Stanislaus State celebrated the reopening of the J. Burton Vasché Library under a promising blue sky on April 4. The new building interior reflects the agricultural landscape of the region, the beating heart of a community intrinsically tied to the Earth.
“This 2022 renovation is astoundingly beautiful and charismatic,” Dean Ronald Rodriguez said in his remarks during the ceremony. “I am so very happy for the students, the faculty, the staff and the community who will use this library now and in generations to come.”
Windows throughout the building let in bountiful daylight, illuminating modern study spaces and computer areas. Agricultural details, including window accents resembling fields, reflect the Central Valley’s farming roots and lifeblood. The two-story grand staircase mural in the lobby depicts farmworkers working in the San Joaquin Valley.
The Library has come a long way since its start at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds where University classes began in 1960 while planning and construction for the Turlock campus was underway. The 2022 renovation marks the second time the Library has undergone construction to accommodate the University’s flourishing population. The Library was first completed in 1965 and with an addition following in 1989.
Mark Vasché, son of Dr. J. Burton Vasché for whom the building is named, said it was his father’s dream to have a college in the area where he grew up. J. Burton Vasché was born and raised in Oakdale and went on to build a career in education. He served as California state associate superintendent of public instruction and chief of the division of state colleges and teacher education until resigning to bring his dream to fruition as Stanislaus State’s founding president.
“The library truly is the heart and soul of the campus, so to come here and see how it’s grown and developed has been absolutely wonderful," Mark Vasché said on behalf of the Vasché family. "It's really heartwarming for all of us that our dad would continue to be honored with the family name at the center of this university.”
The Library stands on the legacy of individuals like J. Burton Vasché who worked to expand access to higher education to Californians of all backgrounds. The renovation was an expansive community effort, from listening to campus needs to implementation during a global pandemic, all while continuing to offer services through the Library Annex.
President Ellen Junn praised the community’s role in the project.
“Your efforts have made this possible for Stan State to better serve our students and position them for greater success by providing them with the best experience and resources possible.”
The Library houses student-centric resources in addition to library services integral to student success. Books which once spanned the second and third floors of the building are now contained in a mobile compact shelving system. Students can reserve group study rooms, choose from quiet and group study areas, recharge their devices and refuel with a snack from the café.
Forward thinking has not stopped with the completion of the Library renovation. The Next Chapter fundraising campaign, which concludes May 1, 2022, is establishing continued support and innovation in the Library both now and for future students and guests.
The community may access the Library this fall pending changes in COVID-19 in Stanislaus County. Alumni may access the Library by showing their alumni card and successfully completed Guest Screening Form.