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College has plan to keep library services available during construction

March 9, 2006
Library Operations (025.001)

Dr. Douglas Anderson's adjustment to life at Marietta College had to be quick.

He knew it before his arrival just three short months ago, and it hasn't changed as the new Director of the Library has immersed himself in the planning and execution of developing a $17 million library and learning resource center.

"There are a lot of things that we at the library must do, but I believe we have put together a good plan and will have a successful transition from Dawes Memorial Library to the new center," Anderson said.

The College's plan is ambitious, but doable according to Anderson.

"This will be a library for the 21st century. We are designing study spaces that suit the research needs and learning styles of today’s students," Anderson said. "The new Teaching-Learning Center will allow the faculty to experiment with new instructional methods as well."

The College is in the final stages of working with a library architectural consultant and Burgess & Niple Architects on defining the nature of the spaces to include in the building, but the first visible work starts this summer with some outside utility work.

This December (and even into January 2007), the College will begin moving out the inactive parts of the library collection to a facility in the Marietta area. Library staff will make daily trips to retrieve materials requested by students and faculty whereas not to restrict access. The inactive collection will be made up of materials not requested or used by students the year prior to the move.

A majority of the Special Collections will also be transported to a facility outside of the area for proper storage.

"The archives and special collections of this library are just amazing,” Anderson said. "They document the history and cultural heritage of the college and the entire Marietta region from the earliest days of the settlement of the Northwest Territories. Our responsibility to preserve this legacy leads us to look for the highest quality environment for the temporary storage of these materials. And the new facility we are designing will provide a comparable environment for the permanent storage of the special collections.”

Construction will be more visible starting in May 2007 as the active collection and the remaining furniture are moved to the renovated top two floors of Mills Hall following Commencement.

"We will maintain services at the library in Dawes until May 2007 and then move those services into Mills Hall," Anderson said. "We will keep the same hours and plan to provide all of the services that students and faculty are accustomed to in Dawes."

Located on the site of the present library in the center of campus, the learning and library resource center is expected to open in January of 2009. It will include a teaching-learning center, the library’s reference and circulating collections, archives and special collections, student study space, classrooms and a café. MC officials promise the new center will be consistent with the College's historical architecture.

"One feature of the new facility we are very excited about is the cyber café," Anderson said. "Many libraries have found this to be successful and we have heard a lot of student support for the idea. I like to call this the Barnes & Noble effect. We expect the new library to be the heart of the College."

The library project was made possible by the generosity of Class of 1968 classmates Laura Baudo Sillerman and Robert Dyson, who combined on a $10 million donation ($5 million each) back in October of 2005.

Baudo Sillerman and Dyson have each played key roles in Marietta College’s fundraising efforts over the years. The recently completed comprehensive campaign, the Tomorrow Foundation, headed by Baudo Sillerman, and the eponymous Dyson Foundation, each made $5 million grants for the Recreation Center that bears their names.

The new library is just another piece to Marietta College's plan to transform the landscape of the campus. Over the past five years the College has added the recreation center, Rickey Science Center, McCoy Hall, softball and soccer fields, along with the renovations of Fayerweather Hall, Don Drumm Stadium, Mills Hall and Edwy R. Brown Petroleum Building.

-- Tom Perry, College Relations

Dawes Memorial Library will continue services through Commencement in May 2007.

Other News

MC receives $10 million gift for Learning and Library Resource Center (October 24, 2005)