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Planning for the Construction of the Jerry Falwell Library (2010-2012)

Leading up to 2010, the sustained growth of Liberty University’s residential student population led to the conclusion that existing library facilities needed to be replaced with a freestanding library building. The administration identified the proposed new library as the first major project in a major redesign of campus facilities, and thus an important and time-sensitive project was born. Along with a handful of other colleagues, I was tapped to serve on the Library Building Planning Committee. In time it was revealed the library would bear the name of the institution’s founder, Jerry Falwell.

The planning process required the consideration of many perspectives, and as the steward of the library’s performance assessment data, much of that load fell to me. I was involved in a number of data collection and analysis efforts, including the following:
  • Compiling benchmarking data from other library construction projects
  • Reviewing historical trends in the use of the current library
  • Assessing the need for additional computer workstations
  • Assessing the quality of service provided in the current library
  • Inquiring into the transition from print to screen-based reading
  • Analyzing patterns of library materials circulation
  • Identifying user priorities for the new building
  • Determining specifications for an automated storage and retrieval system to house approximately 80% of the main library collection
  • Determining the best way to arrange the browsable collection in the new building
The image below shows the cover of one of the reports that I compiled, based on a flipchart survey of library users.

Cover - Priorities for a New Library Facility