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VCU’s new library on the Monroe Park Campus will serve more students each day than any library in the commonwealth. I cannot imagine a building anywhere in Virginia that will be more visible to students, faculty and visitors, will affect more students or will have a greater impact on student success.”

— University Librarian John E. Ulmschneider

22 VCU’S VCU’SNEW NEWLIBRARY LIBRARY Investment InvestmentOpportunity Opportunities

Investment OpportunityVCU’S VCU’SNEW NEWLIBRARY LIBRARY 33 Investment Opportunities

Moving Forward

Step into James Branch Cabell Library and feel what it means to be VCU. Feel the diversity, drive, dedication and focus that fills the building. Thousands bustle through the doors every day. Our building is full at all hours and all days of the week. Our library brims with those engaged in academic work. Our librarians teach, guide and consult across the VCU community and around the world online, and students can seek research help from our expert staff 24 hours a day. Powerful online information systems streamline access to robust collections in the sciences and the humanities as befits a top-tier public university with $248 million in sponsored research. Our cultural events and programs engage the hearts and minds of thousands of students, faculty, staff and Central Virginia residents each year. VCU Libraries was among the first universities in the nation to migrate electronic search tools to the cloud in 2012, and we continue to accelerate our use of technology. We’re developing new approaches to digitizing library materials, creating online guides and instruction tools, and initiating new programs in scholarly communications, digital publishing, research data management, special collections, innovative media, university archives and more. Financial resources are vital for us to 4 VCU’S NEW LIBRARY Investment Opportunities

achieve these goals and to write the next chapters in our story. Be a part of the momentum that’s evident every day in our building and throughout our community, and support the creation of a 21st-century research-library system at VCU.

Our Mission and Vision

VCU Libraries promotes the academic success of our students, invigorates research and scholarship and advances the health care and outreach missions of the University with exemplary collections, services, spaces and staff.

The Challenge

James Branch Cabell Library is one of the busiest academic libraries in the commonwealth with more than 2 million visitors each year. The building, constructed in the 1970s, offers students less space per person than any other university library in Virginia. People fill our space at all hours. It defies logic but is certainly true: The more research materials that are available online, the more people use our library building. They come not only to access library expertise, materials and equipment but also to collaborate and exchange ideas with fellow students and professors. VCU outgrew its current library building years ago. Now is the moment for change and expansion.

Campaign priorities

Virginia Commonwealth University needs a world-class, 21st-century teaching, learning and research center that will serve students today and tomorrow. Please help us build it. • New Building Fund The new library will support the needs of researchers and innovation in scholarship while also providing new space for study and collaboration. • Library of the Future Fund Most 1975 furniture in James Branch Cabell Library was still in use 35 years later. Students in 2050 won’t have that experience. The Library of the Future Fund anticipates future physical and technology needs. • Special Collection and Archives Fund This funding stream will support the preservation, digitization and purchase of exemplary comic arts, book arts, manuscripts and other rare materials for VCU’s outstanding Special Collections and Archives.

Why give?

The new library — at The Compass on Shafer Court, at the geographic center and symbolic heart of the Monroe Park Campus­— offers a once-in-a generation opportunity for donors. Your investment will touch every single student on our campus by providing for a state-of-the art, technologyenhanced, student-centered library. With more than 2 million annual visitors, VCU Libraries supports the success of every student at VCU.


$10 million • $8 million = New Building Fund • $1 million = Library of the Future Fund • $1 million = Special Collections and Archives Fund

Investment Opportunities VCU’S NEW LIBRARY 5

Our campus grew up around our library VCU literally grew up around the library that sits in the center of Monroe Park Campus. When VCU formed in 1968, leaders knew the new university needed a library. One of the first new buildings for the emerging educational powerhouse, James Branch Cabell Library opened in 1970, serving 13,000 students. All around the big box at 901 Park Ave., VCU has grown up. Today, Cabell Library serves 32,000 students. After some 45 years of physical and intellectual expansion in our vibrant learning community, now’s the time for the library to grow.


2013 Learning Commons

Pollak Building

1972 Harris Hall

1976 1979 Oliver Hall

Gladding Residence

A university is just a group of buildings

6 VCU’S NEW LIBRARY Investment Opportunities




Shafer Dining Center

Siegel Center School of the Arts


School of Engineering

2015 1970

1988 1984

Temple Building

1982 Student Commons

Singleton Center

gathered around a library.” — Opportunities Historian Shelby Foote Investment VCU’S NEW LIBRARY 7

The need is great Learning is a social act in today’s academic libraries. We see it every day. It defies logic but is certainly true: The more research materials go online, the more people flood our buildings. Why is that? We house expertise, materials and equipment in one convenient place — along with coffee. Moreover, the act of learning is a social act, a collaborative exchange of ideas and information. Today’s academic work often brings people together to solve problems, study or share. Students fill the space at all hours. Clustered around whiteboards, hunched over laptops or crammed around group-study tables, finishing the others’ sentences, they work together. Or, they come in to seek advice from expert librarians. For so very many reasons, the library is a key component in the busy triad of student life — classroom, home, library.

