an SFSU music and business major, works at the exit check at the University's
J. Paul Leonard Library. It's a busy job. Tens of thousands of students
flow into the library every week. She enjoys the fast pace of her job
and the academic atmosphere inside the library. "Everyone else is
so diligent, it makes me study more," she says.
takes up a lot of Malvini's time during the day so she appreciates the
convenience of the extended-hours computer lab and quiet study area. She
feels safe studying there late at night and adds that the study areas
are a great place to cram for finals. But with SFSU's current student
body of nearly 30,000 full-and part-time students, these and other areas
in the library fill quickly. Space is at a premium and lines at the computers
and copy machines can be frustrating.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, however -- or more specifically,
at both ends of a new grand corridor.
currently under way to remake the library into a state-of-the-art facility
with dramatically expanded and aesthetically inviting study areas, and
an increase in space by half again its current size. A stunning new glass
facade will invite students, faculty and visitors to enter while providing
both natural light and a panoramic view of the quad. Students can catch
up with friends or enjoy a cup of coffee at the library's new coffee bar,
which will be easily accessible from the quad or the grand corridor spanning
the entire first floor.
Groundbreaking is tentatively set for early 2005, beginning with the demolition
of the adjacent Franciscan building. Upon the project's completion, slated
for 2008, patrons will be able to find what they need easily and will
have a comfortable, welcoming space for study and interaction, says University
Librarian Debbie Masters.
The renovation is long overdue. Thanks to a series of additions to the
original building and subsequent reconfigurations of collections and service
areas following the 1989 earthquake, the layout has evolved into something
at best unconventional, at worst inefficient and confusing. The effects
of time and heavy use have also taken their toll. The library lacks the
infrastructure for contemporary telecommunications and information technology,
and its mechanical, heating and ventilating systems are in need of major
repair. In addition, the building does not meet current seismic safety
The $100 million makeover, funded primarily by the Governor's Economic
Stimulus Package passed in 2002, as well as anticipated private support
from alumni, friends, and philanthropic institutions, will include a seismic
retrofit, the installation of the new automated Library
Retrieval System, a new entrance on Holloway Avenue, and the relocation
of the Sutro Library (a branch of the California State Library) and Labor
Archives and Research Center, both of which are currently located on Winston
Drive, about a mile away. "Increased capacity as well as environmentally
appropriate conditions will enable us to integrate these wonderful collections
into one all-inclusive central library," Masters says.
Johanna Canale (B.A., '57; M.A., '76), a retired teacher and
counselor and a generous supporter of SFSU, established the Joseph and
Isabella Canale Endowment specifically to support the enhancement of the
library's facilities. "The library is the focal point of learning,"
Canale says. "I wanted to give in a way that would most benefit the
entire University. It was the most meaningful way I could honor my parents'
memory. They shared a deep respect for the University and the progressive
education it afforded me as an undergraduate and graduate student."
It pleases her, she says, to bring the Labor Archives and the Sutro Library
collections into the new building and to "make them safe and sound
and available in an inviting manner to students and visitors doing research."
to Masters, the new floor plan will dramatically change the current building
-- one that has been built piecemeal over the years -- into one that is
seamless. From hallways to stairways, study carrels to rest rooms, the
current building will be completely renovated. The new library will provide
significantly more space for both individual study and collaborative work,
more than twice as many computer stations, and extended open hours in
the commons area on both the ground and first floors. A skylight will
provide natural light through four floors in the center of the building,
providing a logical point from which newcomers can orient themselves.
first-rate library is vital to the University, Masters says. Because so
many SFSU students commute to and from campus, the library is "the
hub of activity, both socially and academically. The library truly is
and will be the heart of the campus."
the library of the future, the books come
For more information: www.library.sfsu.edu/building
If you would like updates about the library expansion and renovation,
please complete and return the envelope enclosed, or e-mail the library
at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information
about ways that you can support the library building project, including
opportunities for naming, please contact Carole Hayashino, associate vice
president, University Advancement and Development, at 415/338-6598 or