What’s Happening in the Reading Room?

If you took a walk up to the third floor throughout the months of June and July, you probably noticed some big changes happening around the Reading Room and Art Gallery! The Health Sciences Library, in conjunction with University Facilities, have been making some big quality of life improvements to this popular space, from the addition of several new power outlets along the floors to the removal of the superficial pillars throughout the room, and we’re thrilled to present the new, multi-functional Reading Room!


Along with the floor plan renovations, we also added brand new collapsible, modular tables and chairs, allowing for more possible room configurations than ever before. Without the bulky tables and chairs of years past, rearranging the whole room for your EMS reservation or an impromptu group meeting will be a snap!


We have just a few more finishing touches for the room, but feel free to wander up to the third floor and check it out! The room’s daily schedule is posted on the outer door, and if it is not currently being reserved, you’re welcome to explore the space. We’ll be adding more pictures and posts to the HSL Blog as we start experimenting with different table layouts, including some brand new hex-shaped tables, great for small break-out groups.


If you have any questions about making a room reservation through EMS—in the Reading Room or elsewhere—please reach out to Access Services by visiting the front desk or calling 303-724-2152 during regular business hours.

Study Zone at HSL Opens Monday October 9


After years of vision, planning, and design and four months of on-site construction from June to September 2017, the Study Zone at Health Sciences Library is opening on Monday October 9. Badge-secured doors activate at 7:00 a.m. Monday morning and students and other Anschutz ID holders can enter the area.

This new quiet study area use to be a journal stacks space with nearly 40,000 journal volumes–most moved to the PASCAL remote storage safely on campus. Anschutz students getting into midterms will find the space inviting and perfect for focused study and work. A kitchen, a nap pod room, and various lounge seating and large bay windows inform the space and provide diversity of feel and places to study and relax. The colors are amazing across the walls, the dynamic carpet, furniture and ceilings.

The Study Zone is part of the library’s second floor quiet area and whisper quiet is the expectation in this study space. Users must have an Anschutz campus ID badge to enter and use the Study Zone at HSL.


A few loose ends in the project remain and some additional installs will occur and create some mild disruption before the year is over. The library is waiting for completion on the following items to name a few:

  • frosting of privacy film on the nap pod room (2406-K provides two nap pods)
  • aspen leaves prints are to be added to the glass doors and windows through the space
  • a few spots in the open study areas still need electrical outlets which are coming soon
  • a fabulous entrance sign, 3-dimensional wood panel with large aluminium pin lettering naming the space is a fancy last touch to be installed hopefully before the end of October

Future Study Zone Sign Outside Entrance — to be installed soon

Anschutz students, staff and faculty are welcome to badge in and use the new Study Zone starting Monday October 9.

Before Construction — stacks and 40K+ journal volumes. Jan 2017


After Construction — lights, 10 study pods, 24 study rooms, seating for 100+


Study Zone Perspective: Library Director

Health Sciences Library Director Perspective: the Study Zone at HSL

“The evolution of the Study Zone” by Melissa D. De Santis, Director of Health Sciences Library.

Sometimes projects don’t turn out the way they were envisioned.  The Health Sciences Library continually listens to users with the aim of providing services and resources that fulfill user needs.  In the summer of 2014, the Health Sciences Library was presented with a possible opportunity to remodel the library building.  Although it might seem odd to remodel a building that was only seven years old, the reality is that based on information the library had gathered from users, we believed that enhancements to the building would be very beneficial.  That summer and fall, the library worked with the Office of Institutional Planning, along with many library stakeholders, to create possible options for renovation.  Unfortunately, the funds did not materialize, and no renovations were made.

Fast forward to 2016 and those renovation options were still whirling around the thoughts of library staff.  After much discussion, the library’s leadership team decided to move forward and do a portion of the renovations discussed in 2014.  The project would be funded by reserve funds the library had earmarked for library renovation.  These funds only allowed 5,000 sq. feet to be remodeled, but the leadership team believed the user impact would be significant.



Library staff worked with Bennet Wagner Brody Architects to refine and clarify the vision for the space.  Based on previous user input, the space will be extremely student focused.  Over 90% of the users in the building are CU Anschutz students, and the space should address many of their needs including individual study spaces, kitchen amenities, napping options and natural lighting.  Library staff have been watching the construction progress and are looking forward to completion.  The space won’t be exactly like what was drafted in 2014, however we believe it will be even better.


