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Facility Improvements, 2002-: Facility Improvements, 2002-

Improvements to the Library's Design and Infrastructure

How We Did It

Perhaps the most startling changes at the Library since 2002 have been the improvements in the physical environment.

Our overall goal was to transform the Library from an outdated 1950s facility to a student-centered, service-rich environment. The Library needs to support teaching, learning, scholarship, and research, and better meet the needs of the entire University community. The facilities changes developed through the years, and with the support of the administration and the wonderful Library staff, we continue the modernization.

My deepest thanks go to everyone who has helped make the Library a better place for the SXU community.

Mark A. Vargas, Library Director (2013)

Our physical facilities continue to adapt to new tools and techniques, and other related campus requirements. We continually review and revise our physical and virtual services. As we expand from a physical service to a suite of information discovery and handling services, the majority of our more recent innovative changes are now found as online options through our web site. 

The Annual Upgrades


  • Haddad Conference  Room furniture upgrade


  • added new book scanning units with upgraded software capacity.
  • reupholstered the reading room booth seating areas.


  • released downstairs Technical Services Office space.
  • converted Express Workstation to standard workstation.
  • added air purifiers to the Group Study Rooms.


  • Modified facilities to address COVID requirements:
    • added temporary barriers between workstations.
    • reduced the number of workstations and seats.
    • closed the group study areas.
    • designated the BQR the Zoom area.
  • Upgraded the Haddad Room laptop.


  • Upgraded public workstations; created laptop area.
  • Updated the in-library circulating laptops.
  • Updated downstairs ADA wall unit.
  • Updated staff workstations.
  • More frequent book displays and exhibit case updates.
  • Reduce Sunday hours (open at 4pm rather than noon).


  • Create thesis collection in Storage room and digitization process.
  • Complete envelope-level inventory of Archives boxes.
  • Finished weeding and relocating OSS material (50,000 items).
  • Replaced public printers.
  • Added a mini-Mac to the Haddad Room.
  • Created the Math Curriculum collection.
  • Released the L127 library classroom for general use.


  • Opened downstairs small study room for general use and Assessment Kits.
  • Moved Scanning facility in order to create the Juvenile Collection room.
  • Weeded the stacks, and continued weeding and relocating OSS material.
  • Weeded the Course Books and DVD/VHS tape sections.
  • Created SXU Authors book collection.
  • Created New Books display area.
  • Create the BQR Student Provocative Art Gallery.


  • Main Reading Room becomes Quiet Space.
  • BQR becomes group study space.
  • Begin relocation and weeding of OSS materials.
  • Implement Institutional Repository.
  • Create Manga collection in the reading room.
  • Scanned SXU History book into ContentDM.
  • Place Sister's artworks in the library.


  • Repurpose 30 classroom laptops for general use.
  • Return librarians to the Reference Desk.
  • Utilize BQR for Student Debates.
  • Reintroduced virtual library spaces (Facebook and Twitter).


  • Display monitors added to all study rooms and the Haddad Room.
  • Large TVs added to the Bishop Quarter Room.
  • Additional iMacs, Macbook Pros, and scanners added due to high demand.
  • First phase of digital scanning completed, with yearbooks, catalogs, Opus, and campus magazines available online.


  • Phase 2 of renovation completed with a completely new reading room and lobby.
  • Teaching lab completed for bibliographic instruction.
  • Additional lower-level study space opened.
  • 43 iMacs, four scanners, and four printers added.
  • To expand seating in the reading room, all juvenile books and videos were merged into the main stacks.
  • Digital-scanning project began.


  • Planning for Phase 2 of the Library's renovation began.
  • 3,000 books sent to off-site storage to make room for Phase 2.
  • Cataloging of the rare book collection completed.


The Annual Upgrades


  • Phase 1 completed: Eight new study rooms added in the mezzanine, and compact shelves placed in the lower level.
  • 25,000 books brought back from temporary storage.
  • Total of 75,000 books moved to new locations.
  • 5,000 books sent to off-site storage.


  • Phase 1 of the Library’s renovation began. 2M stacks and lower-level stacks removed.
  • 25,000 books sent to temporary storage at Hallett Movers.
  • Conversion to the Library of Congress classification system completed. Almost 80,000 books converted on time, on budget, and without any additional help -- while the Library engaged in its normal activities. 
  • Cataloging of the rare book collection began.


  • Conversion to the Library of Congress classification system began. Complete reorganization of the stacks needed to make the switch from Dewey Decimal to LC. This project was the most complex ever taken in the Library's history.
  • Installed new lights in the stacks.
  • 10,000 books sent to off-site storage.


  • The Library reorganized the book stacks, with books in the Dewey Decimal call number range 000–279 moved from the main to the lower level. Shelved books in the range 280-619 on the main level, and those in the range 620–999 on the upper level. Moved art books from the upper level stacks to the old nursing stacks in the reading room. 
  • The Library extended its services hours and was now open Sunday through Thursday, until midnight. 
  • The Library received a $100,000 gift to fund twenty-eight new study carrels on level 2 & 2M in the stack areas. All carrels had task lightening and electrical access.
  • Library increases number of desktop computers to forty, becoming the largest lab on campus.
  • 10,000 books sent to off-site storage.


  • The Library recataloged its juvenile collection and moved it to the reading room.
  • Transferred the audio-visual collection in Media Services to the Library.
  • The Library installed four group-study rooms, all of which had viewing stations.
  • The Library increased the number of laptops to thirty-seven, including two Macs. In addition, the Library added new printers, a scanner, and five Xpress stations.
  • 20,000 books sent to off-site storage


  • Library cleaned and rearranged the Stacks Lower Level. 
  • Moved all journals from the Current Periodicals Room to the Stacks Lower Level.
  • Converted the Current Periodicals Room to office space.
  • One copier and the microform cabinets and readers moved to the old glass office. Moved another copier to Stacks Lower Level.
  • The loaner laptop program began with fourteen computers.
  • Off-site storage program began operating with 9,900 volumes of journals and 20,000 books sent to storage.


  • The Library acquired a new circulation desk and security gate system. Eliminating an existing iron railing and handicap gate permitted better access for patrons in wheelchairs or crutches, and improved the protection of the Library’s collection through better security. The new circulation desk improved the efficiency of the circulation staff through better a workspace configuration.
  • The Library installed the Haddad Conference Room.
  • To make space for the Haddad Room, 7,000 reference books moved. 
  • New reference shelves installed.
  • The Library replaced thousands of unattractive, broken, smelly cardboard journal containers with plastic journal storage containers. 


  • Converted a storage room into a location for dense-pack book storage. Older reference sets and indexes moved to the dense storage, greatly relieving the overcrowding in the Reference Collection.
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