Archive for the ‘Research Library Renovation’ Category

UCLA Young Research Library renovations completed; usage levels have doubled

Friday, February 24th, 2012

The UCLA Library completed renovations to the major public spaces in the Charles E. Young Research Library in fall 2011, and the new facilities have proven to be extremely popular with UCLA students, faculty and visitors.  During the fall quarter, over 195,000 people visited the library, more than double the number during the same period the year before.

 The renovations focused on the first floor and lower level of this classic Mid-century Modern building, designed by A. Quincy Jones and Frederick E. Emmons. The executive architect for the project was the global interdisciplinary design firm Perkins and Will, with Eva Maddox Branded Environments. 

 “Guided by the themes of discovery, journey and collaboration, we developed these new spaces to support pedagogy and research, both now and into the future,” said UCLA University Librarian Gary E. Strong. “Academic research libraries are no longer defined by their physical collections, and this redesign reshapes our collection access, services and facilities to support our users throughout their academic and professional careers.”

 The Young Research Library provides research-level collections, services and facilities for graduate students and faculty in the humanities and social sciences. It was constructed in two phases; the first opened in 1964 and the second in 1971.

 In accordance with University of California policy, the renovations adhere to green building principles established by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) national rating system. The building is expected to achieve the status of LEED Gold (Commercial Interiors 2.0) once the U.S. Green Building Council completes its review of the library’s documentation.

 About the library’s new spaces

 An open, collaborative research commons offers 22 flexible, technology-enabled “pods” in which students and faculty can utilize library resources, conduct research and work with one another. Holding up to 10 users, each pod contains a large LCD monitor operated by a laptop. Also part of the commons are 15 group-study rooms, a classroom and a laptop lending desk. The research commons has been very popular with both instructors and students, accommodating everything from instructional sessions to office hours to project demonstrations.

 Created in conjunction with the UCLA Center for Digital Humanities, an adjacent space houses the Laboratory for Digital Cultural Heritage. In this area, which is equipped with a large-screen rear-projection system and specialized workstations, courses are taught in UCLA’s undergraduate digital humanities minor and graduate certificate program. In keeping with the open nature of the larger research commons, all activities in this space can be viewed by those walking by, fueling serendipitous discovery and information exchange. 

 An expansive, glass-enclosed reading room supports quiet study and research while still offering views of activities in surrounding spaces. Frequently used print reference materials are housed in this room, and seating is available at both large tables and in individual lounge chairs. Librarians staff a service desk, where they answer quick reference questions and provide in-depth assistance with sophisticated research inquiries, with an adjacent consultation area for meetings with larger groups.

 The library’s conference center has been expanded to add a spacious, technology-equipped conference room. In its first few months, this new space has accommodated conferences, film screenings and large group meetings. Together with the existing presentation room, boardroom and parlor, the conference center now offers a large, flexible suite in which to present expanded programming.

 The first floor also contains an open gallery adjacent to the front entrance, which currently houses an exhibit of unique and rare special collections materials related to Charles Dickens. A second enclosed exhibit gallery will showcase UCLA Library treasures on long-term display. Two lounges and a popular coffee bar complete the new first-floor spaces.

 On the library’s lower level, former staff work space has been opened up to create a spacious, light-filled study commons framed by views onto the green berm that surrounds the building. The commons accommodates more than 100 users at tables and in individual chairs. Open stacks house newspapers and unbound periodicals, and self-service cabinets contain frequently used microformat materials and maps.

 Adjacent to the study commons, the entrance into the Department of Special Collections has been opened up. Full-length glass doors offer passers-by a view of the department’s lobby and exhibit area, inviting them to come in and see what’s on view.

 Large-format electronic signage at the building entrance and throughout the first floor and lower level also supports the renovation’s themes of discovery, journey and collaboration. With content varying by location, the signage communicates timely information, such as hours and events, showcases digital collections and new acquisitions, and honors donors.

Research Library Renovation To Open

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

I’m pleased to announce that very soon we’ll be opening all the newly renovated spaces on the first floor of the Charles E. Young Research Library:

  • On Monday, September 19, the reading room and Café 451 will open.
  • The following Thursday, September 22, laptop lending and the “Street” (the main east-west corridor) will open.
  • On Monday, September 26, the room reservation system will open to reservations for Research Library group study rooms; users can make reservations for twenty-four hours in advance.
  • The research commons, laboratory for digital cultural humanities, conference space, and other new facilities will open shortly after that; watch for updates.

 Descriptions and a virtual flythrough continue to be available on the Web site at, and we’re updating and revising these pages on a daily basis, so please consult them and refer users to them as appropriate. Watch for an announcement about the schedule of tours for library staff.

