Transforming Library Spaces Fund  will support these future improvements and more

April 14, 2023

An ongoing challenge for academic libraries is updating spaces to meet changing student needs. The 50-plus desks on Cabell’s first floor still have some life in them but they don’t have power strips, which students need for their laptops and other devices. With more than 1 million visitors each year, wear and tear on furnishings is constant. Change–technological as well as updates in furnishings and spaces–is constant at VCU Libraries. 

“We are continuously improving our learning spaces to advance our students’ academic success,” said Associate Dean for Research and Learning Laura W. Gariepy. “Our goal is to develop environments that support all types of research and study our students are engaged in, with special attention to the range of students’ needs for collaborative and individual learning environments.” 

In summer 2023, several improvement projects are underway. The Reflection Room is expected to be open for use in the fall semester. The first floor at Cabell will be updated with some new furnishings. The ventilation system in The Workshop will be improved. More on 22-2023 projects  

While these current projects are funded and in the works, the development office is setting fundraising goals and future priorities for the Transforming Library Spaces Fund. Future priorities include:

  • Establishing The Scholarly and Creative Expression Expanded Space on the Garden Level. Envisioned as an umbrella concept with cutting-edge technology and a variety of collaborative and solo study spaces as well as conference rooms, the center will include a lab for project development, a workshop where students, faculty and community members can produce creative work, and the press, with a consultation space and exhibit areas to promote scholarly and creative work. 
  • The creation of a book arts lab with worktables, bookmaking equipment and storage space. Part of a planned expansion of the Special Collections and Archives to accommodate the next century of collecting, the lab will be used for teaching and creating materials inspired by the Book Art Collection.
  • On the MCV campus, the Health Sciences Library will improve dedicated study rooms and collaborative spaces. The second floor will be used by students, with solo study rooms and other new seating options as well as improved space for presenting health-related research. 


Donors: Your gifts to the Transforming Library Spaces Fund supports improvements to library buildings on both campuses.

Gifts may be made online or by contacting the development office.  All checks should be made payable to "VCU Foundation" with the particular fund written on the memo line. Checks should be mailed to:

VCU Libraries c/o VCU Office of Development and Alumni Relations
Box 843042
Richmond, VA 23284-3042



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