The following is the formal announcement of the decision to make permanent the relocation of the Music and Dance Library to the Science and Engineering Library.

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After thoughtful review, Executive Vice President and Provost Joseph A. Alutto has approved the recommendation by the College of Arts & Sciences, Arts & Humanities, the College of Engineering and University Libraries to make this summer’s move of the Music & Dance (M & D) Library’s collection and personnel into the Science & Engineering Library (SEL) a permanent one.

The M & D Library was scheduled to be temporarily moved from its present location in Sullivant Hall due to the upcoming renovation of the Sullivant building.  The recommendation follows careful consideration of input received from written communications by faculty and students, feedback from an open forum held last year and the review of key themes identified in the university’s Framework Plan.

“There are many positive outcomes for the stakeholders of SEL, the School of Music and the Dance Department that will come from this decision,” said Director of University Libraries Diedrichs.  “When we evaluated the advantages of the music and dance resources remaining in SEL, it became clear that was the best option.”

Diedrichs said changes at SEL to provide for the M & D Library integration will benefit all the building’s users, with an increase in the number of study seats and the addition of collaborative study rooms and seminar spaces both at SEL and at other nearby campus buildings.

Although there will be a reduction in the size of both the Music & Dance and Science & Engineering collections, Diedrichs said the reductions would be considerably less than originally anticipated.

“By moving seldom–used books to our depository, replacing some print volumes with electronic versions, and installing compact shelving which significantly increases our storage capacity—customers will still find most of the SEL and M & D Library collections easily accessible here on central campus,”  Diedrichs said.

The move of the M & D Library into SEL is in keeping with the university’s “Framework Plan,” which creates several distinct districts across campus, including athletics and recreation, residence life, the arts, the medical district and transportation.  SEL is at the intersection of the Science and Arts districts. The plan also outlines “space principles” that call for using facilities as they were originally designed.  SEL was designed and constructed to be a library, and expanding its use in that role allows the university to reinvest in its academic programs.

“This permanent relocation allows us to stretch our limited renovation dollars and provides a new and specifically designed home for the valuable music and dance collections,” said Vice Provost for the Arts and Sciences and Executive Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Joseph Steinmetz.  “The move also provides additional collaborative space in Sullivant as an anchor for the framework designated arts district.”

The revised design achieves multiple goals and supports several key themes identified in the Framework Plan:

  • Creates an improved space in SEL in a more ADA-compliant environment.
    • Music and Dance’s collections and services will largely be housed on the 2nd floor of the building
  • Increases accessibility to Music/Dance staff and collections with expanded hours.
    • SEL’s 24/7 schedule enhances access to the resources in the building, which will include many of the music and dance materials
  • Allows needed collaborative spaces to be retained.
    • No reduction in seating in the revised plan
    • Additional collaborative spaces to be created in the academic core.
  • Results in only a modest reduction in the collections.
    • The vast majority of the collection can be housed on site
    • Addition of compact shelving and acquisition of key digital journal backfiles also supports collection retention in these subjects.
  • Supports framework principles.
    • No Net New Academic Space — Consolidating the M & D Library into SEL meets the criteria
    • Matching building use to building typology
    • Accessibility — the M & D Library is currently located in Sullivant Hall in an area that is not compliant with ADA standards; minimal investment scheduled for the space during the Sullivant Hall Renovation
    • Move of the M & D Library to a building typology that was made for library collections and research aligns with the Framework Plan Space Principles.
    • Looking at the Sullivant Hall building typology — With wide spans and open spaces it is well-suited for performing arts, exhibition spaces and functions requiring column-free spaces.  The Music and Dance Library function does not require these attributes from a building.

The Libraries will now convene a small working group of student and faculty representatives of the various stakeholders to provide input into the planning of the relocation of the M & D collection, staff and services and the renovation of the SEL building.

When the Sullivant renovation is completed, the refurbished Hall will house Dance, Art Education, the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum, and future arts and sciences initiatives.  The space currently occupied by the Music & Dance Library was not included in the renovation plans, as funds for the renovation of that space were not available.

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Next Steps

Now that the official decision has been rendered, the planning that is underway to incorporate Music and Dance into SEL can accelerate.  We are still working with a firm deadline of summer 2011 for Music and Dance to be fully incorporated in SEL so that the renovation of Sullivant Hall can proceed on schedule.  An initial plan for re-envisioning the entire building has been created and is being refined.  Our current working group includes individuals from our Administration and Planning Division as well as our Research and Education Division.   Our fundamental goal is to make SEL an improved environment for all residents and users.

Working with the Interim Dean of Humanities, we will be forming a small working group of faculty and student representatives to provide advice and input into final decisions about the plans for the new spaces.

And yes, the name of the Science and Engineering Library will need to be reconsidered with this change.