Message from University Librarian Brian Schottlaender

Geisel Library—one of San Diego’s most stunning architectural landmarks—is UC San Diego’s most iconic and recognized flagship building. Completed by world-renowned architect William Pereira in 1970, Geisel’s bold, geometric design still retains its futuristic, extraterrestrial character, more than 40 years later. A major renovation of the building’s interior spaces, however, has been needed and is a top priority for the Library and the campus over the next several years. As we’ve transitioned from a predominantly paper-based to pixels-based library, we’ve been working hard to respond to the myriad changes in how students, faculty, and others utilize our resources and services.  In order to meet these evolving needs of the campus community, the Library has embarked on a multi-year effort to renovate and upgrade Geisel Library’s public spaces.

While numerous upgrades are planned—including much needed restroom and elevator renovations—our major focus is on the revamping of the most heavily used public spaces in Geisel Library, including the main (2nd) floor and lobby entryway. These enhancements have been made possible by our friend and benefactor, Audrey Geisel, whose generous gift of $3 million in July 2015 enabled us to launch the Geisel Library Revitalization Initiative (GLRI), which has already borne fruit with the opening of Audrey’s Café in May 2016, on the main 2nd in Geisel’s East Wing.  While Audrey’s generous gift will support the needed upgrades on the main floor, additional funds are needed from friends, alumni, and other supporters to make other essential improvements to the public spaces on the 1st and 8th floors of the building. We need others to join Audrey in helping to fulfill this exciting initiative to transform this iconic building into a library that is well-equipped to meet the space and technology needs of 21st students, researchers, and scholars.

While not officially part of the Geisel Library Revitalization Initiative, The Teaching + Learning Commons’ move to the 1st floor, West Wing of Geisel Library in fall 2016 will be a great benefit to faculty and students, and represents the university’s commitment to engaged teaching and learning. In addition, numerous synergies exist between Library programs and those planned and in place at The Commons, collaborations which will yield additional benefits to the campus community. I invite you to join us in this significant effort to ensure that this stunning and amazing building—Geisel Library—will be as inspiring on the inside as it is bold on the outside. To find out more about how you can support the Geisel Library Revitalization Initiative, please visit: or contact Julie Sully, or Director of Development, at or 858-822-4554.

Brian E. C. Schottlaender
The Audrey Geisel University Librarian

Geisel Library Renovation