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Linderman Library to reopen on March 19

Linderman Library will reopen on March 19.

The reopening of Linderman Library, the 127-year-old intellectual heart of Lehigh, will take place at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, March 19, one week later than originally anticipated.

“The extra week gives the LTS staff more time to assure that the books and journals are in place, the technology is up and running and the security system functions properly before we open to the entire community,” says Bruce Taggart, vice provost for library and technology services (LTS).

Lehigh president Alice P. Gast will participate in the opening ceremony, greeting students and other visitors on March 19. Tours of the newly refurbished Linderman Library, free coffee and handouts of the new building’s layout will be available to everyone attending the reopening.

“The entire campus is excited to finally get back into Linderman, after it has been closed for almost two years,” Taggart says. “I think that everyone will appreciate what we’ve been able to accomplish in terms of keeping the elegance and grandeur of this 19th century building, while providing it with all of the 21st century amenities.”

Those familiar with Linderman will immediately notice several significant changes made during the library’s just-completed architectural transformation, an effort that was led by Tony Corallo, Associate Vice President of Facilities and Campus Planning, and MGA Architects of Philadelphia.

“Visitors will be able to navigate much easier through Linderman, even folks with physical challenges,” Taggart says. “You’ll be able to walk north, south, east and west on each and every floor of Linderman for the first time in its history.”

Additional upgrades include new classroom and seminar rooms, a café commons, new computer technology, wired and wireless networking spaces, and climate control systems.

“We’re hoping that the café will be a special interaction spot for the entire campus, a place where faculty members and students will serendipitously bump into one another before and after class and start discussing everything from classroom topics to international politics,” Taggart says.

One of the many other notable enhancements to Linderman is a significant increase in the number of collaborative study spaces.

“There are now dozens of study spaces where three, five or seven students can scatter their books and papers and work on their wireless laptops,” Taggart says. “Linderman will have the latest in wireless capabilities from its lower stacks to the spires.

“We have also opened up the majestic Bayer Galleria on the second floor of Linderman as a quiet reading room and study area, to address something that student focus groups were very vocal about. They wanted and needed quiet study spaces.

“So, while the architectural and environmental changes to Linderman are beautiful, they have also allowed us to transform and enhance our library services to students and faculty tremendously.”

The formal rededication of Linderman Library will take place on May 17 to coincide with the board of trustees meeting and the start of the Alumni Reunion Weekend.

Linderman Library is, of course, one of Lehigh’s iconic structures. It was donated by Lehigh founder Asa Packer and named for his daughter Lucy. Addison Hutton of Philadelphia, also the architect for Packer Memorial Church, designed the original building, which opened its doors to the Lehigh University community on April 29, 1878. A large addition, which includes the Reading Room, was built in 1929.

--Bill Doherty

Posted on Monday, March 12, 2007

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