Mind Space and Open Space Co-Exist in Newly Renovated Darden School Camp Library

10 February 2012

A transformed Camp Library at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business challenges the way visitors imagine the library experience. Instead of perusing endless rows of shelves in search of books, library users may access materials electronically or have books delivered quickly. Those hatching ideas have the “mind space” to work quietly and the “open space” to collaborate when they are ready to share their ideas. Thanks to recent renovations, the space adapts to how students, faculty and staff conduct research and work in teams.

Meeting the needs for both quiet and noise is a challenge for libraries. Karen King, director of library services at the Darden School, believes that the Camp Library team has the formula right.

“The idea behind our new design is to be able to accommodate every step in the research process,” said King. “Many libraries are adopting designs that allow for open talk and collaboration, but have challenges connecting those areas with convenient and effective quiet spaces. Accommodating both needs is integral to expanding Darden’s research footprint and encouraging thought leadership.”

To make more room, planners are downsizing some equipment and functions, along with two-thirds of the library’s collections. According to King, printed materials are still important but they do not have to take up space in the library.

“Print resources are retrieved from storage and brought by a courier service at the request of users within 48 hours,” King says.

These collections are stored in U.Va.’s Ivy Stacks Facility, which manages more than one million items within its 10,000 plus square feet of space. Sophisticated technology allows for the easy retrieval of items located among the facility’s high-rise stacks. Materials from the University Library, the Law Library and the Health Sciences Library are also housed at Ivy Stacks.

“Times have changed and we responded by tailoring our space for research and technology needs,” King added.

The Sheppard Reading Room is the only space that will continue to hold books. New features include an open living space, beautiful enough to hold small cocktail gatherings, yet peaceful enough to inspire intellectual discussions. Large windows, some Palladian, offer invigorating views of Darden’s Grounds. New office suites accommodate more of Darden’s research centers and a new conference room allows users to meet and conduct video and telephone conferencing.

Who are the lucky ones who get to work in this new area?

Long-time library residents include the Darden Center for Global Initiatives and the Tayloe Murphy Research Center. The new kids on the block include the Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Special spaces for students have always included the Stettinius Reading Room for Ph.D. candidates and the capital markets room, where students debate and make investment portfolio decisions. The main floor holds space for various student activities. The second floor accommodates research activities.

“We really aimed to make this the place where students and faculty can explore, discover and create,” said King. “U.Va. libraries are innovative, and we are proud to be a part of such a system.”

King also has a vision for future improvements to the Camp Library, which includes expanding users’ virtual experience and offering a workspace for leaders visiting Darden.
The Camp Library offers access to a wide range of resources, including electronic catalogs, databases, reference materials and Internet resources. Business collections include more than 100,000 volumes, 1,100 periodicals and 120 online databases. Members of the Darden community also have access to book, periodical and online resources in the University of Virginia library system.

The Office of the Architect group, which handles all planning and renovations for U.Va., coordinated the Camp Library’s renovation projects. The library is named for the Camp Family of Franklin County, Virginia.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Press Contact

Sophie Zunz
Director of Media Relations
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia