Category: President's Page
Dear UB Alumni and Friends:
This spring, construction for Langsdale Library’s renovations began. Cranes at the corner of Maryland Avenue and Oliver Street signal another major step forward in the realization of UB’s ambitious campus master plan.
As with our most recent capital project—the award-winning, LEED Platinum-certified John and Frances Angelos Law Center—we are raising private funds to supplement state support. The generous donors who support the Langsdale Library Renovations Fund will ensure that the University of Baltimore can meet both current and future students’ ever-changing needs.
Langsdale was built in 1965, when university libraries served mainly as warehouses for books and periodicals. They were places where students went to study in isolation and in silence. The closest thing to “library technology” was the card catalog, as the smallest computer then in production weighed 59 pounds. It was a time when the phrase “green building” referred to a color.
Fifty years later, modern university libraries are centers of collaboration, discovery and knowledge. They are places for group learning, 24-hour computer labs and makerspaces—informal areas where students network and experiment. They are becoming campus social hubs, with cafes, laptop bars and rooms for special events. They are open, accessible, light filled and sustainable.
The Langsdale renovation project will bridge this 50-year divide and more. Our fundraising efforts will help transform the current structure from an old-fashioned book repository into a 21st-century information commons. Private funds will support our goal of achieving LEED Silver certification, consistent with our commitment to environmental sustainability. Additional funding will ensure that the facility’s technological infrastructure supports interactive learning in the physical and digital realms. The renovated facility will enhance service to UB’s 55,000 alumni with flexible meeting spaces and a welcoming, four-story atrium. And as UB is an anchor institution in Baltimore, the renovated library will continue to be an invaluable resource to our urban community as both an archive for city and regional history and a destination.
As the immortal philosopher Yogi Berra said, “It’s difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.” However, we can be certain that UB’s Langsdale Library will play an increasingly central role in educating thousands of UB students in the coming decades. Please join me in watching the progress of this transformational project, scheduled to be completed in January 2018.
My thanks to all who have contributed to the Langsdale Library Renovations Fund or who are considering doing so. Your generosity makes the University of Baltimore’s future much easier to predict.
Kurt L. Schmoke
President, University of Baltimore