A Typical Week at Cabell

63,580 visitors through the doors




logins to public computers from 2,739 users

in the building midnight to 7 a.m.

laptops checked out



2,718 HOURS STUDY ROOMS IN USE 8 VCU’S NEW LIBRARY Investment Opportunities

million visitors {2013}

1 million {2003}

Investment InvestmentOpportunities Opportunity VCU’S NEW LIBRARY 9

A new academic hub will transform the Monroe Park Campus center Reflective of how students use libraries today, the new building will be light-filled and innovative mediarich. It will be designed for change, to adapt as technology and student needs shift in the future. Furnishings will be flexible. Most important, 90 percent of the new space will be for student use, not for storing books or materials. Vast displays of artwork and an abundance of natural lighting and views of campus will engage imaginations and will inspire conversation and reflection. From the moment this building comes into view, you’ll feel the vitality of the community it represents. With dramatic openings and expansive glass, inside and outside will speak to each other. Passers-by will see the activity inside. A Vitrine Display Wall facing Shafer Court will serve as a rally point and community beacon. Envision watching basketball, films, kinetic art, It is really important that recorded concerts on The Compass. Imagine a transthe library is at the center of formed campus center.

campus. It sends a message that we take our studies seriously. Other schools may have a football field or a gym at the center of campus. We have our library.” — Luis Martinez, senior

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Investment Opportunities VCU’S NEW LIBRARY 11

NAMING OPPORTUNITIES Giving priorities for every financial level

Entering the new building from The Compass, visitors will come through revolving doors into a light-filled, airy, inviting, open space. With artistic and video displays, touchscreen kiosks for way finding and an efficient, single-service desk, the Grand Entrance will orient visitors quickly to essential services and amenities — public workspaces and computers, an expanded Starbucks café, librarian experts and upper-floor study spaces. A new, dramatic double staircase will feature granite and stainless steel.


• 156,000-square-foot project • 93,000 square feet of new construction • 63,000 square feet of improvements to the existing building • Construction budget: $50,800,000 (state funds) • Additional funding needed: $10 million (private funds) • Architects: Boston’s Shepley Bulfinch and Virginia-based Moseley

These marquee spaces and features are built for … Art and Effect

The talk of campus will be the glass-fronted, towering Grand Entrance facing Shafer Court. A dramatic and unique feature will be a large-scale (19 feet by 23 feet) Vitrine Display Wall. VCU’s Vitrine is inspired by the common definition of the word: a glass display case or cabinet for works of art and curios. This public Vitrine will be seen clearly day or night from as far away as Broad Street and Monroe Park as people approach campus center via Shafer-Linden-Cathedral walkways. The Vitrine will showcase content — still or video images, kinetic or static art — both inside and outside the building. Overlooking the teeming center of pedestrian traffic at the heart of the Monroe Park Campus, the Vitrine will be seen by millions of eyes every year. Destined to become the university’s electronic hearth, the screen will have the capacity not only to display the artistic and academic work of our community but also to showcase scenes from university life, such as the president’s State of the University address, a musical performance, a commencement video or a Rams basketball game.

Naming opportunities include: • Vitrine Display Wall facing Shafer Court • Entrance from Shafer Court with dynamic art installation • Feature Walls in high-traffic areas • Art Walls and Gallery Spaces in prominent locations

The library sits at the heart of our campus. The academic library of the 21st century is a vibrant community of creative collaboration and quiet reflection. New spaces will echo that diverse culture. Giving opportunities are available at every financial level.” — John Jay Schwartz, alumnus


Convene and Collaborate

VCU Libraries is a leader both on campus and in the community in presenting free, public events. Our standing-room-only lectures, such as the annual Brown-Lyons Lectures and Black History Month programs, and provocative and creative programs richly contribute to the intellectual conversations of metro Richmond. The new library, at long last, will allow VCU Libraries to produce programs, host conferences and receptions and book signings in exciting new spaces.

Naming opportunities include: • 300-seat, media-rich auditorium to serve the about 5,000 Central Virginians who attend VCU Libraries events every year • Outdoor Terrace for study and events

• Reception Space and Conference Rooms for students and the VCU community to use • Three Seasons Room, a screened porch-style study space perched on the third floor above the university’s busiest pedestrian corridor

Study and Reflect

While many of today’s library users seek workspaces for collaboration, many others say they want a traditional reading room in a calm, quiet, scholarly setting. Research indicates that a major gap in VCU Libraries’ services is the lack of designated work areas for faculty and graduate students. New rooms will meet those needs. The new Graduate Student and Faculty Research Center will enjoy one of the most spectacular views on our urban and urbane campus. The wrap-around room will look out at The Compass campus center and the magnificent dome of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.

