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New library is open for business

  • Students are excited about the new library features
  • The Knowlege Market provides a variety of services
  • One of many collaboration areas
  • The third floor garden is one of several outdoor areas
  • One among a vast variety of seating options
  • Bright colors enhance this colaboration area
  • Quiet study areas are also available

Posted on June 24, 2013

Plenty of “oohs “and “aahs” were heard throughout the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons, which opened its doors for business today.

Other comments included:
“I love all the windows and feeling of openness.”
“It’s good they put in lots of electrical outlets for our laptops.”
“The furniture and design look so modern.”
“Come look at this view.”

Since the start of construction in May 2011, there has been much anticipation for the new facility. It triples the seating space, expands the capacity for books on browsable shelves and in an automatic storage retrieval system, offers a wide variety of venues for group collaboration and places for quiet study, and provides a shopping mall concept in the Knowledge Market for students seeking help with research, writing or presentation skills.

The 150,000 square foot building includes:
     - 1,500 seats, in 27 different designs
    - 19 study rooms
    -  94 lab computers in student seating areas
    - a 21-foot-long fireplace in the fourth floor Reading Room
    - outdoor seating available on a first floor patio, third floor garden and fourth floor terrace
    - self check-outs near every exit

The new facility is named after Mary Idema Pew, who was a trailblazer with a lifelong passion for education. Her late husband, Robert C. Pew, one of Grand Valley’s founders and an early Board of Trustees member, generously provided the lead gift that was the catalyst for this $65 million project. Their daughter Kate Pew Wolters currently serves on Grand Valley’s Board of Trustees. More than 1,400 donors, including community members, corporations, foundations, alumni, faculty, staff, and students and their families, helped to raise more than $20 million for the new library.

View more photos and details at

A Community Open House is planned for September 7.

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