Thursday, November 26, 2015


UTSA John Peace Library five-year renovation project is completed

John Peace Library

The card catalog room of 1979 has transformed into today's Laptop Lounge in the UTSA John Peace Library. (Photos courtesy of UTSA Libraries Special Collections)
>> View a photo gallery of the UTSA John Peace Library: Then and Now

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(June 12, 2014) -- The library that represents the intellectual heart of the UTSA Main Campus has come to the end of an extensive renovation process that began in 2009. Built in 1975, the John Peace Library (JPL) has been updated to reflect learning in the digital age.

"A top-tier university requires a top-tier library," said Krisellen Maloney, dean of UTSA Libraries. "The renovations were planned from the start with students in mind -- to equip them with the right spaces and services to support their academic success."

As one of the original buildings on the UTSA campus, JPL first opened with 350,000 volumes on its shelves and space to accommodate approximately 1,300 students. As the university evolved and expanded over time, it became clear that JPL no longer served the technological and study space needs of the modern student.

Renovation discussions began in 2006, when an analysis done by UTSA Facilities noted JPL's inadequate lighting and a "dreary atmosphere," resulting in an unappealing study destination for students.

Fast-forward eight years, and JPL has been significantly transformed. Highlights of the five-year renovation project include:

  • Integration of the Writing Center and the tutoring and supplemental instruction units of the Tomás Rivera Center for Student Success, creating a focal point for student learning and engagement.
  • GroupSpot, a state-of-the-art digital classroom and study space that facilitates collaboration through small group tables with shared displays.
  • New information desk service points on JPL's 1st and 4th floors, with library services now available on all four floors of the building.
  • A central Information Commons for computing, collaboration and research. All told 347 computers have been added to JPL over the course of the last 5 years.
  • Quiet Study areas for students seeking a sanctuary where they can focus on writing or reading.
  • Relocation and expansion of Special Collections, including climate-controlled storage and a handsomely furnished reading room for researching rare materials.
  • The addition of 29 group study rooms, including some dedicated for graduate student use.
  • A 125 percent increase in the number of study seats throughout the library, for a grand total of 2,267.
  • A new Faculty Center, which includes a conference room, five breakout rooms, a digital studio and a casual seating area for informal collaborations.
  • The Assembly Room, a venue seating up to 120 people intended for major academic events drawing audiences from across the university and local community.

The renovations have significantly impacted student use of the library, with more than 50,000 students walking through its gates during the busiest weeks of the semester.

"The library has positively impacted my grades by allowing me to study more," said Jared Cruz-Aedo, a junior studying communications. "I can't study well in the dorms so I go to the library and study in the quiet zones -- where I'm able to get a lot done there because I can focus."

The UTSA Libraries include the John Peace Library on the Main Campus, the Downtown Campus Library, and the Applied Engineering and Technology Library – recognized by the New York Times and USA Today as the nation's first bookless library on a university campus. Reading rooms for the university's Special Collections are at the John Peace Library and the Institute of Texan Cultures on the HemisFair Park campus.


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Dec. 1, 9 a.m.

CITE Venture Competition & Exposition

The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus

Dec. 3, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert

This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus

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Did You Know?

UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

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UTSA's Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA's Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA's Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

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