Many Changes In the Offing for UB's Oscar A. Silverman Library

Reduced hours, collection mergers announced along with an extensive redesign of space

Release Date: May 13, 2010

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo's Oscar A. Silverman Library, located on the ground through third floors of Capen Hall, has been reconstituted and is undergoing redesign to better accommodate the collections and services of the UB Undergraduate Library, the Science and Engineering Library, two cybraries and the UB Libraries' Multimedia Center, plus more and better study spaces.

In the 2010-11 academic year, the library will be open every night until midnight, but will reduce its twenty-four hour, seven-day-a week access to examination periods and reading days. Current and summer hours for all UB Libraries can be found at

The changes are due to budgetary constraints, says Karen D. Senglaup, assistant director of University Libraries for access services.

Senglaup notes that UB's "Instant Librarian" service, which now offers instant information and research assistance from university librarians, has been expanded to offer additional services.

In addition to changes in hours, she says the Silverman Library's undergraduate book collection is being moved and the library is undergoing a spatial redesign to meet changing student needs, particularly with regard to the availability of computer/Internet access, group study spaces and flexible study spaces that can be instantly reconfigured as required.

Formerly located on the ground floor of Capen Hall, the undergraduate collection is being integrated into the collections of UB's Lockwood Memorial Library (North Campus), the Science and Engineering Library (Capen Hall, North Campus), the Music Library (Baird Hall, North Campus) and the Architecture and Planning Library (Hayes Hall, South Campus). That integration will be completed this summer.

Senglaup says, "Merging the collections should prove beneficial, in that it will streamline research and browsing. It also will open up additional space on the ground floor of the Silverman, which will allow us to incorporate significantly expanded network and power access, as well as upgraded study space."

A concept plan for the ground floor space is being developed by a UB Libraries' committee after visits to other academic libraries.

"Flexibility, group study, power access and technology needs will take precedence in the configuration of the space," says Senglaup, "as will as the choice of furniture and equipment. All UB Libraries already feature robust wireless access."

She says redesign and renovation of the first, second and third floors of the Silverman Library are also underway or in the planning stage.

"The first floor reference/information services have been relocated to the circulation desk area, placing librarians much closer to the entry doors and lobby, and thus more visible/accessible to students, faculty and staff," Senglaup says.

She says that UB 2020 "Building UB" funding is expected to provide for extensive redesign of the third floor space following the transfer of older journal collections to the Libraries Annex or their replacement with digital content.

Study spaces for groups and individuals, a library instruction classroom featuring laptop computers, as well as enhanced power and network access are the priorities for the third floor space.

Senglaup says, "All of these changes and redesign fold into the University Libraries' plans to evolve into a state-of-the-art 21st century library that supports the education, research, and service missions of the University at Buffalo while providing increased global access to the Libraries' collections and services."

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