Graziano Library Needs the Community's Support

William Schlegel, PA and Barbara Ryken For the first time in 25 years the John A. Graziano Memorial Library is getting ready for a 21st century makeover. Even though construction will not start until Fall 2009, school administrators say the financial planning for the massive project needs to begin now. The projected cost for the library renovation is $1.3 million, a price tag that is sure to make it a state-of the-art attraction for everyone in the community.

To help with the cost of the renovation, the Library is turning to SMC Regents, employees, alums, and the community to help raise the money. To help support the fundraising, Sutter Health has provided a $500,000 matching grant, but first the College must raise $500,000 by December 31, 2008 to receive Sutter's contribution.

"The Library is not just a support service, supplementary to the classroom, but a key player in complementing every aspect of learning, teaching, research and enriching program planning across the campus," said Barbara Ryken, Director of Library Services.

One of the reasons for the renovation is due to enrollment growth and increased use by the community.

"The Library was constructed in 1984 when there was only one discipline (nursing) with a student body of only 400," said Sue Sylvester, Executive Director of Development and Alumni Affairs. "Now there are six disciplines and over 1200 enrolled students with the projection of 1600 by 2012. To better meet the needs of our growing student body and community members who use the library to research medical concerns, we must implement this significant upgrade."

The planned renovation to the library includes:

  • expanding the library space
  • new furniture
  • installing glass windows
  • additional seating and carrels
  • study rooms
  • a conference room

The facility will also have additional electrical outlets to accommodate laptops.

"When this library opened 25 years ago, it had no accommodation for computers," said Ryken, "but now with these renovations students will be able to bring their laptops without worrying about cable cords or waiting for a free internet outlet."

Medical Journals

Even with the modern upgrades, one thing that will remain the same and not disappear will be books. But even books are becoming a little more 'high tech' in nature.

"There will always be books, at least in my lifetime," said Ryken. "Journals are moving towards electronic. We do have over 50 electronic books (eBooks) right now and this collection will expand."

Keeping up with modern times is essential for the John A. Graziano Memorial Library. It is considered one of the best health science libraries in the East Bay. The renovations will not only help students of all disciplines with their studies and research, but it's also used by the medical staff at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center (ABSMC) and their patients.

"People come in to the library all the time," said Ryken. "We have retired doctors, nurses, and patients coming in to read journals. Students from other colleges like UCSF and Merritt Community College use the library also."

CRNA study group

Updating the library will also help increase recruitment needs.

"According to an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education one of the things that prospective students notice when applying for colleges is the library," said Ryken.

Even though the layout and design of the library is still under discussion, Facilities Director Lillian Harvin hopes to incorporate sustainable material into the renovation plans. According to the California Integrated Waste Management Board, using 'green' building materials offer specific benefits such as:

  • reduced maintenance/replacement costs over the life of the building
  • energy conservation
  • improved occupant health and productivity
  • lower costs associated with changing space configurations
  • greater design flexibility

For more information on the library project or would like to help contribute to the $500,000 Sutter Matching Grant, please contact Sue Sylvester, Executive Director of Development and Alumni Affairs at 510. 869.1507.

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