After two years of construction and renovation, the UCSB Library reopened in grand style Wednesday, Jan. 13. Crowds of people assembled just in front of the building’s new entrance to celebrate the opening and tour the state-of-the-art facility.
“This is a milestone moment in our university’s history,” UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang said during the opening ceremonies. Yang was joined by University Librarian Denise Stephens, Executive Vice Chancellor David Marshall, Graduate Student Association President Aaron Jones and Associated Students President Jimmy Villareal to welcome visitors to the upgraded library.
With 150,000 square feet of renovated and new space, the UCSB Library, originally built about 60 years ago, now boasts a new grand entrance and various new studying, research and learning spaces meant to provide easy access to information, particularly the electronic data that has become a mainstay of learning and research in the modern world.
The new facilities were built with sustainability in mind. The building is LEED-certified, and uses elements such as recycled and regionally-sourced materials, energy-efficient lighting, water-efficient plumbing and landscaping, and building materials and design that require less energy to maintain an optimal environment for library users.
Among all the state-of-the-art upgrades and technological advances, there is one thing that isn’t new, according to Denise Stephens: The mission of the library, which she said remains the same as it was back when it was the first new building erected at what was then the Santa Barbara College of the University of California.
“We’re still here to help you discover, access and utilize — even create — information in your successful research, teaching and learning,” said Stephens. “We remain a critical resource for the campus and for community scholars as well.”