The 50,000-Square-Foot Business and Economics Library Will Encompass a Quarter of the New Facility's Space
by David Irons
Holiday cheer arrived early this season at the Haas School of Business with a $3.5 million pledge from the Thomas J. Long Foundation for construction of the library for the business school's new complex.
"A great library is the heart of every leading educational center," said William G. Combs, the foundation's president. "In building this magnificent new home for the business school, Berkeley is making a singular commitment to the future of management education. That commitment symbolizes the public-private partnership that is essential to the future of public higher education in California."
Now in the final phases of construction, the complex on the eastern edge of the campus is scheduled to open for classes next month. The 50,000-square-foot business and economics library will encompass one-fourth of the new facility's space.
"We are deeply grateful to the Long family, the Thomas J. Long Foundation and its board of directors," said Chancellor Tien. "This gift reflects the belief of California's business leaders in the importance of the university to the state's economy and their confidence in Berkeley's long- term future."
Thomas J. Long and his brother, Joseph, both Berkeley graduates, are best known for founding in 1938 the first of the stores that grew to become Longs Drug Stores.
The new business school complex was designed by the late Charles Moore and colleagues at the Santa Monica architectural firm of Moore Ruble Yudell. It is the last and largest unfinished work of Charles Moore, one of the most influential American architects of the 20th century.
"The new buildings are beautifully designed to create a community and bring the university closer to the business world," said Haas School Dean William A. Hasler. "The library is a modern, high-tech marvel, the most advanced on the Berkeley campus."
Until now, the Berkeley business school was unique among management education leaders in that it had no visible identity on the campus, sharing a building with other campus departments. With the new facility, the business school has a home of its own for the first time in 96 years, and its library will be located within the school for the first time.
One of the finest business libraries in the U.S., its expanding collections now include 120,000 works in economics and management, 2,800 scholarly journals and current publications and more than a million microfiche files of corporate reports and other materials.
The $3.5 million gift is the largest donation yet made by the Thomas J. Long Foundation and the second largest given to date for the business school's new building, which is entirely funded by gifts from foundations, corporations and Haas alumni and friends.
Making up most of the student services wing of the complex, the library will provide 200,000 annual visitors with a gracious reading room, large electronic catalog, and conference and meeting rooms for group work.
The library will include a state-of-the-art business information center designed to meet current and future needs of students, faculty, visiting scholars and the business community.
Users will be able to retrieve up-to-the-minute information across entire industries and individual companies and on issues as varied as U.S. competitiveness in international trade, corporate social responsibility, finance, and investment and marketing data for products and services.
The library's electronic business information center will link students and faculty to online libraries and other databases worldwide. Sophisticated information technology will offer electronic access to databases beyond the campus.
Using workstations and "plug-in" capability for portable computers at desks and tables throughout the library, users will connect through the school's advanced network to the university's global connections via the Internet.
In short, the library will offer students, faculty and visitors to the school total access to the developing global information infrastructure.
Subject to formal campus approval, the facility will be named the Thomas J. Long Business and Economics Library.
Longs Drug Stores reported $2.5 billion in sales and $53 million in profits for its fiscal year ending in January 1994.
The company has long been recognized as a customer-driven innovator in making self-service a convenient and popular retail model.
Longs is also regarded as a leader in organizational decentralization and entrepreneurial empowerment of local managers, long before such concepts became fashionable.
Many of the company's officers and directors over the years have been Berkeley graduates.
Thomas J. Long's estate endowed the foundation following his death in 1993.