 I would like to acknowledge the tremendous staff effort going on behind the scenes to implement the functionality of these new spaces and to make them all operational.

 I encourage you to stop by starting next Monday and enjoy the new spaces.  And thank you for your patience with the inconveniences presented by the renovations!


Research Library Renovation (11)

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

The move into the reading room began this morning.  As collections are relocated, one gets the impression of how the new space will look.

The entry to the reading room with new graphics. Glass allows views into the room from the Street and lobby.Volumes will be close at hand to reading tables.


The print collections will be augmented with electronic access to indexes, abstracts, and on-line reference materials.


It really won't seem "finished" until all of the books are in place.



Research Library Renovation (10)

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

We are getting close to opening the first floor spaces.  We hope to start by the beginning of fall term classes.  While there is still a punch list of details, most is finished and we have a certificate of occupancy. The graphics are going in and are really nice.

The entry window by the entrance


Electronic display allows for hours and daily program announcements.


















The icons and human graphics are integrated into the design.


Graphics near the lounge area announce the presence of the cafe.



Way finding is integrated into the graphics.


The themes play out on the walls on the A level.


Even book drops have graphics.



Electronic graphics are also present.



Research Library Renovation (9)

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

The graphics are being installed.

Entry to the Reading Room


Research Library Renovation (8)

Thursday, June 30th, 2011
As the construction phase nears an end, the new spaces are taking shape.  Never again will they look so pristine and clean!  We still have yet to take occupancy of the renovated spaces and once that happens, we still have to move in and transform them into programs and services.  We are still shooting for a opening with service by the beginning of the fall term.

The new reading room now awaits the move of the print collection and installation of computers to acces electronic reference tools.

Informal seating among reading tables in the Reading Room.

Twenty-three media pods are ready in the Research Commons.

Another alternative for the use of the Research Commons space.

The Research Commons can also serve as a large presentation space.

One arrangement of movable seating in the instruction room.

The "Street" is ready for traffic.

Lounge seating allows for quiet study and reading.

Coffee anyone; or maybe tea! Okay a Red Bull.

Entry gallery is ready for its first exhibition.

New entry doors, framed in brass, welcome you into the Research Library.

Do come visit us soon!

Research Library Renovation (7)

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Everytime one visits the Charles E. Young Research Library you get a new look at the future.  As we near completion of the construction phase, we turn to adding graphics, way-finding, and technology applications.

New entry doors are in place

The circulation desk is to the right as you enter. Reserves and inter-library loan items are held here and there are self-service check-out units available.

The Reading Room is the the right as you enter. Print and electronic research materials will be housed here for faculty, graduate students, and serious researchers with tables, chairs, and lounge seating.

The "Street" runs the length of the first floor and provides entry to the Research Commons, video displays space, public terminals, and lounge areas as well as access to the elevators.

Group study rooms are available to be booked for collaborative work and seminars.

Instructional space will support the use of the latest technology and is at the heart of the Research Commons.

The Research Commons contains numerous "pods" for collaboration and the sharing of applicable technologies that will provide access to the Library's growing digital resources.

The Laboratory for Digital Cultural Heritage offers high technology space and a full wall screen for interactive digital scholarship and research. Collaborators will be able to capture activity created in the laboratory and share it broadly with the campus community.

The cafe will be a welcome stop for cafine and sweets.

Stairwells have been refreshed and painted. Graphics will be installed to enliven these spaces.

Interview About the New Research Commons

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

During the recent meeting of the Coalition for Networked Information, Todd Grappone and I presented a briefing session about the new Research Commons being integrated into the research library renovation.  I was invited to answer questions about the project in a podcast interview during the meeting.  That interview is posted here:

We spoke to a full house and there were good questions about the Laboratory for Digital Cultural Heritage.  Presentations have also been made recently at the fall forum of the Digital Library Federation meeting.

Research Library Renovation (6)

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

The contractors were hard at work over the break to complete work in the entrance and lobby area.  I have posted a few pictures at this link:

Research Library Renovation (5)

Monday, November 29th, 2010

As one approaches the entrance to the Charles E. Young Research Library it appears as if the building is no longer open.  But that is definitely not the case.  To the left as you get to the front of the building is a temporary entrance that allows one to enter the building and proceed down a new tunnel connecting this door to the elevators, circulation desk, internal stairway, and the administrative offices.  This allows for construction to proceed on the permanent circulation desk and the new entrance to the building which will be finished after the first of the year.  At that time another temporary path will be created to allow for renovation of the existing circulation desk area (parts of which will become the new cafe!).  We expect that most of the construction will be finished in the spring and then the outfitting of furniture, equipment, and all of the rest will begin.

The temporary entrance has been installed.
The temporary entrance has been installed.