Designed to LEED silver standards, the new Fenwick Library, George Mason University's main research library, has greatly expanded services, learning spaces, and digital technology and resources for the Mason Community. The modern, bright facility, with furniture that can accommodate individual study as well as group collaboration, includes many new and expanded features.
The majority of the University Libraries' 1.5 million volumes are located in Fenwick Library. General circulating materials are available on floors three through five, with periodicals and government documents on the first floor. Compact shelving on the first, third, and fourth floors allow for increased capacity of the Libraries' print collection, freeing up space for students to study.
In addition, Fenwick Library houses the state-of-the-art Special Collections Research Center, the unit within the University Libraries charged with acquiring, documenting, preserving, and providing access to primary research collections and documents. SCRC also manages the non-current and archival records of George Mason University.
Located on the first floor, the Information Desk is a unified full-service assistance desk, providing a single point of contact for research questions and access to collections in Fenwick Library. It is located in the Atrium as you enter the library. A cafe space and study area are expected to open in Spring 2016. An express check out station allows the Mason community to scan their own items to borrow. Laptops are available for checkout from a dispenser. The addition provides 30 new group study rooms, each equipped with white boards and monitors. A handful of MediaScape collaboration study rooms allow up to 4 students to share their laptop screens simultaneously. Also, two presentation practice rooms are designed to allow students a space to practice and revise oral presentations.
Fenwick Library has expanded the number of instructional spaces and created new seminar spaces. The first floor rooms can be combined to accommodate up to 80 students, and the fourth floor instruction space is a sandbox for exploring innovative classroom technology. Two exhibition and gallery spaces showcase student and faculty art as well as items from the Special Collections Research Center.
The second floor houses the Research Commons, a space designed to bring together much of the research activity in the Libraries in a collaborative and multi-disciplinary environment. The Research Commons includes a large open area for group study and collaboration, the Special Collections Research Center, the Digital Scholarship Center (DiSC), SP@RC, University Dissertation and Thesis Services, tutoring space for the Writing Center, and the offices of most of the University Libraries' subject specialist librarians. In addition, the modern Main Reading Room, with seating for 75, provides a space for quiet reflection and study on the second floor.
The fifth floor is the graduate study zone. In addition to housing parts of the physical collection, the fifth floor also includes Graduate Study Carrels and the Dissertations Writers' Room, quiet spaces designed to give graduate students a place to pursue their research and writing. In addition, a faculty collaborative room provides a place for Mason faculty to work on projects.