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Frequently Asked Questions about the Jerry Falwell Library

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Where will the Jerry Falwell Library be located?

Centrally located, just south of DeMoss Hall, the Jerry Falwell Library serves as an anchor for academic activities on the campus.

When will it be open?

The Jerry Falwell Library is slated to open in the fall of 2013.

Will there be any books on open shelves for browsing?

A four-story book tower will be the central architectural focus of the library featuring over fifty thousand of the library’s new and most used book titles. The wood paneled two-story Reading Room will also house select collections of periodicals and books for browsing. Less frequently requested titles, back issues of periodicals, musical scores, audio recordings, and archival materials are examples of items which will be available upon request from the Automated Storage Retrieval System.

What type of study spaces will it contain?

The building will offer spaces tailored to the unique demands of undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty members.  It will include:

  • A Graduate and Faculty Commons
  • Various levels of quiet study spaces
  • A quiet Reading Room
  • A technology center, a Research Assistance classroom, and 4 Learning Commons with mixed seating
  • A mix of 37 group study and conference rooms
  • A large variety of individual seating.

Will food be available?

A two-level food court will be located at the north end of the main wing. Entrance and exit will be from the outside of the library building. Vending machines will be available in designated spots throughout the facility.

What is the technology plan?

In addition to the basics—wireless connectivity and flexible, easy access to electrical power—the environment in the Jerry Falwell Library will include virtual shelf- browsing,  on-line room scheduling, collaborative projection equipment, digital signage, and digital kiosks.

What is the robot (Automated Storage Retrieval System)?

Taking advantage of the latest technology, the Jerry Falwell Library, will house approximately 87% of its print collections in a state-of-the-art automated book retrieval system. The library will contain up to 450,000 items. Items to be loaded into the system will be selected based on purchase date, publication date, and borrowing/usage history with the newest and most actively used items being offered on traditional library shelving in the library’s Book Tower and Reading Room. This automated retrieval system will allow the efficient storage of large amounts of materials in an environmentally stable condition.

This technology which has been used in large-scale industries for many years has recently been adapted for use in academic libraries, where the systems are sometimes known as an Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS). In these systems, barcoded items are sorted by size and then scanned into an inventory control database. These items are then stored in bins which are kept in racks within a room that is several stories tall. The ASRS will allow us to store items in an area requiring about 1/8th the square footage needed for conventional shelving. The ASRS will free large amounts of space for individual and collaborative study spaces.

The system is easy to use and fascinating to watch. Requests for materials can be made via the online catalog from any computer with an Internet connection. Within minutes of receiving the order, a robotic crane will retrieve the materials and deliver them to the Customer Service Center. The patron can then pick up the desired item from this service point.

Will any other university groups have space in it?

The Jerry Falwell Museum, featuring artifacts and stories from the life of Liberty’s founder will be stationed on the ground level. It will be a welcome addition to the library. There will also be a food court, vending, and eating areas, including a patio.

Will there be meeting spaces?

A mix of thirty-seven group study and conference rooms of various sizes are planned on levels one, two, and three. A large multi–purpose room on the ground level, will be available for programs and meetings, along with the upper and lower atrium, and terraces.

What ground breaking features will there be?

  • ASRS – The Automated Storage Retrieval System is a state-of-the-art automated book delivery system which can contain up to 450,000 items.
  • Collaborative projection – This is a conferencing system that encourages collaboration by allowing people to access and share information through interactive technology built into media tables. It allows all participants to contribute their ideas – equally, quickly and seamlessly.
  • Customer Service Center – Customers will find the services which they need centrally located at the Customer Service Center located on the first floor. There it will be possible to borrow and return books, request research help, and find computer assistance.

Will there be quiet places to study?

The Reading Room will be a quiet space as well as other designated areas of the learning commons. Select group study rooms may be used for quiet study as well.

Will there be any special services available for faculty?

The third floor of the North wing of the library will be dedicated to faculty and graduate students. This space will have a conference room, group meeting rooms, comfortable seating, and a separate quiet study area. Lockers will be available on request. Two librarians focused on service to faculty and graduate students will be located there.

Will there be good lighting?

There will be an abundance of natural light in the Jerry Falwell Library. All public areas have access to exterior light, with lakeside windows allowing views of the water and the mountains.