Newsletter of the Medical Library Group of Southern California and Arizona

A Visit to Grunigen Library & A Get Together

Posted on September 15, 2023 by Membership | 2 Comments

By Jennifer Silverman, MLIS, University of Southern California

MLGSCA Membership Committee Member

On Thursday, August 3, 2023, a small group of library professionals had a chance to do some of our favorite things: tour other libraries, view interesting NLM exhibits, and socialize. When MLGSCA’s Membership Committee found out that UCI’s Grunigen Library in Orange was hosting the NLM exhibit, “AIDS, Posters & Stories of Public Health: A People’s History of a Pandemic” we reached out to MLGSCA member Rikke Ogawa from UCI Libraries about bringing a group to take a tour of the library and the exhibit. Rikke kindly made the arrangements and even got us free parking at UCI Medical Center!

Grunigen Operations Manager Irene Morris led our small, yet mighty group of six on a tour of the library. Irene pointed out how the library space had been partially remodeled in the past few years and she was proud of the new lobby area.

Grunigen Library lobby.
 Display about Dr. Forest J. Grunigen in library lobby.

Irene showed us some of the library’s highlights including a beautiful conference room available by reservation. The conference room features a wall of frosted glass with a patterned ombre design. The library also features a separate computer lab that is accessible 24/7 via patron card swipe when the library is closed. 

Just off the computer lab is possibly the most exciting thing we saw that day, two high-tech nap pods. Irene mentioned the pods were a result of the research showing how a brief nap can refuel you and allow you to travel home safely. These fancy chairs have all kinds of features. Soothing lights and music help you relax, and the hood comes down to keep out the light. The chair’s functions turn off after the specified time limit. Ivan Portillo, MLGSCA’s Research Committee Chair, even hopped in the chair to test it out.

Beautiful, frosted glass inside conference room.
Irene Morris showing us the super cool nap pods.

We ended the tour by looking at the NLM exhibit. It featured six large posters about the AIDS pandemic. All the posters can also be viewed on the exhibit’s supplemental webpage. Some attendees asked about the process of becoming a host library for an NLM exhibit. Irene mentioned that the application process took a while but the arrival of the exhibit materials was easy. She also mentioned the careful planning that went into determining where in the library to place the large posters. Since the posters were only one-sided Irene’s team decided it was best against a wall. They even moved some couches so there was a comfortable seating area in front of the posters. To commemorate our time at Grunigen, we took a group picture.

Back row (L to R): Jay Arellano (SJSU Student), David Carson (Chapman), Ivan Portillo (Chapman), Steve Clancy (UCI Retired), Andrea Harrow (USC)
Front row (L to R): Jennifer Silverman (USC), Rikke Ogawa (UCI)

After the tour, most of the group went across the street to Dave & Buster’s and spent a few hours socializing and eating. I personally enjoyed hanging out with other librarians and chatting about life and libraries in Southern California. An SJSU library student in his last year of school was part of the group and I was happy to share a long list of library job hunting tools and advice with him. Overall, it was a nice day for a library tour and socializing.

Good eats and good company! (L to R): Jennifer Silverman (USC), Karen O’Grady (USD), Andrea Harrow (USC)


2 Responses to “A Visit to Grunigen Library & A Get Together”

  1. Andrea Harrow
    September 15th, 2023 @ 12:22 pm

    That was fun! Thanks to all for organizing and welcoming us, and thanks Jennifer for documenting!

  2. Penny Coppernoll-Blach
    September 18th, 2023 @ 11:12 am

    What a really great write up of this event. I am sorry I missed it!

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