The design of the James C. Kirkpatrick Library was a collaboration among several groups: the architectural firm Hastings and Chivetta, the design firm Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson, and Abbot, Library Services faculty and staff, the Dean of Library Services, and university administration. The goal was to build a modern facility that would serve the diverse information needs of the university community and embrace the university's technology mission.
Library employees brought a number of ideas to the building design meetings. The present library's electrical wiring, for instance, was never intended to support the hundreds of computers located throughout the building.
Since the last building expansion, the library collections and campus population have grown to such an extent that the amount of shelving and seating in the present library is inadequate. National standards of the Association of College and Research Libraries recommend over four times as much seating as the present library offers. Some areas of the library, such as classrooms and computing facilities, occasionally need to be accessible off-hours when the rest of the library is closed. Another concern was for more group study rooms. Most of all, the new building demanded a flexible design in order to accommodate the needs of the future.
The library building project was projected to cost $30,000,000, with funding acquired from a combination of sources. The State of Missouri issued a bond and made a capital appropriation to provide 23.5 million dollars. The university's job is to generate the remaining amount, which it is engaged in raising from private donations.
The main entrance to the new library faces Missouri Avenue on the building's west side. A prominent feature is a circular rotunda that extends through all three floors of the building. It contains the main staircases and elevators. Convenient to the entrance will be an information desk staffed to provide directional assistance and to maintain a calendar of building activities.
The first floor entrance area is an open space that will have upholstered furniture in casual arrangements. Here library users can read, relax, and browse through the nearby New Books/Best Sellers collection. To the left (north) will be the much expanded Computer Commons, containing not only a large computer lab, but also nine hands-on computer classrooms. Central to the first floor will be the circulation desk for checking out materials, the reserved materials desk, the videotape collection, media viewing rooms, and interlibrary loan. On the right (south) side will be the University Archives and Museum and two distance learning classrooms. Also on the first floor are Instructional Design and Development and Instructional Television.
The second floor will house a combination of reference services, government documents, and periodicals. The area around the rotunda will be the research room with a reference desk staffed to provide research assistance. The entire periodicals collection will be located only steps away from the reference area for improved convenience. Both the older periodicals and the government documents collections will be stored in electronic compact shelving units. These units save space but are easy to access and operate. The second floor will also contain Technical Services, the relocated James C. Kirkpatrick room, and the various special collections such as the Missouri Collection and the Historical Children's Collection.
The third floor will contain the entire circulating collection, 14 group study rooms, faculty study offices, and a large reading room featuring a vaulted ceiling.
Throughout the entire building users will find power and data outlets in the study carrels to accommodate laptop computers.
Returning to Library Services will be the sizeable map collection, which for several years was housed in the Geography department in the Wood building. The collection mainly contains maps of the United States at various scales. The collection is expected to fill 240 drawers in 16 large map cabinets. They will be located in the reference area.
After an absence of several years, Central Missouri's Archives and Museum will again be housed inside the library. The Archives and Museum will enjoy more floor and display space than they currently have in the University Union. The mission of this organization is to collect and preserve information pertaining to the history of the institution.
The Don Essig Collection of Musical Instruments, previously housed in the Music Department, will be new to the library. It contains over 300 rare and valuable instruments from around the world dating from the 16th century. Specially designed display space in the first floor rotunda area will show off much of the collection to a wider audience than was before possible.
The New Building Transition Team, in cooperation with Dean Rao and university administration has been planning the move to the new building since fall 1997. The library collection, computers, microform readers, and mountains of supplies must somehow find their way to their new home. The largest task of all will be moving the library collection, consisting of 484,000 volumes, 1,420,000 microforms (which are quite heavy in large quantities), 667,000 government documents, and 15,000 media items.
A move of such size must be planned very carefully. In July 1998 the university invited several moving companies to bid on the job. A firm will be selected in early August, pending the Board of Governors' approval. Over the next few months the library collection will be carefully measured. The location for each shelf of materials will be plotted on building floor plans. The empty shelves in the new building will be marked, allowing extra space for growth. Collections will be taken down, transported, and re-shelved according to these plans. The most delicate job will be moving the over 200 computers and the hundreds of pieces of media equipment. Employees will move their personal belongings.
The move is tentatively planned to take place during the December 1998 semester break. Contingency plans are also in place should the situation change. Watch for updated information in the Fall issue of Info One.