Hesburgh Library Renovation

News & Updates

Scholars Lounge in east Concourse now open

Dec 1, 2016

One of our newest spaces — the Scholars Lounge — has opened just in time for finals week. The Scholars Lounge is located across from the Carey Auditorium and Au Bon Pain cafe at the east end of the Concourse and seats up to 80 people.

The Scholars Lounge is open to students, faculty, staff, and other library patrons during regular hours. Intended as a space for conversation and casual study, it has already become a favorite destination for faculty and students. 

A campus-wide open house for the renovated Concourse and Scholars Lounge is scheduled for early next semester. Stay tuned for more details! 

4th Floor has reopened and
Interlibrary Loan has moved

Nov 1, 2016

The recently renovated 4th Floor is now open and is the new location for Interlibrary Loan (ILL) services. Patrons should note that the 4th Floor is only accessible to users during regular hours, and elevators will not stop on the 4th Floor outside of business hours.

ILL assistance is available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • in person
  • by telephone (574-631-6260)
  • and by email (ill.1@nd.edu)

The 4th Floor is also the new home for several library faculty and staff in the Resource Acquisitions and Discovery (RAD) Program from the following units: Discovery and Access Systems Unit, Interlibrary Loan (ILL) and Acquisition Services, and Resource Description and Discovery Services.

The RAD team was previously located at the east end of the 1st Floor in the space that will soon become the new Scholars Lounge.

The Women of Notre Dame endow and
dedicate the new North Entrance

Oct 25, 2016

Over 50 years ago, Father Hesburgh had a vision – well ahead of its time – of a new library that would be the academic heart of the University and serve as a symbol of excellence for the world to see. Less than a decade later, he made another bold decision to open the doors of the University to (as he would say) “Our Lady’s ladies.”

His courage and leadership literally transformed the landscape of Notre Dame’s campus forever. When asked about this later, he said, “I have to admit, in all modesty, that you ladies changed the face of Notre Dame – and I was glad that I could open the doors to make that happen.”

In this same spirit, the Women of Notre Dame came together for a special initiative to endow and commemorate the new North Entrance of the Hesburgh Library. They see this new entrance as a "gateway to knowledge for all" that carries Father Hesburgh’s vision forward and honors a profound legacy that opened the doors of opportunity for so many, both on Notre Dame's campus and around the world.

On Saturday, October 15th, over 500 alumni and friends attended the blessing and dedication of the Hesburgh Library North Entrance. A special mosaic of Father Hesburgh comprised of donor images and a dedication panel were installed in the North Entrance in recognition of this effort and the special relationship between Fr. Hesburgh and the women of Notre Dame.

Thanks to the Women's Initiative Steering Committee led by Anne Thompson (’79) and Cindy Parseghian (’77), and over 1,400 individual donors, the Hesburgh Library will remain a centerpiece of intellectual inquiry and academic excellence at Notre Dame for generations to come.

Windows and webcams: watch the transformation
onsite and online

July 30, 2016

Webcams and viewing windows have been installed in construction work zones. Follow the library's transformation online at renovation.library.nd.edu/galleries. The progress of features such as the 4th floor and Scholars Lounge are unfolding quickly. You can view the progress frame by frame or watch the time lapse in its entirety.

If you'd like to see the Scholars Lounge work in person, take a peek through the viewing windows that have been installed in the east end of the Concourse.

East Entrance closed and work
on Scholars Lounge begins

June 15, 2016

In preparation for the construction on the new Scholars Lounge, the Hesburgh Library’s east entrance and the east end of the Concourse are now closed for the summer. Entrance into the Library has been redirected to the north, south or west entrances.

All of campus will be happy to know that Au Bon Pain café will remain open and can be accessed through the south entrance.

The Scholars Lounge is located directly across from the Carey Auditorium and is scheduled to open near the end of 2016. What was previously office space closed to the public will become casual meeting and study space for up to 80 students and faculty. In addition, it will be a highly visible and easily accessible space for special Hesburgh Libraries and University-wide events.

