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Meyer residents one step closer to move

Stanford needed to find new homes for the occupants of Meyer Library, because the university plans to tear down the building, rather than spend more than $45 million to bring it into compliance with current seismic safety standards.

L.A. Cicero GSB South

Stanford plans to move the East Asia Library into GSB South, pending approval by the Board of Trustees.

BY KATHLEEN J. SULLIVAN

Stanford is one step closer to moving the occupants of Meyer Library, including the East Asia Library and the Academic Computing Services Program, into a five-story building recently vacated by the Graduate School of Business (GSB).

The proposal, which was recently presented to the university's cabinet, now goes to the Stanford University Board of Trustees for approval.

If trustees approve the proposal, Stanford would begin renovating the building, now known as GSB South, in January 2013. The construction project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2014.

The GSB South building, which opened in 1966, is located between the Oval and Memorial Auditorium. The Business School vacated the building earlier this year when it opened its new campus, the Knight Management Center.

Stanford needed to find new homes for the occupants of Meyer Library because the university plans to tear down the building, rather than spend more than $45 million to bring it into compliance with current seismic safety standards.

In 2007, when Stanford first announced plans to raze Meyer, the university said it would move some of the East Asia collection into Green Library – displacing other collections – and the rest into storage, and replace Meyer with a smaller building devoted to academic computing.

The decision to move part of the East Asia collection off campus raised alarms, especially among faculty members who use the East Asia Library and Green Library as their major research libraries. The announcement led to town hall meetings, a proposal to build a new East Asia Library, a feasibility study, and finally an announcement that Stanford was considering moving the collection into GSB South.

In addition to Academic Computing Services, the university also will move three other programs now housed in Meyer into GSB South: Digital Library Systems and Services, Enterprise Systems and Programming, and Technical Services.

Academic Computing Services, located on the second floor of Meyer, helps students and faculty use technology tools and resources for learning, teaching and research. It also provides computer and multimedia tools, teaching and learning spaces, student and faculty consulting, and digital media literacy education.

Currently, about 165 library staff work in Meyer: 25 people in the East Asia Library; 28 people in Academic Computing Services; 21 in Digital Library Systems and Services, and Enterprise Systems and Programming; and 90 in Technical Services (acquisitions, preservation and metadata – cataloging – librarians).

In addition, Stanford will provide classroom space in the renovated GSB South for the Office of the University Registrar and the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, both of which currently have classrooms in Meyer.

A new home for the East Asia Library

Inside GSB South, the East Asia Library will occupy the former Jackson Library, a two-story space with a sweeping staircase.

"The beautiful main hall of the former Jackson Library will make a strong statement about the importance of the East Asia Library to Stanford," said John Bender, a professor of comparative literature and the chair of the Committee on Libraries.

The East Asia collection now housed in Meyer includes nearly 300,000 books, bound serials and journals written in Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

Currently, the entire East Asia collection, in its various locations, totals 686,905 volumes. Over the next 10 years, the collection – which also includes special collections, microfilm, DVDs, boxed newspapers and other media – is expected to grow to nearly 1 million volumes.

"The new building will give the East Asia Library much more on-site shelving capacity than it has now," said Andrew Herkovic, a spokesperson for Stanford University Libraries & Academic Computing Resources.

"While the East Asia Library will still require some off-site storage, it will be able to transfer volumes now held in Stanford Auxiliary Library (located on Pampas Lane on the east side of campus) into GSB South and make its collection more readily available to users."

The combined holdings in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean make the East Asia Library one of the top 10 such collections in North America.