The has announced a $3 million gift from Audrey S. Geisel, widow of author Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel, to help fund the renovation of its iconic .
The gift will be used to renovate the building’s entry level as part of an initiative to transform and revitalize the library’s interior public spaces to meet the evolving needs of students, faculty, and other users in the digital age. Known as "the spaceship," the building opened in 1972 as the university’s Central Library and in 1995 was named in honor of Audrey Geisel and her late husband in recognition of a major gift made by the couple. The library also is home to the Dr. Seuss Collection, which includes more than twelve thousand original drawings, sketches, manuscript drafts, books, notebooks, photographs, and other memorabilia.
Renovations to the 285,000 square-foot building will include a reconfigured lobby entrance, a significant upgrade to the existing learning commons, a new research commons, a cafe and lounge, new technology, and significant enhancements to its furniture, carpeting, and finishes. Based on ongoing assessments of user needs and traffic patterns, the second floor will be redesigned to more effectively support the various approaches to study, research, and learning of today’s students and scholars.
"Our library facilities are being used now, more than ever," said Brian E.C. Schottlaender, the Audrey Geisel University Librarian. "But, like many libraries across the nation, the library is being used in different ways than it has in the past. Our hope is that this generous gift will lead to more support, so we can upgrade other public spaces in the building in the near future. I would urge others to join Audrey in helping fulfill this exciting initiative to transform Geisel Library into a library that is well-equipped for twenty-first century learners. We want this amazing building to be as inspiring on the inside as it is bold on the outside."
"When I first saw the space-age building that is now Geisel Library, I was enamored with its iconic design, as well as its scholarly and literacy mission," said Geisel. "Decades later, I am delighted with the impact the library has had on countless students, researchers, and scholars, as well as on San Diego. It gives me great joy to help ensure that Geisel Library will continue to attract and fuel students, scholars, and community members who are passionate about learning."