Entrance Gallery phase of renovation complete

May 15, 2016

The Entrance Gallery phase of renovation is officially complete just in time for ND Commencement and Reunion Weekend! The scaffolding, barrier walls, and tunnels have been removed. At long last, the grand staircase is open again!

Patrons can now easily travel between the north and south entrances and traverse between the Lower Level, 1st Floor, and 2nd Floor. With the grand staircase reopened, the north stairwells, which had been opened temporarily to the public, will revert to being utilized only for emergencies.

The new southern glass wall on the 2nd Floor, free of all obstructions, brings in much needed natural light that floods through the entire Entrance Gallery. This new study area has been named the Carey Family Courtyard View and has become a favorite destination for students. The view out to the courtyard, reflecting pool, and stadium has truly transformed this 2nd Floor space.

Notre Dame Day features
Hesburgh Library renovation

April 25, 2016

On April 25, at 8:00 a.m., the Notre Dame Day crew was back in the Hesburgh Library for a live interview inside the newly renovated Entrance Gallery. Last they did a live interview in this same spot – but it was a full-on construction zone!

Jessica Kayongo, chair of the library renovation steering committee, and Pam James, project manager from the University’s Facilities Design and Operations Division, were on hand for the interview to tell viewers about the dramatic transformations of the Entrance Gallery Phase.

In addition, they shared some special hidden treasures. For example -- Melanie Chapleau, Father Hesburgh’s long-time assistant, placed several of Fr. Ted’s commemorative gold medallions -- blessed by Father Doyle -- into the concrete. And…later…during the topping out ceremony, Father Jenkins signed the last beam to be installed in the Entrance Gallery (just as Father Hesburgh did 50 years ago when the building was originally built.)

They also highlighted one of the most visible tributes -- a quote from Father Hesburgh about his vision for the future of the Hesburgh Libraries that lines the opening of each atrium. It reads:

“I wanted in 1963, and still desire today, for the Library to stand for the future of Notre Dame as a place of unmatched intellectual achievement, free inquiry and providential contributions to mankind. Let the library be a place on this campus where that hunger for truth will keep getting stronger, supporting freedom and justice around the world, inspiring excellence, and prodding us to bigger dreams.”

South Entrance re-opens as the Entrance Gallery renovation nears completion

March 20, 2016

The construction walls have come down and, at long last, we can see the interior of the South Entrance Gallery. The main doors to the South Entrance have reopened—the Library now has a complete pass through from the South Entrance to the new North Entrance.

New features include another atrium opening between the 1st and 2nd levels and a new Circulation and Research Help Desk. New furnishings create individual and small group gathering spaces throughout the Entrance Gallery on both the 1st and 2nd floors.

Perhaps the most dramatic transformation for Phase 1-B is the first ever two-story view out to the courtyard, reflecting pool and stadium. The stadium view, located at the south end of the 2nd Floor is already a favorite space to study and gather with friends.

10th Floor Open House

February 15, 2016

Graduate students, faculty, and staff toured the Hesburgh Library’s renovated 10th Floor and enjoyed refreshments and prizes during an Open House and Cookie Celebration on Feb. 8. Hosted by the the Hesburgh Libraries and the Graduate School, the event allowed visitors to interact with the renewed space and take in its open-concept design.

“Perhaps the greatest testament to the success of the renovation is the high demand for space on the 10th floor,” said Jonathan Schwarz, graduate student member of the Renovation Steering Committee. “When we arrived to set up for the open house, every seat between the elevators and the back of the reference room was occupied by a student studying.”

The redesign elevates the feel and experience of the space, while also accommodating diverse user needs. Some distinct features of the revitalized tower floor include a Graduate Student Enclave with assigned carrels (by Arts and Letters), an appointed History Reading Room, lighted study tables and comfortable seating nestled around newly exposed windows.

Attendees were asked to weigh in on the result and their feedback will help serve as a guide for the renovation of future tower floors. “It is a great place,” read one survey reply. While another shared, “After a depressive carrel on 10th floor, this one makes me spend the majority of my time here." Still others commented, "I LOVE IT! The option of lighting, larger workspace, and more plug-ins makes it a great environment for studying," and, “Do all the floors ASAP."

