August 29, 2000

Mann Renovations Begin

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Students headed for Mann library this semester will be re-routed around the familiar building to a new 75,000 square foot addition that will temporarily house the library for the next four to five years while the old building is renovated.

The new Mann has combined the traditional library with a state of the art multi-media center that boasts 38 miles of fiber optic networking, more than 100 public access computers, a multi-media production facility with two high end computers, digital video, still cameras and air conditioning.

Janet McCue, director of Mann Library, describes the new addition as a “high tech treehouse in the woods” referring to the spectacular view of the woods surrounding Beebe lake that is now visible from the new addition.

The new addition to Mann was designed by New York architect Edward Larabee Barnes who has also designed libraries at the Universities of Indiana and Washington.

Students exploring the library for the first time since it’s opening appreciate it’s esthetic beauty, but question it’s practicality. “It look’s beautiful, but I don’t know about the new study spaces because they seem open and noisy,” said Laura Quinlan ’02.

Although Quinlan was uneasy about the remodeled library she was confident that her concern would be addressed when the “two spaces are combined.”

Over the summer the University continued to improve it’s library system by introducing a new online catalog to the Cornell community and to library users worldwide. The new catalog is entirely Web-based and can be accessed with any web browser.

The new catalog offers users the ability to limit searches to a particular library’s holdings, check outstanding fines or fees, verify materials that have been checked out and request that an item that has been checked out to someone else be returned.

The software driving the new catalog was purchased in June 1999 from Endeavor Information Systems. The new system, named “Voyager,” is expected to cost around $2 million.

“We are also planning to implement additional Voyager functions during the 2000-01 academic year, including a new electronic course reserve system and a media booking system for using audiovisual holdings and scheduling the use of library facilities,” said Thomas Hickerson, associate university librarian for information technologies and special collections.

For those who prefer to visit the library the old-fashioned way, Mann offers a rich collection of nearly 700,000 volumes that include holdings in plant pathology, animal sciences, communications and textiles, among others.

Wandering into Mann is a new experience with much to explore. “It seems like there is more access to computers than before, but I really haven’t experienced much of it yet” said Stephanie Schosek ’02.

Archived article by Maria Rosso