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Library Groundbreaking: State-of-the-Art Expansion Will Benefit Campus Community

 

 

The Library Expansion Groundbreaking ceremony turns a new page in campus history; caption below

Library Groundbreaking: State-of-the-Art Expansion Will Benefit Campus Community

...the library plays a major role in ensuring intellectual freedom...
- Mildred García, president, CSU Dominguez Hills
 

History and community were two major themes at the official groundbreaking ceremony for the $51 million expansion of the California State University, Dominguez Hills library on Monday afternoon on the hill south of the existing library. This is the first significant capital improvement of the Leo F. Cain Library since it was built in 1970 and when complete, the library will consist of a two-building complex poised to meet the educational and technological needs of the campus and its surrounding community.

Hardhats were donned and the first shovels of dirt were turned by the platform party that comprised Mildred García, president of Cal State Dominguez Hills, Herbert Carter, CSU trustee and former interim president of Dominguez Hills (1998-1999), Donald Gerth, co-chair of the Library Enhancement Campaign and former president of Dominguez Hills (1976-1984), Sam Wiley, interim provost and vice president of academic affairs, Rod Butler, chair of the Academic Senate, Sandra Parham, dean of the library and Donald Hata, chair, Friends of the Library and emeritus professor of history.

“The library addition is a tremendous gift from the citizens of California,” said Parham. “It will be a technologically advanced building that greatly enhances the library staff’s ability to improve the learning and research capabilities of Dominguez Hills’ students and faculty, as well as those of the community.”

Adding a second building to the library will more than double the current space, which, Parham says, will greatly improve access to the library’s nearly half million volumes and extensive offering of reference materials and provide for continued growth of the library’s technological resources. Located between the current library and the campus gymnasium, the five-story, 140,000-square-foot building will provide additional room for book stacks, periodicals and other references, both physical and digital, expanded study- reading areas and “smart” classrooms, wired and wireless network connections for personal computers and 250 more computer workstations, as well as dedicated space for a gallery and event center, conference rooms and administrative offices. It will also become the new home of the university’s instructional support center—the Center for Teaching and Learning, and the Department of Archives and Special Collections, both of which are in the current library.

Project architect Carrier Johnson, the firm that also designed libraries for San José State, University of California, San Diego, and California State University, San Marcos, has planned an energy-efficient building that makes use of natural light—windows will dominate the north façade. Open-air glass bridges will connect the two buildings on the third and fourth floors, and a courtyard/garden patio on the second floor will offer students a natural, yet wireless, setting in which to study and socialize. S. J. Amoroso Construction Co., which built James L. Welch Hall and the Donald P. and Katherine B. Loker Student Union, will be the contractor for this project, and O’Connor Construction Management Inc., which oversaw the Loker project, will be handling construction management once again. The expansion is expected to be completed in 2009.

Greg Williams, director of the Department of Archives and Special Collections, is hopeful that the library expansion will introduce more students and library visitors to the resources in the archives, noting that the current facility on the library’s ground floor is “a little bit too ‘closed-in’ . . . the new facility will be visible through glass and open and available for any student wanting to do original research.”

Hata, who served as planning commissioner and a councilman in the city of Gardena in the 1970s, introduced the Friends of the University Library, which comprises campus supporters such as Katherine Loker, a longtime Dominguez Hills supporter; Jim Dear, mayor of Carson; Alice Burns Grigsby, director of the Learning Resources Center at El Camino College; Mary Anne O’Neal, the L.A. County Commission on Aging; former Dominguez Hills library deans Betty Blackman and Philip Wesley; and Capt. Todd Rogers of the Carson sheriff’s station.

“My experiences in local politics, participatory democracy and civic engagement taught me that this university makes a difference in the quality of life, of both our graduates and the communities from which they come,” says Hata. “We take that responsibility very seriously. Beyond the borders of the campus, we look to forming partnerships with individuals and organizations throughout the region.”

Gerth is currently writing a history of the CSU and co-chairs the Library Enhancement Campaign with Lee Anderson, widow of Congressman Anderson. The former Dominguez Hills president welcomed the recently arrived President García, who took office earlier this month.

“President García brings with her a remarkable background of accomplishment and leadership,” he says. “It’s a background that includes a vigor and determination to work for this university and advance it to the next level.”

García looks forward to the library expansion and how it will help the university “serve all who come to seek knowledge.”

“Let’s remember that the library plays a major role in ensuring intellectual freedom,” she points out. “Through the diversity of our collections and because of the access to information, we provide equity, social justice, democracy and diversity through what students learn and research in our library. It is through our library that their beliefs change. They not only look at themselves, but at people who are different than them and learn how to live in a socially just, global and multicultural environment.

“With the expansion, we are embracing the future and embracing a powerful collaboration that includes our students, our faculty and staff and an enhanced facility, to help them succeed in this strong teaching and learning environment,” she continues. “Where California goes is where we go. Dominguez Hills will set the future for this state and this library will be at the core of it all.”

The library expansion is being completely paid for by voter-approved bond initiatives. Those bonds could not be used toward the refurbishment and retrofitting of the existing library, something library officials will turn their focus towards once this project is complete. The ongoing Cal State Dominguez Hills Library Enhancement Campaign aims to raise enough money to renovate the old library and create a book and technology endowment.

For more information about the library expansion project, visit http://library.csudh.edu/capitalfund/campaign/index.htm. For a map of the campus, go to www.csudh.edu/site/VisitUs/Maps.asp.

- Amy Bentley-Smith and Joanie Harmon

Photo above: The platform party at the Library Groundbreaking ceremony helps to take the campus facility into the 21st century. (L-R) Rod Butler, chair of the Academic Senate;
Jim Dear, mayor, City of Carson; Mildred García, president of Cal State Dominguez Hills;
Herbert Carter, CSU trustee and former interim president of Dominguez Hills; Sandra Parham, dean of the library; Sam Wiley, interim provost and vice president of academic affairs; Donald Gerth, co-chair of the Library Enhancement Campaign and former president of Dominguez Hills; and Donald Hata, chair, Friends of the Library and emeritus professor of history. Photo by Joanie Harmon

 


 

 
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Last updated Wednesday, August 29, 2007, 3:45 p.m., by Joanie Harmon