During the event, Schwarz added, “More than half a dozen graduate students requested information on availability for assigned carrels in the new Graduate Enclave.”

“Topping out ceremony” marks milestone
for renovation

January 15, 2016


Photo Gallery

The final beam was placed in the Hesburgh Library’s new Entrance Gallery on Jan. 7. The notable event culminated with a “topping out ceremony” celebrated by the University of Notre Dame, Miller-Davis Company (construction manager for the renovation project) and Shepley Bulfinch (architectural firm of record).

Installation of the last beam is considered a milestone in the construction industry. By tradition, the event is marked with a topping out ceremony which pays tribute to the hard work and skills of the craftsmen, and offers goods blessings for the project as it moves ahead.

“We know that our vision for transforming the Hesburgh Library is bold. We also know it is critical in order to meet the changing needs of our students and faculty. It is exciting to be so close to the completion of the Entrance Gallery Phase,” said Edward H. Arnold University Librarian, Diane Parr Walker.

“This topping out ceremony signifies a pivotal point in the renovation project,” said Jack Abate, Senior Project Manager with Miller-Davis. “The Entrance Gallery renovation has transformed the library into a more open and collaborative space.”

The Entrance Gallery Phase of the Hesburgh Library renovation is scheduled for completion in March 2016. Many thanks to this wonderful team! Watch them at work via our webcams at renovation.library.nd.edu.

10th Floor open; 4th Floor closed

December 30, 2015

The 10th Floor is open for browsing the stacks, even though final furnishings have yet to be delivered. The redesigned space has a lighter feel, with less crowding, more lighting, and cool hues. Just off the elevators, an atrium fitted with energy efficient LED lighting offers ample seating and a clear path to the History Reading Room. And around the corner, a glass-walled graduate student enclave features sleek, blonde wood carrels that are assigned for individual study. (The enclave has a swiped entry system and may only be accessed by graduate students with assigned carrels.)

As the Entrance Gallery Phase of the Hesburgh Library renovation nears a close, preparations for the start of the “Concourse Phase” are underway. Tower Floor 4, which houses a portion of the library’s Languages and Literature holdings, closed on December 18. The 4th Floor materials (call numbers PR–PZ) were relocated to level 9, and 9th Floor collections (call numbers G–GV; HM–JQ) were moved to the library’s lower level. Staff offices on the east side of the 1st Floor will be relocated to 4th Floor to free up space for subject librarians and user services, which are currently scattered throughout the building.

Keep an eye on our progress with REN-ALERTS and webcams at renovation.library.nd.edu.

Entrance Gallery work opens view to
South Library Quad

November 20, 2015

Phase 1-B of the Hesburgh Library renovation is progressing, as the new South Entrance Gallery clearly takes shape. Pieces of the second level floor have been removed, opening up the space for a two-story atrium with a second floor overlook. A peek through 2nd floor construction viewing windows reveals a wide open space filled with natural light.

Where a marble wall once towered over the Concourse, newly added second level windows open up a clear view to the south of campus, toward the reflecting pool, library quad and stadium. On the first floor, library patrons will have easy access to new Circulation and Research Help desks. The South Entrance Gallery is scheduled for completion in March 2016. Keep up on renovation progress at renovation.library.nd.edu.

Phase 1-B and 10th floor progress

October 20, 2015

As Phase 1-B of the renovation continues at the Hesburgh Library, visitors can expect to see, and hear, a lot of activity in the coming weeks. Dramatic reconstruction at the south end on the 1st and 2nd floors makes way for a redesigned entrance gallery. Soon, the two-story marble wall overlooking the main Concourse will be replaced with a glass wall. The finished gallery will feature a two-story atrium, mirroring the design of the newly added north entrance, and a new 2nd floor viewing area facing the south quad, reflecting pool and stadium and new Circulation and Research Help Desk.

