The status quo has no place in libraries – especially collegiate ones. Digital resources replaced microfiche and card catalogs long ago, new types of spaces and furnishings evolve as students’ needs change, and the manner in which content is consumed has shifted radically. Today’s library is part physical location, part virtual destination. Yet amid all of this change, one thing remains constant: The library remains a space in which people can find the answers they seek to a wide array of questions.
Since it first opened in 1981, the Noreen Reale Falcone Library has played a special role on the College’s campus, part gathering place, part information hub. Within its walls collaborations are formed, research is incentivized, and support is provided to students and faculty members, as well as the broader community. The College recently completed an extensive process of reconceiving and reconstructing the 65,000-square-foot building in ways that align with the College’s strategic plan, Sempre Avanti, whose chief pillars include student and faculty support and community engagement.
“The core of the library’s program for information literacy is that scholarship is a conversation,” said Inga Barnello, director of the library. “This new environment provides the variety of spaces, both for group work and individual reflection necessary for the gathering of information, exchange of ideas, and investigation of different perspectives that are essential in building knowledge. The more time spent here, the greater their opportunity to witness what happens here and avail themselves of the services.”
This newly renovated space was not created in a vacuum. It is the result of a thoughtful two-year collaboration with members of the campus community, designers and consultants who asked themselves: What features must the library include in order to be the most effective tool possible in preparing Le Moyne students to meet the world’s needs? The ability to analyze data and write cogently and persuasively are among the most critical skills to develop in the 21st century economy. With that in mind, the first phase of the renovation included the creation of homes for the College’s Quantitative Reasoning Center, Writing Center and Student Success Center. New offices were also created for library and technical services staff, as well as for information technology, the academic technology, and disability support services teams.
The heart of the second phase of the project was creation of a bright, airy learning commons featuring academic research services; flexible, modular learning environments; and wireless connectivity and outlet access. It also included the creation of study rooms, an academic technology lab, student collaboration spaces, a faculty reading room, Bernat Special Events Room and Muserlian Instructional Lab. In addition, the library’s art collection is now displayed throughout the building for members of the campus and surrounding community to enjoy, and a new set of stairs was built to allow patrons to move easily among its nearly 230,000 volumes.
The $6.3 million renovation was funded with a $1 million grant from the Regional Economic Development Council and a $175,000 grant from the Alden Trust. In addition, the Falcone family boosted the donation it made nearly 40 years ago to support the construction of the library with a new planned gift to help fund the updates to the building. Further assistance for the project was provided by Gina Goldhammer (whose mother, Tanya Popovic, worked for the library for 30 years) who made a contribution to the Writing Center, and Tony Vignola '68 and Bob ’59 and Kay Fagliarone, who made gifts to the Quantitative Reasoning Center.
“The education I received at Le Moyne has impacted every aspect of the life Kay and I have built,” Bob Fagliarone said. “While I am an accountant by profession, I can honestly say that the courses I took in philosophy and theology are as important as those I took in accounting. To this day they inform the way I treat others and how I view my responsibility to my community. That is why it is so important for me to give back to the next generation of students.”
The updates to the Noreen Reale Falcone Library were part of the College's $100 million Always Forward campaign, which was publicly announced in June of 2018.
Noreen Reale Falcone Library