The Next Chapter - Renovating Alderman, our main library

The renovation of our main library is a major project and a top priority in UVA’s 2030 Plan: A Great and Good University. The renovated library reopened in January 2024.

The renovation updated the library’s historic envelope (areas such as the main lobby, study rooms, and the McGregor Room), and the library now features five floors of new user-friendly mixed-use space, a combination of book storage and shelving, as well as room for study and research. Upgraded facilities for preservation and conservation ensure that the collection is well taken care of and accessible for years to come.

Rendering of exterior large brick and stone building with outside terraces shown at dusk

New construction on the building’s north side welcomes visitors, with an entrance from University Avenue and both a new lobby and a two-level reading room. Light from clerestory windows brighten the fifth and fourth floor reading spaces and stacks, and the existing lightwells have been transformed into skylight-enclosed study courtyards.

Upgrades to infrastructure and HVAC, improved lighting, and better utilization of space has created a much-improved environment for both the library’s users and its collections. Addressing safety and accessibility concerns, adding new entrances, and improving wayfinding have helped make the building more welcoming and inclusive.

Your support of the renovation works to support all of these needs and concerns, creating a beautiful new flagship library for the University of Virginia, providing funding to allow Library staff the flexibility to adapt to future needs, and bolstering our leadership position among academic libraries.

No tuition dollars are being spent on the renovation — the budget comes solely from state support and private donations from alumni and friends.

interior of a light filled library space under a glass clerestory showing people walking and mingling among  shelves filled with books rendering of a study space filled with tables and people reading. Chandeliers depend from a two story ceiling and a mezzanine level can be seen on the upper floor
Read more about the renovation


Naming opportunities (PDF)

Renovation benefits

  • Refurbishing of the building’s historic envelope and wooden furniture
  • New spaces for student gatherings and University events
  • More even mixture of collections and study/research space
  • New shelving for growing collections
  • Beautiful, light-filled interior
  • New entrances and larger and better elevators for accessibility and safety
  • A public connection linking the new building with Clemons Library
  • Complete renewal of HVAC, electricity, plumbing, and other systems

To support the renovation, select the "Main Library Renovation" designation from our secure online form.

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Questions?

If you have questions about making a gift to the University Library, please contact Sean Clarkson: (434) 466-7408 or sdc3dw@virginia.edu