Meanwhile, construction continues on the 10th Floor as crews work to install electrical, data and plumbing infrastructures and put down terrazzo floors in the elevator landing area. When the 10th Floor is completed by January 2016, the remodeled space will feature a graduate student enclave and a subject-specific reading room.

During this busy stretch, patrons should rely on REN-ALERTS, and wayfinding maps as they plan their library visits. To watch the progress unfold, check out the webcams on renovation.library.nd.edu.

Phase 1-B launch

September 15, 2015

Expect a shift in the main Concourse landscape, as renovation Phase 1-B begins at the Hesburgh Library. But don’t worry, we’ll help you get where you’re going. A pedestrian tunnel and barrier direct traffic through the Concourse, while floor-level directional arrows and other obvious signage help visitors find their way.

Approaching the library from the south? Enter through the temporary “Fishbowl” entrance, located to the west of the main entrance. Though the main staircase will be inaccessible during this phase, two stairwells at the library’s north end provide access between the first and second floors and lower level. Elevators and stairways to the tower floors will mostly remain open.

When in the building, look for maps, wayfinding flyers and directional signage to help with navigation or, download wayfinding maps and tools. Don’t forget, sign up for REN-ALERTS to stay updated on library closures and conditions at renovation.library.nd.edu.

Be prepared for dramatic changes. The new South Entrance, due to be completed in March 2016, will feature a two-story atrium, new staircases and floor-to-ceiling windows on the second level, where visitors can take in beautiful new views of the south quad and stadium.

Hesburgh Library undergoes renovations

September 8, 2015
Originally published by Matthew McKenna for The Observer

Hesburgh Library has finished the first stage of the multi-phase renovation plan to modernize the building in hopes of creating an improved collaborative and educational atmosphere. This first phase, labeled as Phase 1-A, includes an additional entrance on the north side of the building and new restrooms on the first two floors.

University Librarian Diane Parr Walker said today’s students and faculty require that libraries provide both individual and collaborative spaces, state-of-the-art technologies and advanced research expertise.

“We’ve just completed the first half of the initial phase of renovation,” Walker said. “That’s the north end of the central core of the first and second floors of the Hesburgh Library, including a new entrance on the north side of the building, an atrium opening between the two floors, a large skylight visible from both floors, a glass-walled quiet reading room on the second floor and new restrooms on both floors.

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Hesburgh Library North Plaza now open

September 4, 2015

The outdoor construction fencing is down, and the Hesburgh Library’s North Plaza is ready to receive visitors! The North Plaza complements the dramatic interior of the recently transformed North Entrance Gallery and is located just outside the new entrance.

Sidewalks criss-cross the new North Plaza, allowing easy access from dorms, academic buildings, and offices on the north end of campus. A brick-paved courtyard with low limestone walls and raised plant beds greets people entering the building, and offers perfect outdoor gathering spaces for students and faculty.

The opening of the North Entrance and Plaza officially mark the close of Phase 1-A. Now, as Phase 1-B begins, check the REN-ALERTS for current library conditions and accessibility. And visit http://renovation.library.nd.edu/galleries/ where our photo galleries and webcams reveal what’s to come!

New North Entrance is Open

Aug 24, 2015

Step on in! The Hesburgh Library’s new North Entrance and Gallery are open and ready to wow! Come see the dazzling new space which features a two-story atrium and a stunning skylight above a second-level North Reading Room. The entry, which is a key element in the main gallery redesign, creates a bright and welcoming atmosphere and offers visitors a preview of the transformative changes yet to come.

The entrance is accessible by way of a new sidewalk at the northwest corner of the building. Additional sidewalks and landscaping will round out the North Entrance Plaza, which will be unveiled in early September. Download the site logistics plan for the Hesburgh Library’s North Entrance Plaza and Quad.

The entry opening signals the end of renovation Phase 1-A and the start Phase 1-B. Keep an eye toward our photo galleries web cams to watch as the transformation continues at renovation.library.nd.edu/galleries/.

New North Entrance nearing completion

Aug 11, 2015

Let the sunshine in! The installation of a large skylight signals that Phase 1-A construction at the Hesburgh Library is soon wrapping up.

