Temple’s new Charles Library receives $5.8 million additional development funds

The Board of Trustees approved the funds to pay for a scholars center and increased construction costs.

The Charles Library, which is under construction, is scheduled to open in Fall 2019. | LUKE SMITH / THE TEMPLE NEWS

The Board of Trustees approved an additional $5.8 million for Charles Library construction. 

These additional funds are meant to support facilities, technology and increasing labor costs, bringing the project’s price tag to $175.8 million, according to the Board’s records.

At its public session on March 12, the Board announced that it would pull additional funding from across university reserves like the Tech Fee and Provost Fund. Over the course of its construction, the cost to build the library increased to as a result of rising labor costs, said Joe Lucia, the dean of university libraries. 

“When we have funds we don’t spend, we hold onto them for the future,” Lucia said. “We have some funds set aside in place. If you look at the total project, it’s a very modest increase.”

Rohan Brebion, a junior biochemistry major, said the new price tag makes sense for the size and scope of the Charles Library.

“The new library is worth it because [Paley] is old, and new facilities are needed,” Brebion said. “…To me, I’m a rising senior, and they’re going to spend my money either way.”

The Board also approved donations for naming some of the library’s rooms, like the Loretta C. Duckworth Scholars Center, named for Duckworth, a former Board member who died in September 2018. The Special Collections Research Center Conservation Lab will be named for Mark Vogel, a 1976 mathematics alumnus, who will give a total $50,000 over five years to the library’s development funds. 


The Board’s agenda states part of Duckworth’s $150,000 donation was redirected from a scholarship fund, but Lucia clarified money was not taken from Duckworth’s need-based scholarship in the College of Liberal Arts.

“The Duckworth family also gave money for a scholarship separately,” Lucia said. “That money is untouched.”

The Charles Library, which is expected to open in Fall 2019, is set to include several new facilities, similar to those in the TECH Center and the Science Education and Research Center, like virtual reality programming  and “real-time” visualizations and video recording for presentations, Lucia said, which are currently offered in the Digital Scholarship Center in Paley Library. 

The Charles Library will also house the Tuttleman Learning Center’s Student Success Center, a 24/7 study space and a place to purchase coffee.

“The new facilities will allow us to support our services and handle things more efficiently,” Lucia said. “…Nothing there is unprecedented. Some of them are new, some of them are extensions of things in Paley.”

Some students said they favor the TECH Center over Paley Library because it has more advanced technology available for use.

“The library looks old, and the vibe is not modern,” said Anelys Cruz, a freshman psychology major. “There’s not a lot of seats. At the TECH Center, there are more computers and such.”

The Charles Library, however, will not have rows of computers like the TECH Center. Instead, it will have more group study and meeting rooms, Lucia said. 

“We really thought about mobility,” Lucia said. “There will be a lot of laptops people can check out. We wanted to make a non-traditional floor space.”

Kayla Cassara, a junior criminal justice major, said the main issue with Paley Library is the absence of space for small groups to gather. 

“They should have more breakout rooms where you don’t have to have three people [to reserve a room],” she said.

According to the Charles Library’s floor plan, the building’s second, third and fourth floors will have at least four group study rooms each.

The Paley Library will close for the summer on May 9 at 8 p.m., The Temple News reported, so library employees can move the university’s collections into the Charles Library. The CLA and College of Science and Technology’s advising offices will remain open throughout the summer, and after the Charles Library opens in the fall. 

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