Keep up with the renovation progress on the Study Zone blog!

The library is hosting a ribbon cutting event to celebrate the Study Zone.

  • Study Zone Ribbon Cutting Event
  • When:  Thursday, Oct 19, Noon-1 pm
  • Where:  2nd floor of HSL just outside the Study Zone entrance, north end of building
  • All Anschutz folks are welcome, especially students. We will have cupcakes
  • There will be self-guided tours of space highlighting features of the space


Study Zone Perspectives. The Architect: Bennett Wagner Grody (BWG)

Architect designer perspective: the Study Zone at HSL

Health Sciences Library 2nd floor north, journal stacks to study area at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.


Before (May 2017)


After (June 2017) demolition and deconstruction to pave the way…


The original design of the Health Sciences Library included a traditional mix of open floor area dedicated to stacks, casual seating areas, and enclosed group study rooms.  Over time, two phenomena were observed by the library administrators.  They noticed students’ increasing preference to study alone versus in groups.  These students would routinely “camp out” alone in group study rooms, nobly absorbed in their studies.  The inefficient use of private study space became a growing concern to staff and students alike.  Another change since the library’s opening has been the impact of technology, namely electronic storage of information replacing the need for physical volumes.  This has reduced, but not eliminated, the amount of stacks required in this area of the library.  The primary goal of the project is to address current needs for study spaces as made possible by recapturing floor area no longer required by the stacks.

HSL Study Zone. Opens Oct 2017.

Concept & Organization:

The all glass entrance to the suite will be located adjacent to the elevator lobby on the north side.  The suite lobby will be open and inviting.  A wood ceiling grille is proposed to mark the entrance.  The second exit from this suite will be needed at the south side by the Kitchenette area.  This area has three (3) existing bay windows with full-height glass.  The proposed lay-out is to keep the area directly in front of the bay windows open for loose seating to allow natural light into the interior spaces. The new renovated area will provide up to an additional 112 seats for study. Considering each student has different preferences of how they like to study, several 2-person and individual enclosed study rooms plus different types of loose furniture and furniture type study pods are proposed.


We have evaluated student study preferences and the physical characteristics of the renovation area and propose the following features of the project:

  • Provide several enclosed individual and 2-person study rooms. These rooms will have power but no built-in technology such as a flat screen monitor or video conferencing.  Furnishings will be limited to a single large table and one or two chairs.  The 2-person study rooms will be enclosed by full height walls, accessed through a glass sliding door.  Individual study rooms will be enclosed by full height walls with a pivot glass door. The enclosed study rooms will be located away from the outside walls and constructed with clerestory glass on 2 sides to extend natural light to all rooms.
  • Provide furniture type study pods for individual and group use. Some of the furniture type study pods will have a full-height (70”) partition for privacy and some with a mid-height (54”) partition.
  • This new study suite is in a secured area accessed by card reader.
  • Lounge seating with high backs will be provided to offer more sense of privacy. All lounge seating will be accompanied with a side table.
  • The existing 4-person group room at the southwest corner of this suite will house 2 energy pod units. This location will allow this room to be able to control light and sound independently.  The existing full-height glass wall will remain with added privacy frosted film and a security monitoring system will be installed for the safety of the students.


This new study suite should set a standard for future renovations.  The material and colors need to be enticing, fun, and conducive for young generations.  While the goal is to set this area apart from the rest of the library, some reference or tie back into the existing space is incorporated.

Voraporn “Mai” Sundarapura
Matthew C. Bartels  AIA


Study Zone Almost Complete: Major Construction Over, Furniture Arrives

Study Zone Nears Completion — Opening Soon. Stay Tuned.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Oct 19 at 12 noon–there will be cupcakes!

The library’s second floor renovation project crossed another milestone with all major construction in the space completed last week.

This week beginning September 18, all furniture for the new area was successfully delivered and is being installed. Energy nap pods have been hooked up–students will be excited having asked for sleeping pods for years. Study Zone will offer two nap pods.


