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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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Events
Feb. 5, 6:15 p.m.

First Friday Stargazing

The UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy's Curtis Vaughan Observatory will offer free stargazing for the public beginning on top of the 4th floor of the Flawn Science Building. Experienced astronomers will be on hand to show a variety of astronomical objects and answer any questions. This event is free and open to the public, so feel free to invite friends and family.
Curtis Vaughan Observatory

Feb. 6, All Day

10th annual San Antonio Writing Project Teachers' Conference

This year's keynote speaker is Donalyn Miller, author of The Book Whisper. The event will feature breakout sessions and a presentation by the Creative Writers from North East School of the Arts. The event is free and open to all teachers from Pre-K through university level. Attendees can earn a certificate for 3 hours of Professional Development Credit.
Riklin Auditorium (FS1.406), Downtown Campus

Feb. 9, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. & 6 - 9 p.m.

Rowdy Gras 2016

The UTSA community is invited to attend the 3rd annual Rowdy Gras celebration! This year Rowdy Gras includes a daytime event from 11 a.m. -1 p.m. with a free food tasting and music on the UC Paseo. The main event takes place from 6 - 9 p.m. in the UC Lawn. The event includes free food, live jazz music, activities and giveaways.
University Center Paseo & Lawn, UTSA Main Campus

Feb. 10, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning 2015-16 Speaker Series

The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning’s 2015-16 Speaker Series continues with Dana Cuff, Ph.D., a professor of architecture and urbanism at the University of California, Los Angeles. In her talk, Cuff will discuss new forms of “studio” and new types of practices. Free and open to the public.
Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BV 1.328), UTSA Downtown Campus

Feb. 13, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

29th annual Asian Festival - Year of the Monkey

The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures invites Texas and Texans to the Asian Festival. What began as a traditional family reunion for the Chinese New Year has expanded to include other Asian communities and participants, showcasing their unique culture and traditions.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures

Feb. 13, 1 p.m.

2016 Interdisciplinary Studies Colloquium

Join the UTSA Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching in celebrating interdisciplinary inquiry at the 2016  Interdisciplinary Studies Colloquium.  The colloquium will include a panel of faculty and recent doctoral graduate and a showcase of the best IDS undergraduate inquiry projects of the year 2015. The event is free and open to the public.
Business Building (BB 2.06.04), UTSA Main Campus

Feb. 23, 5:30 p.m.

African-American Social Welfare Pioneers Responding to Community Needs

The UTSA College of Public Policy presents the Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series featuring Dr. Iris Carlton-LaNey, Professor of the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Dr. Iris Carlton LaNey will speak to the UTSA community about the role and impact of African-Americans in the social work profession.
Buena Vista Theater (BV 1.326), Downtown Campus

Feb. 23, 7 p.m.

Presentation and Book Signing with Luis Carlos Montalvan

Please join us for a presentation and book signing by Luis Carlos Montalván (Fmr. Capt., USA), author of the New York Times Bestseller Until Tuesday and the international award-winning childrens book Tuesday Tucks Me In. His books will be available for purchase at the UTSA Bookstore. This event is free and open to the public.
Southwest Room (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus

Feb. 25, 6 p.m.

12th Annual Black Heritage Gala

The 12th Annual Black Heritage Gala is a formal event which includes a student performance, keynote remarks by Michael Brown, an award presentation, dinner and dancing. Tickets are $10 for UTSA students and $15 for all other guests. Tickets are on sale now at Roadrunner Express. Contact (210) 458-4770 for more information.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom, Main Campus

Feb. 27, 9 a.m.

Cultural Contrasts in Latin America

The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures will host a free workshop focusing on teaching Latin American culture and geography for students seeking their teacher certification. The workshop includes free resources for teaching Latin American subject matter as well as presentations on language, identity, music, geography, and political and developmental history, and a special educators’ tour of the museum’s Los Tejanos exhibit. Free with registration.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC 3.01.02)


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