McKinney Engineering Library holds open house in new modern space

Caitlin Davis

In the heart of the contemporary Engineering Education and Research Center sits the new McKinney Engineering Library, surrounded by glass walls and brimming with cutting-edge technology.

After residing at the Perry Castaneda Library for over two years, the McKinney Engineering Library’s materials were moved in January into the new engineering center, which opened last year. The center held an open house for the library on Tuesday to showcase its 2,500 square feet of space and 18,000 items.

The library looks like something out of a science-fiction film and houses computers complete with a multitude of advanced software programs as well as a self-checkout scanner.

Chemical engineering sophomore Manjula Andukuri said the library is much closer to her classes than other libraries on campus, and she plans on coming more often to this new one. Andukuri said the library’s mostly glass walls let in light and make the space feel more open, but help block out outside noise to create a quiet area.

“I am glad they finally opened the library,” Andukuri said. “The space is very open, and it is nice to have a closed space to study.”

The ample amount of space, white boards and mobile furniture appealed to Neha Shah, a marketing and electrical engineering sophomore.

“I am definitely excited to use the new library space,” Shah said. “The PCL is so far, but this library is closer to my classes. It is pretty awesome we can finally use it.”

Engineering librarian Larayne Dallas said the new equipment helps her assist students in best using the library.

“I try to help students know what we have available at the Engineering Library and help them satisfy their information need,” Dallas said. “Students can ask to have a research consultation to help point them to the resources we have available.”

Lorraine J. Haricombe, vice provost and director of UT libraries, said the engineering library is more aligned with the new age and its expectations.

“Students are in the library more often than they are in their classrooms,” Haricombe said. “The facility and its features are an extension of the classroom and more.”

Haricombe said 21st-century students place a high priority on space for collaboration.

“The Engineering Library provides students with research resources, research support (and) flexible space,” Haricombe said. “To me, these are signs of a healthy library where collaboration and community can come together.”