A Library for the 21st century - that’s how Malaspina University-College President Rich Johnston describes the impressive $14.1-million glass and concrete structure now dominating Malaspina’s hillside campus in Nanaimo.
Speaking at a dedication ceremony for the new building on Friday (April 15), Johnston thanked key players who helped make the new Library a reality.
"This Library was funded by a unique combination of entrepreneurial activity, community fundraising and government support," Johnston said. "Our provincial and federal governments, community fundraising volunteers, Malaspina faculty, staff and student volunteers, architects, contractors, designers, and especially community donors, all stepped forward to make this happen. It gives me great pride to see how all of these very hard working and dedicated people worked together to create this amazingly beautiful and functional, state-of-the-art facility."
Advanced Education Minister Ida Chong, who attended Friday’s dedication ceremony, said, "One of our government’s goals for the golden decade ahead includes making British Columbia the best-educated and most literate place in North America.
"Malaspina’s new library will play an integral role, not only in the life of this institution, but in the educational, cultural and economic life of the communities it serves."
The new Library doubles the space for books, special collections, and student study areas, and more than triples the availability of high-tech computer services. Now considered one of the most technologically advanced libraries in the country, the facility includes multiple computer stations, scanners, CD burners, video and sound editing stations, advanced software and a wireless environment.
"The expansion allows Malaspina to meet the needs of a diverse and growing student body of more than14,000 students," said Library Director Bob Foley. The Library is now a relaxing and enjoyable place to work, study and socialize. Our students are just amazed with the changes. Library use has doubled since we opened the new section in January."
Architect Shiv Garyali of Garyali Architect Inc. said the goal was to "create a new heart for the campus.
"The biggest design challenge was renovating Malaspina’s existing three-storey Library (over 47,000 square feet) and joining it seamlessly to a new five-storey addition (over 56,000 square feet)," he said.
Meanwhile, the Library fundraising campaign by the Malaspina Foundation has now reached $1.7-million. Volunteers are concentrating on finalizing several campaign pledges.
The Library is expected to be fully operational by September 2005. A feature wall listing all the Library donors will be unveiled by the Malaspina Foundation on September 23, and there will be an Open House to showcase the new Library to the public on Saturday, September 24.