Letter from the University Librarian - Spring 2021

Dear Friends of the UCLA Library,

More than a year after the pandemic shuttered campus buildings, the jacaranda trees are blossoming, a marker of spring at UCLA. Displays of these glorious flowers – purple-blue panicles – are abundant alongside the Charles E. Young Research Library in the adjacent Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden. This spring, these blossoms offer UCLA Library a second marker, one of optimism.

The Library has begun to welcome Bruins back to spaces in the libraries. Students, faculty, and staff began reserving individual seats in the Young Research Library in March, and in April, the Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library was opened for reserved seating. Since then, nearly 2,000 students have passed through our doors. While remote learning continues, access to the stacks will remain closed as we prioritize preserving emergency access to digital materials for all Bruins – no matter their location. 

With your support, the Library recently planted seeds of hope with work aimed at transforming two spaces: a new Distinctive Collections Teaching Space in Young Research Library and an updated, refreshed interior for a space in our Science and Engineering Library dedicated to services for STEM undergraduates. These spaces will enhance active learning for students across disciplines. 

As we look forward, we also take time to remember a library visionary we lost earlier this year. Gloria Werner had a 40-year career at UCLA Library, which culminated in serving as university librarian from 1990 to 2002. Gloria’s legacy includes a massive technological transformation of Library services and overseeing the five-year seismic retrofitting of Powell Library. Even after her retirement, she personally supported the Library’s mission, most recently with her gift to fund furniture enhancement for the Science and Engineering Library’s new undergraduate STEM space.

As we stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us, we are thankful that, with your partnership, we will continue to move knowledge forward, building a library for the future – online and in-person. 


Best regards,



Virginia Steel

Norman and Armena Powell University Librarian