New Library for a New Era

Jennifer Wilder

When George Mason University opened its first library, it was a beautiful, state-of-the-art facility designed to respond to the emerging needs and research endeavors of its esteemed faculty and students. But that was 1967. Forty years, 160 thousand students, and 1.5 million volumes later, the Fenwick Library had more than outgrown its aging facility, despite two incremental expansion projects.

Six years ago, planning began to further grow the footprint of Mason’s central library, and modernize the facility for the 21st century. In January 2016, the university opened a welcoming, bright, modern-day library with expanded capabilities to support innovative programming and contemporary scholarship and research for Virginia’s largest public university.

Designed to LEED silver standards, the new Fenwick Library provides seating for more than 2,000 students, and includes two art galleries, a Research Commons, a Special Collections Research Center, technology-equipped individual and collaborative group study rooms, digital presentation practice rooms, and compact shelving to house the Library’s nearly 25 miles of physical collections.

While state funding provided for the construction, work remains to be done on the interior and cyber-infrastructure to ensure the Fenwick Library provides the best digital learning and technology-assisted research tools for students and faculty.

Support the University Libraries

To make a gift online or find out about naming opportunities at the new Fenwick Library, please visit the University Libraries online.

January 20, 2016