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One for the books -- the Library's face-lift

September 2, 2004

Image of the architectural model for the Library renovationA bigger and better library is coming soon to SFSU. Plans are under way to give the J. Paul Leonard University Library a major face-lift.

The library of the future, expected to be completed in 2008, will offer more space to study, a new coffee bar, and a robotic crane that can fetch books for patrons and send them to the front desk -- even when they are at their office, dorm room or miles away from campus.

The $100 million makeover was made possible in part by the Governor's Economic Stimulus Package passed in 2002. Other financial support is anticipated from alumni, friends, and philanthropic institutions.

The renovation is long overdue. In addition to upgrades to its telecommunications and information technology, the building also needs a seismic retrofit and repairs to its mechanical, heating and ventilating systems. Plus, there just isn’t room enough to serve the needs of SFSU's 30,000 students.

The new and improved library will feature a stunning glass façade and twice as much space. A new entrance on Holloway Avenue will offer a convenient way to return materials.

But back to the robotic crane -- a new Library Retrieval System for selected books and periodicals will be put in place during the second phase of the project. Patrons looking for these materials can simply go to any computer, on or off campus, and access the library's online catalog. After typing in a request, the retrieval system's robotic crane will find the title, get it to a library employee and into a cart that speeds straight to the information desk. The system, which uses high-density shelving, will allow the library to store more books and periodicals on site.

Groundbreaking on the project will commence early next year.

For more, including additional photos, see the SFSU Magazine story.

-- Adrianne Bee


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Last modified September 2, 2004 by University Communications