Half of Penrose collection to return to library
August 22, 2011
By: Kristal Griffith 

With recommendations and input from a faculty committee, DU administrators have decided that 50 percent of Penrose Library’s book collection will return to the library once the Academic Commons project is complete.

The DU Board of Trustees Building and Grounds Committee approved the move after listening to the recommendation of an ad hoc committee of University faculty members. Penrose Library is undergoing a multi-million-dollar makeover designed to alter the student experience in the decades-old structure.

“We are doing a major, once-every-40-years renovation that must be as forward-looking as it can be,” Chancellor Robert Coombe says. “The building must meet the intellectual needs of our current students and faculty and those of the students and faculty members who will come to DU years in the future. It must speak to the ever-graying boundary between the intellectual and social lives of our community members, changing its focus from space for bound volumes to technologically rich space for people.”

Since the beginning of the Academic Commons project, two things have guided the architecture and design of the interior spaces: the need for more seating and work space for students and faculty members and the need to make the interior spaces of the building as flexible as possible.

As a result, 50 percent of the monographic materials along with most bound journals, government publications, microforms and archives will remain at the Hampden Center once the redesign is complete. The Hampden Center will house all materials during the renovation.

Additional shelving will be added to the lower level of Penrose to house the returning books.

“The library provided the faculty panel metrics on collection use, transition of scholarly communications to digital formats and other information related to trends in academic library collection management,” says Nancy Allen, dean and director of Penrose Library. “The decision will allow the library to provide a large browsing collection of books on campus combined with a strong delivery service for material housed off campus.”

While Penrose is under construction, the Driscoll Ballroom and Gallery space serves as the library’s pick-up and return. Visitors also can access academic services such as the Writing Center, Research Center, Math Center and a computer lab.

While timelines could change, the target date for opening the renovated library is December 2012. Visit the Academic Commons website for ongoing news and updates.

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