Hesburgh Library Renovation

Master Building Plan

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Executive Summary

“The mission of the library is, and always has been, to connect people to knowledge across time and space. It is the library’s job to acquire, preserve, organize and steward this knowledge in a way that makes it accessible for study by all scholars throughout time.”

Diane Parr Walker,
Edward H. Arnold University Librarian

Space strategies that will serve the library’s mission to connect people to knowledge are at the core of the Hesburgh Library master plan. Undertaken by the University of Notre Dame in the Spring of 2013, the purpose of the plan is to identify:

  • Long term space use strategies that reflect the changing landscape of the 21st century academic research library and the mission of the University.
  • Comprehensive programming and planning for phased renovations of Hesburgh over time as funding is available.
  • Identification of priority projects within the overall Master Plan.

In the Spring of 2013, the University engaged the architecture firm of Shepley Bulfinch to assist with development of these recommendations. The focus has been on the transformation of Hesburgh Library to create connections among scholars, services and resources, and to inspire research and learning. Program criteria include strategic shifts in accommodation of print collections and creation of more extensive and more varied study and research environments.

To adequately transform Hesburgh Library in response to the program and current space deficiencies, improvements beyond simple upgrades to interior finishes and furniture are recommended. While these improvements are necessary, bolder initiatives are also proposed to create neighborhoods of library resources and services connected by open stairways and enhanced with new “lanterns” (floor openings) that bring daylight to the interior of the building.

Recommended Projects:

Out of these recommendations for a holistic transformation of Hesburgh Library, the following projects have emerged: New Entrance Gallery, Center for Digital Scholarship, Teaching Research & Collaboration Hub, Concourse Transformation & Staff Space, New Grand Reading Room, Special Collections Research Center, Tower Enclaves/Floors

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Press Release

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