SMU eNews

New Library Provides 21st Century Learning and Research Environment

A grand opening ceremony was held in the newly expanded John A. Graziano Memorial Library at Samuel Merritt University (SMU) on March 15.  Located in the Health Education Center (HEC) on the University's Oakland campus, the expanded Library is also home to the recently combined Department of Library and Academic and Instructional Innovation. The library has been redesigned to provide a 21st century learning and research environment for University students, faculty and staff, as well as visitors and the community.

"The opening of the new John A. Graziano Memorial Library marks a new era at SMU, providing an unrivalled learning environment for our students, faculty, and staff, and one we are delighted to share with our surrounding communities," says SMU President, Sharon Diaz.  "This is an outstanding facility of which we can all be very proud. It will serve the needs and ambitions of our University, City and region for many decades to come."

As part of the library renovation project, several additions were made to provide office and work spaces.  The North Wing now houses a new computer lab, a conference room, naturally lit study niches, and Library/Academic and Instructional Innovation staff offices.  The main library has three new group study rooms and three new seminar rooms that are available to the campus community.

"Our 21st century vision of the John A. Graziano Memorial Library is a learning environment that takes full advantage of innovative technologies for promoting new teaching methods and web-based educational resources," said President Diaz.  "The SMU community is committed to integrate the high-touch aspects of our health professional programs with the high-tech world to advance teaching and learning.  We are open to all possibilities and embrace what the future may bring." 

The updated library will be a meeting place and a cultural center for students and the SMU community that will accommodate new styles of learning, as well as enabling study and research collaborations. 

"This is an exciting venue for collaboration between librarians, educational technologists, students and faculty.  We've designed the space to support seminar-style teaching and group study, while providing convenient access to experts in research support and course design," said Marcus Banks, Director of the Graziano Memorial Library/Academic and Instructional Innovation.  "I am proud of all those colleagues across the whole University who have worked tirelessly to bring the project to fruition."

The library renovation and expansion was funded by contributions from the SMU community: alumni, foundations, corporations, employees, Regents and friends of the University.   "We are grateful to the SMU community for rallying together to meet this challenge.  The Library is an important resource for our students, faculty, and staff.  It is a highly valued community resource," says Sue Valencia, Executive Director of Development and Alumni Affairs. 

SMU students using the library's computer station
John A. Graziano Memorial Library
Library Director Marcus Banks with SMU Nursing student Jabari Smith
Francisco Mendivil, DPM student

Did You Know...

The SMU library first opened its doors in 1984, thanks to the generous gift of Mrs. Louise F. Graziano in memory of her husband, John Angelo Graziano (July 4, 1898 - December 18, 1966).  At that time the library facility accommodated 400 students and 300 medical staff members as well as the East Bay community.  Twenty-eight years later, through the same support and dedication from generous donors in the community, the SMU library can now comfortably accommodate the University's growing population of more than 1,400 students as well as the extended SMU Community.