New Fenwick Library Opens!

New Fenwick Library opens January 19, 20166.

New year, new Fenwick!

The new Fenwick Library opens January 19.

While students enjoyed a much-deserved break before the spring semester, Library faculty and staff were busy at work moving and unpacking one million books and bound journals, millions of microforms and maps, and hundreds of thousands of manuscripts and archives to ready the new Fenwick Library facility for students’ return. While the Fenwick Library will officially open for the Mason campus today, yhe Fenwick Library move will be fully completed during spring semester, and the Cafe will open in the Spring.

Spearheading the expansion of the main campus library has been John Zenelis, Dean of Libraries and University Librarian. Zenelis first joined Mason 17 years ago as the university librarian. During his tenure, Mason’s library system has significantly expanded its footprint, and substantially expanded its capabilities through innovative programs and services, as well as its collections. Under his leadership, the Libraries’ collections today include more than 1.5 million physical volumes, in addition to robust digital resources. Those digital resources include 1.5 million e-books, 119,00 e-journals, and millions of other online research materials, which are accessed an average of nine times every second.

“When I first arrived at the University, it was obvious to me that we needed to start thinking about modernizing Mason’s central library for the 21st century,” said Zenelis. “After much waiting and then six long years of planning and two years of construction, I think we have finally achieved our goal. In this new facility, I see a collaborative learning environment that offers great opportunities for innovative programming and one that can support contemporary scholarship and research not only for today’s Mason students and faculty, but also tomorrow’s.”

Made possible by state funding, the new Fenwick Library was designed by Shepley Bulfinch architectural firm of Boston, and built by Whiting-Turner to LEED silver standards. The facility has greatly expanded services, learning spaces, and digital technology and resources for the Mason community. The modern, bright facility with furniture that can be accommodate individual study as well as group collaboration, includes many new and exciting features:

  • One unified full-service assistance desk, located on the first floor
  • Café and study area due to open later in spring semester
  • Express check out stations where student scan their own items
  • Compact shelving, which allows for increased capacity for print collections
  • 30 new group study rooms equipped with white boards and monitors
  • MediaScape collaboration study rooms, which can allow up to 4 students to share their screen simultaneously
  • A number of seminar rooms and 3 technology-rich instructional rooms
  • Laptop dispenser to check out computers for use within the library
  • State-of the-art Special Collections Research Center
  • Enhanced device-charging capabilities
  • Presentation practice rooms equipped with technology (similar to the Gateway Library One Button Studio)
  • A beautiful, modern Main Reading Room with seating for 75
  • Research Commons featuring programming and support for individual and collaborative projects
  • Two exhibition/gallery areas where student and faculty art, as well as items from the Special Collections Research Center will be featured

For more information, please visit Come in, explore, learn – see what’s in the new Fenwick Library for you!

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