Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Westchester has announced a $1 million challenge grant from The Kresge Foundation earmarked for the new William H. Hannon Library.

LMU will receive the funds by raising the remaining $10.4 million needed to complete the $64 million project.

A ceremonial event for the new library is scheduled for October, with opening festivities slated for fall 2009.

“With the aid of this challenge grant, we hope that LMU’s campaign can become an even more strategic opportunity for you to connect with your stakeholders and reach out to new donors, volunteers, participants and the general community,” said Rip Rapson, president and chief exec- utive officer of The Kresge Foundation. “The university’s compelling plan to sustain the higher levels of giving after the campaign concludes will help strengthen LMU well into the future.”

The public phase of LMU’s capital campaign, “Right Place. Right Time, The Campaign for LMU,” was kicked off in October 2005 and the university hit its $200 million mark last month.

The remaining funds for the new library must be raised by June next year.

“The Kresge Foundation is well known for its Capital Challenge Grants program, which is an innovative way to support institutions and inspire others to give,” said Kristine Brancolini, dean of university libraries at LMU. “We accept this challenge from The Kresge Foundation with great enthusiasm and we are thankful for their generous support.”

Brancolini described the new William H. Hannon Library as a campus center that will house more than 500,000 volumes, extensive archives, special collections, state-of-the-art technology, a coffee shop and study areas.

The new library will be built on a vacant parcel at the northern end of campus. DMJM Design is the architectural firm that will design the building and its surrounding space.

When Brancolini began her job as dean of university libraries in July 2006, she came to an institution with a major library of almost 400,000 volumes and extensive archives and special collections.

But she also came to an institution in the midst of planning for the construction of the new William H. Hannon Library.

“I cannot wait for the opportunity to showcase our collections, services and expert staff in the new library,” Brancolini says. “The richness already exists in the Charles Von der Ahe Library, and I plan to spend the next three years improving the services and collections we already offer.”

Prior to coming to LMU, Brancolini was the director of the Digital Library Program at Indiana University-Bloomington.

She has worked as a librarian for more than three decades, and has written about video and multimedia collections as well as digital library education and development.

“What I like about being a librarian is the involvement in the pursuit of knowledge,” she says. “I like the collection-building process, and I like thinking about creating resources that will be used by people in the future. It’s a really fun job.”

But Brancolini understands that building a first-rate library involves much more than simply putting together a vast collection of information resources.

“As we plan and build the new library, we are mindful that students come to libraries for a variety of reasons, not just information,” she says. “They come because they have positive associations with libraries and with the spaces within them.

“They like the comfort, and they like the human contact. They like the fact that when they’re looking for information and they reach a dead end, there is someone there to help.”

While the completion of the new library is still a few years away, students and faculty can now see part of Brancolini’s vision for a library of the future at the newly designed Charles Von der Ahe Library Web site.

As head of its planning committee, Brancolini says she wanted to ensure that the new Web site was modern, inviting, easy to use and accurately represents the resources the library has available.

“I think students and faculty will find that the new site is much more user-friendly,” she says. “We’ve spent several months revising designs, re-organizing content, researching other great library sites, and asking users what they’d like to see in a library Web site.

“The result, I think, is a site users will want to visit more often.

“Once the site is up, we’ll continue to make adjustments and improvements to reflect our ever-growing library and to accommodate the needs of students, faculty and researchers.”

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