July 21, 2008 -- Geisel Library, the University of California, San Diego’s main library building, has been named one of the 25 most modern libraries in the world. The distinctive modernist building, which resembles a hovering spaceship, was noted—along with the others on the list compiled by www.bestcollegesonline.com—for “sleek architecture and the latest technology.”
Geisel Library was designed in 1970 by architect William Pereira, who was renowned for his futuristic, space-age designs, including the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco. The reinforced concrete and glass library building, which houses four of the university’s nine libraries, rises eight levels above the ground in an inverted pyramid. A much-loved landmark both on and off campus, the library was named for Audrey and Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) in 1995, for their generous support of the libraries and their commitment to increasing literacy levels. UC San Diego’s Mandeville Special Collections Library is the main repository for the papers of Dr. Seuss. The Dr. Seuss Collection, which includes more than 8,500 items documenting the full range of Geisel’s creative achievements, is housed in the Geisel Library.
Other noted libraries on the “25 Most Modern Libraries in the World” list include: the San Diego Public Library (one of the first public libraries in the nation to offer free wifi); the Library of Congress; the British Library; the Seattle Public Library; the New York Public Library; the National Diet Library (Japan); the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh; Pace University Library; and the Bibliotheque Nationale de France.
In addition to its stunning architecture, Geisel Library and the other libraries that make up the UC San Diego library system offer patrons the most advanced technological tools to facilitate research and learning, including high-speed wifi, self-service check out, and extensive digital collections and online resources. Earlier this year, UC San Diego Libraries became the first university in Southern California to partner with Google in its global effort to digitize books from major libraries around the world.
Ranked among the nation’s top academic research libraries, the UC San Diego Libraries play an integral role in advancing and supporting the university’s research and teaching missions. As the intellectual heart of the UC San Diego campus, the 9 university libraries provide access to more than 7 million digital and print volumes, journals, and multimedia materials to meet the knowledge and information needs of scholars, students, and the public.