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LA ROCHE TO UNVEIL $1.6 MILLION RENOVATION OF JOHN J WRIGHT LIBRARY; ARCHBISHOP WUERL TO OFFICIATE AT REDEDICATION CEREMONY SEPTEMBER 16


9/15/2010

Pittsburgh, PA – September 15, 2010 – Archbishop Donald Wuerl, Washington, D.C., and former bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, will officiate at the rededication ceremony for the John J. Wright Library at La Roche College on Thursday, September 16, at 4:30 p.m.

When the $1 million library opened in 1967, it was the first college owned building on campus. At the time, the Library was a state-of-the-art facility among college libraries. It is named for John Cardinal Wright, the eighth bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

A capital improvement plan was developed in early 2007 to update study pod areas and the circulation desk and add new features such as a multi-purpose room, news monitor and media screening facilities. The addition of wireless technology and software to support communication and long-distance learning, among other updated technologies, were part of the $1.6 million renovation project that was funded by private donations and grants totaling $500,000 from Pennsylvania’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program and a Pennsylvania Department of Education Higher Education Opportunity Grant.

“The renovated John J. Wright Library masterfully combines learning and technology for our leaders of the future. The investment in this multi-purpose learning center will be an asset in attracting students to La Roche and a lasting tribute to the venerable Cardinal whose name it bears,” said Joseph DiMario, chair of the La Roche Board of Trustees.

The sale of the College’s West Campus between 2007 and 2009 prompted the move of all students, faculty and staff onto one main campus – the former East Campus. This paved the way for the plan to update the Wright Library. The lower level of the library now houses the College’s prominent design programs – Interior Design and Graphic and Communication Design.

Charrettes (meetings with a specified time limit in which participants work together intensely) gave students an opportunity to provide input into the look and configuration of their new surroundings. Interior Design students worked on the library renovation project as a class assignment. They considered how contemporary students learn, incorporating input from their classmates. Their recommendations refashioned the library to support team-learning, oral presentations and practice, interactive media, and an informal coffee house. A Multi-purpose Room filled with the latest technology is available for faculty, staff, students and the public for small group meetings that accommodate up to 36 lecture style and can be configured in other ways for smaller groups. Surfaces in the room reflect sound and minimize echo and reverberation.

The distraction-free Study Pod is nestled among the stacks, which provide a natural soundproof barrier, where students can study in small groups or individually.

Providence World Café combines the comfortable setting of a local coffee house with the technology and resources of the Wright Library. Named in honor of the Sisters of Divine Providence, founders of La Roche College, its décor and functional seating provide a place to catch up on studies between classes, get an update from news outlets scrolling on the 46-inch monitor, or just relax with a quick snack.

The new circulation desk has a large transaction top that is maintenance free and has a low sight-line, making it patron-friendly and wheelchair accessible.

The Media Room is equipped with computers and is a designated area where students can use the equipment and software to create multi-media class projects.

La Roche’s overall efforts to incorporate more sustainable and green initiatives on campus are evident in the John J. Wright Library. New ceiling lights use super energy efficient T-5 bulbs. Luxury vinyl flooring in the World Café contains recycled content, is 100% recyclable and meets or exceeds indoor air quality standards. Carpet tile backing and carpet fibers are made of 44% post-industrial recycled content and are Green Label Plus Certified. Ceramic floors and wall tile contain more than 38% recycled material. An energy efficient HVAC system with control zones was installed. Low odor, low VOC and Greenguard Certified paint was donated and recycled from another project.

“As we focused on updating the building, we kept as high priority ways we could enhance the student’s overall learning experience. The renovated Wright Library blends learning and technology together in a dynamic environment,” explains Sister Candace Introcaso, CDP, Ph.D., President of La Roche College.

The library has a collection of more than 70,000 volumes and 500 periodical subscriptions with access to a collection of 30,000 government documents through a United States Government Depository Library. The library offers interlibrary and EZ borrow services as a member of the Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium.

Among its 47 online databases and access to 32,000 electronic journals and reference collection, the library databases now include these prestigious additions:

The Art Museum Image Gallery is a rich digital resource of images and multimedia gathered from the collections of distinguished museums around the world.

CQ Researcher, founded in 1923 as Editorial Research Reports, is noted for its in-depth, unbiased coverage of health, social trends, criminal justice, international affairs, education, the environment, technology, and the economy.

Credo Reference, a digital reference library of high-quality reference books from the world’s leading publishers, offers access to more than 1.7 million individual entries. Credo Reference contains all types of reference books, including dictionaries, encyclopedias, thesauri, and books of quotations.

Health and Psychosocial Instruments gives ready access to information on measurement instruments (e.g., questionnaires, interview schedules, checklists, index measures, coding schemes/manuals, rating scales, projective techniques, vignettes/scenarios, tests) in the health fields, psychosocial sciences, organizational behavior, and library and information science.

JSTOR offers researchers the ability to retrieve high-resolution, scanned images of journal issues and pages as they were originally designed, printed and illustrated. JSTOR archives span many disciplines.

The John J. Wright Library serves more than 1,400 students, 200 full-time faculty and staff and offers memberships to its surrounding communities.

Cardinal Wright’s life-long devotion to St. Joan of Arc is evidenced in two collections of memorabilia, now found at Duquesne University and in the Boston Public Library. The rededication prompted the replacement of the sculpture at the library’s entrance. The original concrete statue of a kneeling St. Joan of Arc will be displayed inside the library. The new 48” fiberglass casting with a bronze-like weatherized finish to be unveiled at the rededication ceremony portrays Joan of Arc in battle armor and kneeling.

The sculpture is an original design commissioned by La Roche College. The chief artist is Paco Reyes from Esculturas de Diseno Italiano (Sculptures of Italian Design), whose studio is located in Bogota, Columbia. A.T. Merhaut, Inc. Church Restoration & Supply, located just a few miles from the La Roche campus, coordinated the process.

For additional information about library membership ($10 fee) or rental of the Multi-purpose Room for small group meetings, contact LaVerne Collins, head librarian, 412-536-1059.


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