» About the Leatherby Libraries Building

Who was the architect and builder for the Leatherby Libraries?

  • Architect: AC Martin Partners, Los Angeles, California
  • Builder: Matt Construction, Santa Fe Springs, California

When was the groundbreaking and when did the grand opening occur?

  • Milestone Dates: Groundbreaking: May 2003
  • Grand Opening: Fall 2004. 66-week construction schedule.

What was the cost of the Leatherby Libraries and how was it funded?

  • Cost to Design and Build: Approximately $25 million
  • Funding: Private donors, foundations, an IMLS grant
  • A listing of the donor names will appear on the donor wall. The gifts range in size from the lead gift of $3,000,000. We consider a "Major gift" to be $5,000 and above, but there are many people who have given to this library vision with much less than that, including a 100% participation from Library staff.

What are the significant building features?


The Rotunda is the architectural icon of the building. It is comprised of the first floor 24 hour study commons with Cafe, group study rooms and a vend/copy reading area that has just recently been named by Alumni parents Tom and Joy Lewis and sponsored in part by the Weingart Foundation. The Cafe will serve coffee, tea, smoothies, and grab-n-go food items. The rest of the Rotunda is not part of the 24 hour study commons. The second floor of the Rotunda is for lounge seating. The third floor of the Rotunda is a spectacular 2-story space with tables and chair seating.

Doy and Dee Henley Reading Room

On the second floor, approximately 40 seats at tables with task lighting. In this room will be the Faculty Wall of Honor, noting the following categories: Faculty Emeriti, Faculty Memoriam, Faculty Endowed Chairs, and Wang-Fradkin Fellowships.

15 Group study rooms throughout the building

These will be open for a first come, first served availability for groups of 2 or more. Self-monitoring.

6 multi-media preview rooms to access non-print information

These will be available by reserving the room for dedicated periods of time. Each will be customized to the media of that discipline. For example:

  • Film and Television will be a Screening Room
  • Music will be a Listening Room
  • Business and Economics includes a Document Camera
  • Education includes a Kurzweil Reading Machine and a round table for working together. 
  • Science and Technology includes extra computers for CD access
  • Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences: supports slide projector for art slides

First Floor

  • Reference Consultation Room for Individual Reference Conferences (IRC's).
  • Roger O. and Anne Newton Walther Periodical Reading Room includes current periodicals, newspaper and microfilm area, and reading tables.

Second Floor

  • Alumni Association Reading Alcove (looks down on the part of the lobby that is two story)- will eventually have an Alumni Association display and possibly a collection of books by Chapman alumni.
  • Jim and Kay Burra Rotunda Reading Room - lounge seating on this floor. Connected to the Doy and Dee Henley Reading Room where the faculty wall of honor is located.
  • The second and third floors feature some reading alcoves, one on floor two funded by the Raymond Group.

Third Floor

  • Malloy Performance Portico. Named by Tom and Sharon Malloy. Third floor elevator lobby area. Has drop down screen and capability for up to 20 chairs. The nearby storeroom will contain 20 chairs and a portable lectern. We will use the video projector from the Library Meeting Room on floor four to project images in this area. Has controllable lighting if necessary. A cultural center of the library.
  • Marge Stegemeier Rotunda Reading Room. Dramatic two-story space where there are tables and chairs.
  • Lawrence and Jean Shaffer Library Instruction Room. Includes 20 computers currently with capacity for 40, instructor master control center, and seats for 40 patrons.

Fourth Floor

  • Fashionables Terrace for special events.
  • Library Administration offices.
  • Frank Mt. Pleasant Library of Special Collections and Archives.
  • Sala and Aron Samueli Holocaust Memorial Library.
  • Staff lounge named for Grace Rankin Lounge in TCML

Who provided the furnishings?

Furnishings were provided by Huntington Business Interiors. There will be plaques in certain areas acknowledging the gifts of chairs, computers, tables by donors such as the Oak Tree Racing Association, Eddie and Marjorie Carlmark, and Bill and Linda Scholle.