New library still planned for Main Campus

Contrary to reports earlier today, university officials told The Temple News that the university hasn’t scrapped plans to build a new library. Reports suggesting that Temple will update Paley Library instead of constructing a new facility are false.

“We’re building a new library,” said James Creedon, senior vice president for facilities, management and operations. “We will reinvigorate or do something new with Paley, but it won’t be in place of a new library.”

The library was previously slated to be built on North Broad Street as part of the 20/20 plan, which was the university’s “framework for campus development” under former President Ann Weaver Hart.

President Neil Theobald said last September, a month after he was named president, that he was excited about the prospect of a new library and its location on Broad Street.

“The ability to plan, from scratch, a new library, I can’t think of anything I’d rather do as someone who’s been a professor most of my life,” Theobald said at the time. “There is little at a university, especially a 21st century university, that is more important than a library, so I love the idea that it’s right on Broad [Street] and very visible.”

In an interview with The Temple News in April, he reiterated that the library wouldn’t be like Paley, however, he said he would like to see it on the east side of Main Campus.

“The library is going to provide us an opportunity to rethink how students learn. This will not be a library like [Paley Library], nothing like that. It won’t be stacks of books,” Theobald said. “In my mind, Broad Street kind of divides us. The east side is the academic side and the west side is the Liacouras Center and some housing. I think it’s very likely to end up on the east side.”

The president confirmed this in August when he said the library is “certainly going to be on the east side of Broad” Street.

The exact location of the new library has not been announced as the university develops its new master plan through its Visualize Temple initiative, which was launched at the end of last semester.

Snøhetta, a Norwegian firm that has designed the Alexandria Library in Egypt, the James B. Hunt Memorial Library at North Carolina State University and the Ryerson University Library in Toronto, is designing the library.

Englert appointed acting president

The Board of Trustees voted unanimously today to name Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Richard Englert the acting president of the university, said Assistant Vice President of University Communications Ray Betzner. Englert will begin his new role on July 1.

“Dr. Englert will serve as Acting President of Temple University until the Presidential Search Committee compeltes its work and recommends to the Board of Trustees an individual to become the next president of the University,” Patrick J. O’Connor, chairman of the Board of Trustees and the Presidential Search Committee, said in an email.

Englert’s contract was recently extended until the end of the year in order to ease the transition to a new president.

President Ann Weaver Hart will serve her last day at Temple on June 30, before assuming the role as president of the University of Arizona on July 1.

Check back with The Temple News for more on Richard Englert’s new role as acting president.