Updates from Alderman: Books in stacks, a new cafe, and more

By Molly Minturn | February 15, 2024

Good news for bibliophiles: the books in Alderman Library’s fifth-floor stacks are now fully moved in and available to patrons! Browse the shelves to your heart’s content and, when ready, take your selected books to a circulation desk on the second or fourth floors for checkout. (Throughout the renovation, these books were available in Clemons or “by request” through Virgo.)

The fifth floor of Alderman Library features a two filled "stacks" sections of books, as well as clerestory windows and an aperature looking down to the fourth floor below.
The books in Alderman Library's fifth-floor stacks are now fully moved in and available to patrons. (Contributed photo)

Each floor in the main library (aside from the basement and second floor, which do not have stacks) has two stacks locations — Stacks West and Stacks East. The fifth floor stacks books now available are in the Library of Congress Classification subclasses PSZ, including American literature, German literature, Dutch literature, Scandinavian literature, fiction and juvenile belles lettres, bibliography, library science, and information resources.

The book-move-back process in Alderman Library will continue for several months, moving down floor-by-floor (the fourth-floor stacks will be completed next, likely by early March). When book movers are working on a floor, books on that floor will remain “by request” in Virgo and can be requested for delivery. When the movers complete a floor, the items will change to their new, permanent stacks location and become available for on-site checkout. To follow along with the progress of the book move, bookmark our status dashboard.

New cafe open for business

Glass doors are closed in front of a cafe with the Saxbys logo on the doors. A blue sign beside the door lists business hours.
Saxbys is located on the second floor in the northeast corner of Alderman Library. (Contributed photo)

Another exciting update from inside the newly renovated building: the entirely student-run Saxbys is now open on the second floor of Alderman. Serving coffee, smoothies, breakfast all day, and an impressive array of grilled cheese sandwiches, Saxbys is open weekdays and Sundays. Students and staff packed the café during its opening day in Alderman earlier this month, observing a ribbon-cutting ceremony, picking up free swag, high-fiving Cav-Man, and sampling the menu.

In the news

Students study in an ornate room in Alderman Library. The room has Persian rugs, leather chairs, dark wood bookshelves, and a fireplace.
Students study in the McGregor Room on Jan. 8, the day the library reopened to the public. (Photo by Tom Daly)

UVA students have spoken, and Alderman is “the new place to be on Grounds,” according to the Cavalier Daily. Reporter Mia Tan interviewed multiple students in late January about their experience using the library since the start of the semester and the reviews in the article were uniformly positive. They remarked on the “open and spacious” feel of the renovated building and how its welcoming atmosphere is conducive to studying.

For now, students cite one another as the primary forces that shape the character of Alderman. From establishing the ‘talking floors’ to finding favorite study spots, [Fourth-year Engineering student Morgan] Small anticipates that students will fall into patterns as they frequent the library.


“I think that students will fill each space in a unique way, and this is something that will naturally occur over time,” Small said. “[Alderman] seems like it’s meant to be form-fitting to whoever is studying here.”

Another Cavalier Daily reporter, Emily Barrie, “explored every inch” of the main library earlier this month to find her top ten study spots. It may come as no surprise that the McGregor Room was listed as number one, but Barrie introduces readers to some new spots that she charmingly nicknamed, including the “Puzzle Place” and “Medieval Lights Area” (also known as the North Reading Room), both located on the fourth floor.

We’re thrilled that students are feeling so comfortable in the renovated library and hope you, whether you are a student, faculty member, staff, or community patron, come find your favorite reading spot soon.