Energy Nap Pod


Fancy and more informal ‘duo-pods’ are setup and these pieces will dazzle users with their sleek look and comfort. Tables and chairs are moving into rooms, glass boards are being installed, and ten ‘hexpod’ study cubicles (room-like but no door) are being assembled and laid out on the floor outside some of the study rooms. Large lounge sofas for the bay windows are the last big pieces to be put together.

The project is in its last phase, and soon items like lights, HVAC and plumbing to the kitchen will be inspected and set.

Today on Sept. 20, the main entrance doors were installed and badge security turned on. The Study Zone will be accessible to Anschutz student/staff/faculty and others who have their Anschutz campus badge ID. The library hopes to open Study Zone in early October but no firm date is set yet. A party and ribbon cutting ceremony are being planned for October 19 to formally unveil the Study Zone but the space should be open earlier we hope.

The construction barrier will come down soon and eyes will be able to peak through some of the windows to see the brilliant new space which blends well with the overall existing library but offers an appealing and unique ambiance all to itself. The study area will offer twenty-four study rooms, a variety of restaurant-style booths, height-adjustable tables, comfy lounge furniture around the perimeter, some counter study areas with high and low chairs, and ten study cubicles to name some of the features. The area is about 5000 square feet and will offer seating for about 115 users.

Mark your calendars and plan on coming to the ribbon cutting event for the Study Zone:

  • When:  Thursday, Oct 19, Noon-1 pm
  • Where:  2nd floor of HSL just outside the Study Zone entrance, north end of building
  • All Anschutz folks are welcome, especially students. We will have cupcakes
  • There will be self-guided tours of space highlighting features of the space

Stayed tuned to the library’s website and the HSL Facebook page for ongoing photos and more information.




Milestone Mondays: Study Zone Demo Completed

Monday June 19. 2017. Library Study Zone remodeling proceeds smoothly and spacious future floor plan begins to take shape.

View from the north end looking south, 2nd floor area construction demolition completed

The week ending June 16 brought to close a major milestone in construction and remodeling up on the second floor of the Health Sciences Library. Contractors completed the demolition of nearly five thousand square feet on the far north end of HSL’s second floor. The construction team successfully removed all journal stacks, original ceiling, light fixtures, counters, carpet tiles and much more. With the area torn down and apart, the process continues to start building!

Students using the library this summer can be seen more and more wearing noise cancelling headphones during this disruptive but exciting period. The completion of demolition marks a milestone on the road to future success. Anschutz students looking for more study rooms in the library and a study area offering sharp focus for intense and long-term work periods will not be disappointed later this year in October. The completed space will have great natural lighting and vibrant colors to keep you awake. The Study Zone will have a kitchenette area, two energy nap pods, seating for over a 100 users (prior seating in area was 25), and creative & diverse furniture options for different quiet-study modes. Stay tuned for more news as things develop.

Before (May 2017) Journal stacks in the area prior. All moved to PASCAL on campus.


After (June 2017) Demolition and deconstruction finished.


The library will add updates to this news blog, post weekly on Facebook about progress, and we continue to host a board display in the first floor lobby of the library to keep the community informed with a visual timeline and other drawings from the project.

Going forward after demolition, framing of rooms and new walls begins — studs arrive. If you like photos of the action, follow us on Facebook for weekly posts and pics. See the FB photo archive labeled ‘2nd Floor Study Zone & Renovation 2017 HSL’.

The future Study Zone at HSL is not quite “club med” but the amenities and design will support success by providing an inviting place with a rejuvenating ambiance to get your study on and focus in relative quiet.

A main Study Zone blog page is also up at https://hslnews.wordpress.com/study_zone/.

Architectural vision & drawing of future space

Questions, please reach out to Douglas Stehle at Health Sciences Library. 303-724-2139 | douglas.stehle@ucdenver.edu

Pardon our dust (& noise)- we’re building a better library for you!


Beginning Feb. 14th through the end of May, there will be periodic increased noise levels on the 2nd floor while we move items from our north end journal stacks to make room for an improved, larger study area. Construction of the new space will begin in early June.

Alternate study areas are available on the 1st & 3rd floors. Should you need them, feel free to ask for earplugs at the Service Desk.

Thanks for your patience while this exciting new project begins!