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J Med Libr Assoc. 2010 Jan;98(1):40-3. doi: 10.3163/1536-5050.98.1.014.

Renovated, repurposed, and still "one sweet library": a case study on loss of space from the Health Sciences and Human Services Library, University of Maryland, Baltimore.

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University of Maryland, Baltimore, 601 West Lombard Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.



The Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL), University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), is located in an urban environment on the west side of downtown Baltimore. Founded in 1813, the library opened its current building in 1998 and is one of the largest health sciences libraries in the United States, with 6 floors and over 180,000 gross square and 118,000 net assignable square feet (NASF).


The initial discussions in late 2005 involved moving campus offices into the library. Almost immediately, it was recognized that a much larger renovation was needed due to the scope of the work. The vice president for academic affairs, the library executive director, and campus planners agreed that if the renovation was done thoughtfully, multiple needs could be met, including new office spaces, better user spaces, and synergy with the new campus center being built next door.


The planning, design, and construction process was multifaceted and on a fast track. Although the final piece of the renovation was completed in June 2009, the majority of the planning, design, and construction took place between March 2006 and June 2008. All tenants were involved with office design. Library staff were involved in designing the public spaces and planning the strategy for weeding and shifting.


Approximately 8,000 NASF was reallocated to new office space from shelving space, amounting to approximately 6.7% of the building NASF and approximately 10.6% of the public space in the building. The majority of new offices in the building report to the same vice president and are student focused and service oriented, with similar missions to that of the library resulting in a very harmonious cohabitation. Additional units with these missions and reporting structure are located in the new campus center, creating a synergy between the two buildings.

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