Digital library launch in 2006

By ├ćndrew Rininsland

University of Calgary President Dr. Harvey Weingarten pledged construction will begin on the U of C digital library by April 2006.

The announcement was made during Weingarten’s annual Report to the Community, at the Hyatt Regency ballroom Thu., Oct. 6. The Campus Calgary Digital Library, estimated to cost $113 million, will be opened to the public and dedicated to the community by fall of 2008.

“We developed a partnership with all the public post-secondary institutions in Calgary, Bow Valley College, Mount Royal College, Alberta College of Art and Design SAIT Polytechnic, and those in neighbouring regions such as Red Crow College on the Blood Reserve,” said Weingarten. “This extensive partnership is a first in Canada and it is very simple: a single library card for all Alberta students, a province-wide network centered in Calgary that gives all post-secondary students access to the vast collections of digital information in our library system.”

The CCDL will be the focal point of the Lois Hole Digital Library project, an initiative by the provincial government expected to cost $30 million over the next four years, intended to provide province-wide access to resources contained within Alberta’s individual universities, colleges and technical institutes.

“The government thought the Calgary digital library was such a good idea that when they wrote the most recent throne speech and Bill 1, they said that they would extend the concept to all of Alberta to build a Lois Hole Digital Library that would be centered on the library in Calgary,” said Weingarten.

The digital library will be built next to the MacKimmie library building and will contain 500 computers. A new wing will also be added to the U of C’s Urban Campus downtown to facilitate library access.

Weingarten also announced the addition of 7,000 student spaces by 2010, created through the construction of an Experiential Learning Centre, the planned Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy building and the Urban Campus. The three capital projects comprise $710 million over the next five years.

“These projects not only give us the space we need for these students and the faculty and staff who will teach them, but also provide the facilities we need to provide a progressive and contemporary education for our students and to continue the growth of our research and scholarly programs,” said Weingarten.

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