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Bentley College Debuts State-of-the-Art Business Library

March 23, 2006

Waltham, MA - The library at Bentley College has undergone a $16 million dollar renovation to reveal a world class business library that is now the hub of academic life and a physical symbol of the business school. The extensive additions reflect Bentley's stature in technology, research and campus life.

At the leading edge in electronic access to data, books and journals, the library also houses an outstanding collection of books and journals in Bentley's areas of expertise -- business and information technology, global commerce and culture, ethics and social responsibility, and the integration of the arts and the sciences with business.

The newly designed interior also features a cyber cafe, art gallery, individual and collaborative study rooms for students, and research space for faculty, including offices dedicated to PhD candidates who will begin pursuing doctorate degrees in Accounting and Business at Bentley in the fall.

The state-of-the-art learning environment features significant increases in study carrels, complete wireless access, and increased PC access with internet and power ports located throughout the building. The online resources have virtually doubled, and storage for Bentley's dynamic book collection has grown by 50%.

In addition to offering the latest in technology and resources, the library welcomes visitors with thoughtfully-designed, light-filled roomswith ergonomic furniture. Nineteen of the 24 collaborative study rooms feature large flat-panel LCDs to facilitate group work and each room can be reserved online, as well as via a Steelcase Room Wizard touchscreen reservation LCD located outside of each space.

Dr. Phillip Knutel, Bentley's Director of Academic Technology, Library and Research Services, and one of the principal Bentley designers for the project, says the mission was to break the academic library mold. "Why is it that most people love spending time at a Barnes & Noble, but not in the physical setting of the typical academic library? We've combined all the resources of an academic library - reference librarians who can provide research assistance and 70+ databases and print resources - with the elements that make a commercial bookstore so inviting. It's light and airy, the furniture is extremely comfortable, and we have a cyber café with a varied menu, as well as an open food and drink policy throughout the building. I think it's the best of both worlds."

Along with the many comforts, the library at Bentley also features:

  • Laser-equipped electronic compact stacks fully accessible to patrons.
  • A state-of-the-art Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) collection management system by 3M. This electronic self check-out system uses computer 'tags' inside each book that allow students and faculty to check out a stack of books with a single swipe. Bentley is one of the few academic libraries in the country to convert its entire collection to RFID.
  • Research and technology support on-site -- Bentley's Client Services Help Desk and Computer Resource Center are now located in the library providing immediate technical assistance for students and faculty.

"The effort and inspiration behind this transformation was tremendous," states J. Terence Carleton, Chairman of the Board. "The Library is one demonstration of the Bentley Board of Trustees' commitment to support the investment of resources to achieve the highest quality academic experience for our students and faculty. We are extremely pleased to see such spectacular results from the initial plans presented just nine months ago. The state of the art facility aligns well with our strong reputation as a distinctive business school. The fact that our senior class can enjoy the rich resources of the library during the final months of their last semester is very gratifying as well."

When visitors first enter the building they are greeted by an impressive new art gallery made possible by a gift from Vitale, Caturano and Company, a Boston-based public accounting firm whose principals are alumni of the college. The gallery, which will feature rotating exhibits by area artists using a variety of media, serves as a symbol of Bentley's commitment to balancing a business and liberal arts education.

Traci Logan, Vice President for Information Technology and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, adds, "What I find truly remarkable about this transformation is the experience one gets when they walk through the door; the building has become the physical representation of our educational mission - teaching and learning, research, collaboration across traditional disciplinary boundaries, the role of creativity in fostering innovation and our continuing commitment to technology as a platform to deliver communication, information and services."

Corporate sponsors of the Library at Bentley include KPMG and Liberty Mutual. Elkus/Manfredi Architects were the principal architects for the project.

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit www.bentley.edu

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