In 2018, the Provost approved the construction of a Student Excellence Center on the 5th Floor of the Science Library, along with substantial renovations of other parts of the 5th floor and the 2nd Floor Grand Reading Room. This project advances Pillar 2 (First in Class) of UCI’s Strategic Plan by:
Centralizing key undergraduate services in one location in close partnership with library services. Units located in this space will include the Campuswide Honors Collegium, Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, and Scholarship Opportunities Program;
Expanding the number of seats for student study and modernizing Science Library spaces to provide more open study seating, group study rooms, flexible library instruction labs, and enhanced electrical and data coverage for student laptops and other portable devices.
These renovations are creating fresh, exciting and productive study options for students and the new spaces and service locations will be beneficial to student recruitment, retention, and academic success.
The Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, the UCI Libraries, and Campus Administration have been exploring the idea of creating a Student Excellence Center (SEC) within the Science Library (SL) for several years. In response to these ideas, the Provost charged an Ad Hoc Committee, co-chaired by University Librarian Lorelei Tanji and Professor and CORCL Chair Nasrin Rahimieh, to explore the concept of the SEC in the Science Library and to consider the impact.
The committee concluded that:
Centralizing key undergraduate services within one location, in close partnership with library services, would create a “showcase” space that would be beneficial for student recruitment, retention, and academic success.
- The project would have a significant impact on available study seating and space for collections, but this impact can be mitigated by:
- adding seating elsewhere in the Science Library.
- conducting a holistic review of collections across all the library buildings to identify low use/duplicate titles that can be moved off-site or deaccessioned without negatively impacting research, teaching and learning. This review focused on identifying:
- Books that had never circulated and were widely held by other research libraries.
- Science Print Journals that were low use and/or are replicated by electronic access.
- Print Federal Government Documents that duplicated materials preserved by the University of California Library system as part of the FedDocArc Program.
The Libraries identified sufficient low use materials that could be moved offsite to make room for the project and during Fall 2018 obtained feedback from faculty and students about identified items that needed to remain on campus.
The Libraries were able to retain on-site all items requested by faculty and students while still relocating a sufficient number of items to make the project viable. Many of these items were depositing in UC’s Regional Library facility and are retrievable for UCI users via Interlibrary Loan within 2-3 working days.
The renovated Grand Reading Room and new 5th floor spaces will be available when the Science Library can safely reopen for in-person use (up-to-date information on UCI Libraries services during COVID-19 is available here)
For questions and comments, contact Kevin Ruminson (email@example.com), Associate University Librarian for Administrative Services.