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The Paul and Cathy Schroeder Library & Learning Commons

March 17, 2023 - 2 minute read

Concordia's Library, now named The Paul and Cathy Schroeder Library & Learning Commons, has been renovated and enhanced to better serve students with a modern and collaborative design.

The facility, which occupies the same area, now includes a welcome center, movable book collection stacks, and a number of student study areas and meeting rooms.

“We used the same two-floor library space but enhanced it significantly and added a learning commons component,” says Tim Jaeger, vice president of advancement, marketing, and communication. “It’s our version of a 21st-century library.”

Student services and academic advisors were given space inside the library, and a significant amount of study space was added for individuals and groups.

“I’ve never seen more activity in that space than in the last three months,” Jaeger says. “More people are utilizing it to study, get help, and find resources. It meets the needs of today’s students with an eye to the future.”

Newly-added rooms, tables, and nooks seat from four to ten people. The writing center and tutoring center now reside there, as does a section devoted to careers and vocational opportunities.

“The centers are invigorated by this new, fresh space,” says Jaeger. “They are close to each other so there’s synergy for them and the students. The centers include nice offices, areas to meet with students, and comfortable waiting areas.”

In the stacks, high-density bookshelves were added which function like accordions to hold more books in less space. When you push a button, one section moves over and opens the aisle where that book sits. That means more available square footage to use for other things.

“All The Centers Are Invigorated By This New, Fresh Space. They Are Close To Each Other So There’s Synergy For Them And The Students.”

A simple but significant change is at the library’s back entrance. Formerly, this door was used only for emergencies; now it is open to pedestrians coming and going from the Alumni Plaza and the Borland-Manske Center.

“It connects the campus physically,” says Jaeger. “You can park by the Grimm Hall parking lot, come through the library then go out to the BMC.”

With the facelift, the new library and learning center also takes on a modern, contemporary feel, with new railings, stair wells and a large, steel cross in the middle of the building. The Schroeders, who also chaired the Forward in Faith campaign, have supported projects and improvements like these for more than forty years, serving students and improving their Concordia experience.

“Paul and Cathy are long-time friends and generous supporters of Concordia University Irvine,” Jaeger says. “Paul has been a member of the Board of Trustees for more than thirty years. Paul and Cathy served as the chairs of the Forward in Faith campaign, our recent comprehensive campaign that raised more than $100 million. We are grateful for their faithful support.”



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