated in the existing Addition and Renovation project.
We moved the media (VHS & DVD), media viewing stations, and current periodicals to the first floor reference collection area. We also moved the newspapers to the first floor, new books area. In addition, we relocated computers, study desks, and tables to other parts of the Library.
We were busy during the summer planning for the renovation. Several new walls were constructed on the first and second floors. These will become temporary locations for several departments once construction begins. At this point however, these areas are unoccupied and will remain open spaces for studying.
Another big change was the relocation of the Science & Engineering Desk; was moved to the front of the Reference Office and renamed the Second Floor Help Desk.
We also moved some furniture around on the first and second floor. Our goal is to keep study spaces and library print collections accessible for as long as possible.
We started the focus group process to better understand current library experiences and to help us imagine the wide variety of future learning spaces.
We held a design charrette to give our users a chance to help design the new library spaces.