Rededication spotlights library's 'remarkable transformation'

September 09, 2020

Image with caption: From left; Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, chancellor; Karen Honeycutt, PhD, chair, Library Advisory Group; Emily McElroy, dean, McGoogan Health Sciences Library; Tom Schroeder, president of the Student Senate; Dele Davies, MD, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs; and Brandy Clarke, PhD, president of the Faculty Senate, cut the ribbon to mark the rededication of the Leon S. McGoogan Health Sciences Library.

From left; Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, chancellor; Karen Honeycutt, PhD, chair, Library Advisory Group; Emily McElroy, dean, McGoogan Health Sciences Library; Tom Schroeder, president of the Student Senate; Dele Davies, MD, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs; and Brandy Clarke, PhD, president of the Faculty Senate, cut the ribbon to mark the rededication of the Leon S. McGoogan Health Sciences Library.

The UNMC community celebrated the nexus of the medical center's research, education and clinical missions Tuesday with the rededication of the newly renovated Leon S. McGoogan Health Sciences Library.

See a video of the event.

"It's a remarkable transformation," said UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, noting the new 40-foot-tall windows that look onto 42nd Street and provide an abundance of natural light for students, faculty and staff. "The library is not only filled with sunlight but it enlightens all those who pass through it."

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Leon S. McGoogan Health Sciences Library Dean Emily McElroy speaks at the rededication ceremony.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony was broadcast online.

"This renovation and reopening will go down as one of the more interesting chapters in the library's history," said inaugural library dean Emily McElroy. "Despite these challenging times, we're excited about the opportunities the new space provides to the UNMC community."

See other photos from Tuesday's ceremony and images of the renovated library.

McElroy emphasized the library's longstanding partnership role, noting that Bernice Hetzner helped make the space possible. A former med center librarian, Hetzner led an effort to get federal legislation passed in the early 1960s to build medical libraries around the country and described the critical connections between libraries and campus partnerships. "Our space is for reflection, innovation and inclusion and would honor the tone she set years ago."

The new spaces features study rooms, reflection rooms, conference rooms, a Maker Studio, classrooms and faculty hotel offices, as well as a writing and e-learning center. Floors six and seven of the library are open, but finishing touches remain on level eight, with its opening to the public set for early 2021.

The library's reopening comes after more than a year of construction, as part of the Wittson Hall renovation/Wigton Heritage Center project, which was funded through LB 957 in the 2016 legislative session.

"Libraries are as significant as ever, if not more so," said Dele Davies, MD, senior vice chancellor of academic affairs. "Our library faculty are involved with each of our colleges and are partners in the research and publication process with UNMC faculty. They play an essential role in providing consumer health information for all Nebraskans."

Faculty Senate President Brandy Clarke, PhD, thanked all those involved in transforming the space, which Student Senate President Tom Schroeder noted would "help guide health care science students for generations to come."

Said Karen Honeycutt, PhD, chair of the library advisory group: "This state-of-the-art library space will serve as the information nucleus for many years to come for innovation, teamwork, excellence, accountability, courage and ultimately healing."

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Peggy Moore
September 09, 2020 at 7:45 AM

Congratulations Dean McElroy, Laura Bashus, and the renovation team for creating a welcoming student and faculty centered environment!