McHenry Rededication celebration attracts hundreds to newly renovated library

University Librarian Ginny Steel
University Librarian Ginny Steel
(Photos by Steve Kurtz)
UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal
UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal
Pan shot of UCSC's McHenry Library celebration
McHenry Library

Several hundred alumni, students, faculty, and community supporters joined University Librarian Ginny Steel and Chancellor Blumenthal last Friday for the official Rededication of McHenry Library. 

The ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on a crystal clear spring day overlooking the Library’s Mary Ackerknecht Reading Garden.

“It’s been a long time coming,” noted Steel in her opening remarks. “There may be some people here who were not even born when planning began for the renovation of this building in 1993.”

“The Library is now the largest building on campus,” Steel added. “It’s usage has doubled and that’s the best measure of success. McHenry Library is truly the rejuvenated heart of the campus.”

Named after UCSC’s founding chancellor, Dean McHenry, the library has served faculty and students since the very beginning of the campus.

Now after six years of construction, plus a huge reorganization of its collections and services, the new McHenry today provides a state-of-the-art research, study, and instructional environment for the UCSC community.

“It’s a library of the 21st century,” noted Chancellor Blumenthal.

“We are particularly appreciative of our donors and private supporters, without them this project would never have happened,” he added.

After the ribbon-cutting by the chancellor and UCSC alumnus Jessie Wilkie—a former library employee who also addressed the crowd—guests were treated to a wide variety of guided library tours and demonstrations.

The open house included displays at Special Collections & Archives, as well as demos of the latest digital techniques to preserve library materials.

Celebrations also took place at the new GLBTI Group Study Room with Deborah Abbott, the director of the GLBTI Cantu Center, and the Gloria Anzaldua Group Study Room, which featured an exhibit honoring the late author and UCSC faculty member, plus a program featuring feminist studies professor Bettina Aptheker.

An exhibit honoring author Laurie R. King, and her late husband--author and UCSC faculty member, Dr. Noel King--was also on display in the new Noel and Laurie King Group Study Room.