The new North Entrance, which was initiated late last year with the removal of part of the second-level floor, is a key aspect in the main gallery redesign. The new entrance, slated to open in late August, will feature a two-story "neighborhood" with an atrium and a magnificent skylight above a new second-floor North Reading Room.

Meanwhile, construction on the 10th floor, another element of Phase 1-A renovation, is proceeding. The 10th floor is due to be completed by the end of 2015.

As a new academic year gets under way, be sure to sign up for REN-ALERTS for up-to-date announcements about library conditions and accessibility. Look to our web cams as the new space unfolds, http://renovation.library.nd.edu/galleries/.

Hesburgh Libraries receive largest gift in history from Navari Foundation

July 17, 2015
Originally published by Dennis Brown for news.nd.edu

The Marilyn & Rudolph M. Navari Charitable Foundation has made a $10 million gift to the Hesburgh Libraries at the University of Notre Dame, the largest gift in the libraries’ history, surpassing the $6 million Ford Foundation Challenge Grant that helped fund the original construction of the then-Memorial Library in the early 1960s.

Read full release.

Library receives record donation

July 17, 2015
Originally published for ndsmcobserver.com

The Hesburgh Libraries received the largest donation in its history, a $10 million gift from the Marilyn & Rudolph M. Navari Charitable Foundation that will be used to further develop the Libraries’ digital services, the University announced in a press release Friday.

Read full release.

East entrance barrier wall

June 22, 2015

Some construction work has shifted to the Hesburgh Library’s east entrance in preparation for the 10th Floor and Phase 1-B of the renovation. The entrance is still accessible and visitors can still travel through the concourse thanks to a barrier wall that runs along the north side of the library’s interior across from the cafe. Construction workers will move in and out of the work zone through this separate but adjacent protective tunnel.

Looking to return a book? The book drops have been moved to the south side of the east entrance doors.

Watch the webcams at renovation.library.nd.edu/galleries as the transformation continues and subscribe to “Ren-Alerts” to receive up-to-date renovation and construction announcements.

10th floor transformation

May 19, 2015

No more shelves. No more carrels. There’s nothing left but wide open spaces on the library’s 10th floor—it’s the first tower level being transformed during phase one of the Hesburgh Library renovation. Its materials now are temporarily housed in the library’s lower level, where they can be easily accessed during the renovation.

Currently the floor is shut down with the start of asbestos abatement, and will remain closed until its renovation is complete at the end of 2015.

In the developing space, carrels, collections and offices will be situated away from the windows, allowing in more natural light. The brightest areas of the floor then, will offer individual seats and seating clusters. The renovation also will include the addition of a reading room and a graduate student enclave. These unique spaces will allow for focused, individual study but also serve as meeting places where communities of scholars can engage in work together, surrounded by the materials with which they do much of their scholarly research.

There’s a lot of change underway. Watch the 10th floor take shape through the web cam, at renovation.library.nd.edu/galleries.

Farewell, second level floor

April 27, 2015

It’s a good thing we said "farewell to the floor" last December, because it’s gone! As part of Phase 1-A, a large section of the 2nd floor in the library’s north end has been removed leaving nothing but open sight-lines to the first floor and daylight. The change is just one of the highlights of Phase 1-A renovation scheduled to wrap up in July of 2015.

Users can anticipate a dramatic change in the look and feel of the library’s main corridor. The opened overhead space will unify the library’s first and second floors, as will the addition of new stairwells, broad windows and skylight “lanterns” cut into the second level roof. The transformation will ease access to library services, while creating a comfortable and inviting atmosphere.

Changes are coming quickly. Keep an eye toward the transformation at renovation.library.nd.edu/galleries.

Windows and Webcams: Watch the Transformation Onsite and Online

March 20, 2015

Webcams and viewing windows have been installed in construction work zones on the first and second floors. Follow the library's transformation online at renovation.library.nd.edu/galleries. The progress of features such as the floor opening, north entrance, 2nd floor reading room and skylight are unfolding quickly now. You can view the progress frame by frame or watch the time lapse in its entirety.

