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Leavey Library

History

Building size: 86,500 square feet
Seating capacity: 1,475 people
Architect: Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson, and Abbott
Contractor: McCarthy Construction Western, Contractors
Grand opening: August 29, 1994
Grand opening, Upper Commons: September 2, 1998

  • Number of visitors, first school year (1994-1995): 1,005,246
  • Number of visitors, 2003-2004 school year: 1,430,000
  • Annual circulation, yearly average: 91,000 (not including reserves)
  • Course reserves, yearly average: 18,000 check-outs of nearly 5,600 items for approximately 500 courses
  • Electronic course reserves, fall 2003-spring 2004: 90 courses, requesting 660 e-reserve titles delivered as 862 .pdf files
  • Information/reference transactions in the Information Commons: approximately 50,000 per year; on average, 37 percent are basic to advanced reference; 17 percent are directional; and 45 percent are computer related
  • Pages printed in print center, 2003-2004 school year: 706,870
  • Average number of visiting delegations from other institutions per year: 15 to 20 (size ranges from one to 20 visitors each)
  • Persons receiving formal library instruction on research methods, 2003-2004 school year: 4,800
  • Investment in replacement hardware, average/year: $150,000 - $200,000

Partnerships

Leavey Library's educational goals require considerable collaboration between Leavey and other units within USC Libraries, Information Technology Services and other schools and academic units.

  • General Education program: Leavey Library's collection supports the General Education program's goal of helping students build a strong base of knowledge. The library also offers bibliographic instruction assistance to the program.
  • Center for Excellence in Teaching: Founded in 1990, the Center for Excellence in Teaching (CET) is a reflection of the university's commitment to educational excellence. It works with faculty to develop programs that will lead to the continual improvement of the educational process at the University.
  • Center for Scholarly Technology: The Center for Scholarly Technology (CST), an educational technology research and development unit of the Office of the Provost, makes its home in Leavey and frequently uses the library as a test site for developing projects.
  • The Writing Program: Leavey Library supports USC's introductory writing classes with tailored bibliographic instruction sessions to acquaint incoming students with all the research resources that the university has to offer. In addition, writing consultants from the Writing Center are available in the Lower Commons from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday in room 3N.
  • Center for Academic Support and Disability Services & Programs: This center contributes to a collaborative approach to learning within the academic community by serving as the central resource and referral agency for learning enrichment at USC. It provides support services to enable students with permanent and/or temporary disabilities, to work on their own to reach their academic potential.

 

Leavey Library Tenth Anniversary Celebration-2004

A NEW KIND OF LIBRARY

When its doors first opened to patrons on August 29, 1994, the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Library ushered in a new era for the contemporary library. Today, Leavey remains a model for how libraries can foster lifelong learning skills in students through the innovative use of information technology and traditional library resources. Chief among these skills is information literacy, for which Leavey Library serves as the hub at USC. One of the most important components of a university education today, information literacy enables students to become self-directed, independent learners who can effectively navigate the ever-expanding world of information, in all its forms.

Tremendously popular since it opened, Leavey Library records approximately 1.5 million visits every year. Although most visitors are patrons who use Leavey's resources and services, many visits are from representatives of libraries and institutions that wish to see the new library model that Leavey represents.

Among Leavey Library's innovations was the introduction of a new type of help desk where patrons can receive answers to questions pertaining to both traditional library research and computer and technology support. The library's services, educational programs and collections are made possible by the generosity of many foundations and individuals. Its continuing success also can be credited to the active participation of students and other users, whose suggestions for changes and improvements have led to a number of significant enhancements to the library.

For example, in 1998, in response to student demand for more computer workstations such as those found in the Information Commons, Leavey Library unveiled the Dorothy Leavey Memorial Commons. Also in response to student suggestions, the hours of operation for all areas of Leavey Library were expanded to 24 hours a day, six days a week. The library is closed only between 12 a.m. and 9 a.m. on Sundays.


HONORING A DECADE OF INFORMATION LITERACY

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Library, USC Information Services hosted a weeklong slate of activities, with opportunities for friends and donors, faculty and students, and the general public to participate in the festivities.

Monday, September 13, 2 p.m: Open house and campus-wide celebration

Remarks by Jerry D. Campbell, chief information officer and dean of the University Libraries

Tuesday, September 14, 10 p.m: Open house and campus-wide celebration

The library that never sleeps hosted a late-evening reception geared at students.

Thursday, September 16, all day: The Information Commons: A Learning Space Beyond the Classroom

Information commons professionals from across the continent gathered to discuss best practices in the managing a commons environment.

Friday, September 17, all day: Teaching & Learning with Technology: Enhancing the Learning Experience

The Center for Scholarly Technology's 7th annual conference focused on how a dynamic, learner-centered environment can stimulate students' acquisition of knowledge. Breakout sessions envisioned the technological future of the information commons and the development of discipline-specific research commons.