Vision Statement

The Saint Mary’s College Library occupies a primary place for intellectual discovery, knowledge dissemination, and academic learning at the College.

The Library through its quality instructional collections, innovative services, and well trained staff directly supports the College’s mission to provide a superb educational and research environment for the community of learners at Saint Mary’s.

Critical to this vision is a facility capable of providing the learning infrastructure and physical spaces required for higher education in the 21st Century. The Library facility must encompass existing knowledge and new information in a building designed around the nexus of knowledge-based collections, access technologies, and information services.

College libraries have traditionally been viewed symbolically and physically as the heart of the institution.  Recognition of its centrality to the educational endeavor at Saint Mary’s requires a design that is informed by both the College’s traditions and its promise to the future.

In an effort to identify and articulate the key elements that guide our planning efforts, the campus community was invited to participate in a number of sessions focusing on the Library facility project. Common ideas, concerns and themes emerged which will guide the planning efforts from here forward.  These efforts are summarized below into thematic categories for the entire campus community to view and respond to.


Project Core Values

Student/learner centered

Spaces to support individuals, collaboration, community

Technology integrated with design

Express St Mary’s unique history

Support the integration of the collections

Flexible to allow for growth

Promotes thinking & learning

Image/Message to Community

Invitational & welcoming

Social and intellectual Hub

The campus “Living Room”

Building clearly identifiable as Library

Meeting place for all

Showcase Saint Mary’s College

Information center

Campus context

Design integrates with larger campus

Architecture responds to existing campus style

Physically linked to larger campus

Centrally located for access

Integrate outdoor/indoor spaces                        


Architectural Features

Clear building organization

Entry/Lobby should be comfortable

Warm and inviting

Exhibit/display spaces  

Accessible Computer lab


Architecture should inspire sense of discovery            

Quality furnishings

Design with acoustics in mind

Strong wayfinding & signage systems

Building Components


Variety of study spaces

Information Commons

Computer access throughout

Wireless access

Book collections

Clearly visible service counters

Special collections/archives

Teaching classroom

Periodicals space

Quality staff space

Comfortable furnishings

Computer lab

Exhibit/display spaces

Increase access to power & data outlets

Locker space for commuting students       


Energy efficient building systems

LEEDS standards (not certification)

Use of Daylighting throughout

Natural materials, durable

Efficient HVAC systems

Strong lighting program

May 2008