If you'd like to see the work in person, take a peek through the viewing windows that have been installed on the south construction walls on the first and second floors. Note: The occasional red and blue coverings on the windows are used to shield viewers eyes from welding activity.

Phase 1-A Construction Begins

February 28, 2015

At long last, active construction for Phase 1-A of Hesburgh Library Renovation began on February 23. With that, expect some type of disruptive demolition and construction noise (often intermittent) such as hammer drilling, sawing, and pounding for the duration of Phase 1-A. 


For the next several weeks, demolition activity and construction preparation will take place both the first and second floors as well as the lower level. Subscribe to Ren-Alerts at renovation.nd.edu to stay learn about significant increases in construction noise levels. 

Library Renovations Address Student Needs

January 30, 2015
Originally published by Stephanie Reuter for The Irish Rover

The 14-story Hesburgh Library, iconic for its Word of Life mural (better known as “Touchdown Jesus”), is slated to undergo full-scale interior renovations.

The Hesburgh Library marked its fiftieth anniversary on May 7, 2014, but as Jessica Kayongo, Anthropology and Interim Sociology Librarian, told the Rover, “[I]t has not had any major renovation, except in the Lower Level and the Penthouse, to any of its spaces in those fifty years.”

Read full article

Barrier Walls Erected for Phase 1-A

January 2, 2015

Happy New Year! 2015 kicks off with new renovation activity in the Hesburgh Library. Phase 1-A officially began just after finals on December 22, 2014.
During the holiday break, temporary white construction barrier walls were erected around the entire Phase 1-A perimeter to enclose all construction activity and diminish sounds and smells.

These walls will stay in place for the duration of Phase 1-A (to conclude in July of 2015), but soon, peek windows and webcams will let you watch the transformation on-site and online. Site logistics and construction maps are also available online to indicate which areas of the library are accessible during the course of the renovation.

Out of the office: Library renovation

December 11, 2014
Originally published by Tara Hunt for Notre Dame Magazine

I may have procrastinated the last paper of my college career. It may have been 2 a.m. and I may have been sitting at a large table across from an equally cranky classmate on the second floor of the library cursing the loud, giggly sophomores two tables down, loathing our friends who sent a string of text messages urging us to abandon the assignment and meet them at the bar with our sacks full of turn-of-the-century fiction in tow, and, most intensely, resenting ourselves for pushing this off until the very last night of our academic careers.

Read full article

"Farewell to the Floor" Open House launches renovation

December 10, 2014
Posted by Hesburgh Libraries


Photo Gallery

Thanks to everyone who attended the Hesburgh Library’s “Farewell to the Floor” event on December 10 from 4pm to 6pm. The open house event officially launched Hesburgh Library Renovation: Restoring an Icon Phase One. Visitors were invited to enjoy holiday sweets and then grab a Sharpie and scrawl their moniker or a favorite memory on a soon-to-be-removed section of the Library’s second floor.

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Library begins interior renovations

December 10, 2014
Originally published by Carolyn Hutyra for The Observer

With the conclusion of the 50th anniversary celebration of the Hesburgh Library in May, the building will begin a multi-phase interior renovation project Dec. 22.

University librarian Diane Walker said the research and scholarship needs of students have changed dramatically in the last 50 years.

Read the full article

Notre Dame to renovate Hesburgh Library

December 2, 2014
Originally published by Tara O'Leary for news.nd.edu

In the wake of the 50th anniversary of the University of Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Library, the University will begin an interior renovation of the iconic building later this month.

Named in honor of President Emeritus Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., the Hesburgh Library is the flagship for Notre Dame’s library system, collectively called the Hesburgh Libraries. Grand in both vision and scale, the building is more than 440,000 square feet, stands 14 stories tall and is believed to have been the largest collegiate library of its day.

Read full release.

NDWorks publishes Hesburgh Library Special Edition

December 2, 2014
Originally published by Tara O’Leary & Jessica Trombaugh Temple, for NDWORKS
Press Release

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