Naming opportunities include: • Revitalized and expanded Special Collections and Archives spaces, including a much larger Reading Room, designed specifically to enhance the use of invaluable rare materials • A massive Quiet Reading Room • Graduate Student and Faculty Research Center with seating for 100

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Create and Make

The new library will be a symbol of progress. It shows how strong VCU is and gives a sense of forward movement.” — Kendall Moore, junior

The new Innovative Media Studio will become the university’s center for the creative communication of ideas and experimentation in the digital environment. The studio will support media-enabled storytelling, scholarship, exploration and visualization of data and learning for all disciplines and at all levels across the VCU community. Created in the technology-rich lower level of the new library building, this welcoming space will offer exciting creation suites, expert instruction and services designed for making multimedia magic. Within those workspaces, the technical tools will be continually updated.

Naming opportunities include: • Makerspace for hands-on work with 3-D printers and scanners, laser cutter, wearable computing and other tools and craft supplies • Audio Recording Studio for recording, remixing and experimenting with music, speech and sound • Video Recording Studio with green and blue screens and high-end camera equipment for video production

• Planning, Viewing and Gaming Room equipped with current and vintage gaming systems, high-definition, 3-D screen, media distribution system and related technologies • A panoramic 22-foot-diameter Wrap-Around Immersion Theater with high-definition 2-D/3-D displays for immersive visualization

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 New Building Fund  Contributions to this fund will help

create the distinctive features and named spaces that will benefit every VCU student and faculty member. Of the 156,000 new or redesigned square feet, 90 percent will be dedicated to space for users. This significant increase will create exciting new spaces for collaborative and individual work in active and quiet settings, all made possible by private donors. Marquee features and named spaces include the Vitrine Display Wall, the Three Seasons Room, the Graduate and Faculty Research Center and the Auditorium. Among the new library’s many investment opportunities are spaces such as signature reading rooms, reconfigurable labs and group-work areas and presentation-practice rooms.

Every decision about the building plan puts students and faculty first. Instructional spaces, conference rooms and the new auditorium will be open to all users when not reserved for other library purposes. Decisions about seating and workspaces will be made with student input and crowdsourcing of all users.” — Associate University Librarian Jeanne M. Hammer

Investment opportunities to meet current and future needs

Throughout the library will be more tables and soft seating, carrels, booths, benches and collaboration pods for all sorts of scholarly endeavors for students to work solo or in pairs, triads or groups. This fund is the backbone of the building plan.

of the Future Fund 2 Library  

This new fund will ensure that the library workspaces of the future will keep pace with changes in education, research and student needs. No VCU student in 2050 should encounter the furniture installed in 2015. It also will anticipate and prepare for vast changes in technology that already are driving scholarship and inspiring innovation. More has changed in technology in the past 10 years than, arguably, in the previous 100. Tomorrow’s academic libraries will see even more radical change. We must be prepared.

Collections 3  Special  and Archives Fund

Open to all researchers, Special Collections and Archives provides access to rare and unique primary source material. The collections include materials documenting minority and activist communities in 20th and 21st century Virginia and the region; one of the nation’s most extraordinary collections of comic art and book art; and manuscript collections of distinguished Virginia authors. Space for storing, preserving and managing these materials will expand, public spaces will be reconfigured, and gallery spaces will be more prominent and engaging. Gifts to this fund will support strategic new acquisition of critical materials for the collections, enhanced spaces, and digitization and outreach efforts. Investment Opportunities VCU’S NEW LIBRARY 17

VCU Libraries currently has two main libraries, the James Branch Cabell Library on the Monroe Park Campus and Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences on the MCV Campus, as well as auxiliary libraries: the Learning Center at Hunton Hall; the VCUQatar Library on VCU’s Doha, Qatar, campus; and the Community Health Education Center, operated in partnership with the VCU Health System.

As Virginia Commonwealth University takes its place as the nation’s premier urban public research university, it needs a premier research library. The new library will advance Quest and its focus on research excellence and student success. Our many friends whose philanthropic support helps build the new library will contribute directly to the success of our university and its people. But more than that, they are really making an investment in VCU and in the future of the commonwealth through innovation and students who will be leaders in their fields and in their communities.”

— President Michael Rao, Ph.D.

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Help us move forward Kimberly Separ, (M.A. ’97/A) Director of Development and Community Relations (804) 827-1163

A VCU Libraries publication printed with privately raised funds

Moving Forward  
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