1969: Underground SML proposed

Mar. 13, 1969 — The University disclosed a new plan for the cross campus library yesterday which accommodates the student demands last spring and uses ideas generated in December for the interior.

Student representatives from the SAB and Graduate Senate library committees and from Berkeley College found the plan “generally acceptable.”

Professor John Morton Blum, acting director of University libraries, Radley H. Daly, library business manager, and Henry W. Broude, director of academic planning, presented the plan to the students.

Blum emphasized the plan is only a “proposal” that will be discussed further at an open meeting April 7. A place and time will be announced later.

Flexible Numbers

The plan, submitted by Planning Consultant Edward Barnes, calls for a two-story underground building with a flat roof designed to accommodate a flexible number of students and books.

Two glazed stairwells on either side of the cross campus terrace will provide natural light for the top level and outside access for students.

Students could also gain access to the proposed building through a tunnel from the basement of Sterling under High Street and the Berkeley tunnel.

Snack Bar

Blum also announced plans for a café to be built in the basement of Sterling.

The snack bar will contain seats for at least 150 people and a number of vending machines.

“The library facility is designed for students in the humanities taking anything but beginning courses and those graduate students not yet writing dissertations,” Blum said.

Control Desk

Barnes has designed the building so that it can remain open 24 hours a day with minimal man-power. One desk on the top level will control the three exists: one to Sterling and two to the cross campus.

Barnes has not finished the interior arrangements, Blum explained.

But Blum expects about 300,000 books on open and closed reserve and room for about 650 students.

The latter will include a lot of “Soft seating” like L&B, some hard seating comparable to the divided tables in Morse and Stiles Colleges, and between 200 and 300 carrels with sliding glass doors.

Double carrels will provide space for Yale men and coeds to interdigitate, Blum said.

The plan calls for carrels and stacks on both floors. The top level may also contain the catalogue, the small closed reserve book room, library offices, and an audio-visual room. Work rooms and seminar rooms may also be located on the bottom level.

To Grub Street

The underground building will extend from the plaza to Grub Street, the passage between Berkeley and William Harkness Hall. As reported earlier, the grass area will remain intact after the building is completed.

Berkeley senior Dick Senechal questioned the wisdom of the only change planned for Berkeley, the moving of the two garden houses twelve feet. He expressed reservations about the probable increased travel through the college.

Bradley Nitkin, 1969, also from Berkeley, found the plan “definitely more acceptable than last spring’s plan.”

Alan Liebman, chairman of the Graduate Advisory Committee on the Libraries, expressed approval “of the concepts and purposes of the buildings.”

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