For the past 40 years, Bethlehem University in the Holy Land has accepted the challenge of advancing a world-class educational institution in the middle of an underserved and economically challenged region. It has earned international recognition for the calibre of its students, faculty, programs and alumni while demonstrating a strong commitment to the well-being of its community.
Bethlehem University is on the cusp of major developments. The library renovation is the first important step in a comprehensive facilities master plan that will shape the University for decades to come. The renovation will transform one of the oldest buildings on campus into the “heart” of our intellectual and community life.
Standing at the entrance to campus, the library is the gateway to a world that reaches far beyond the constraints of living under Israeli military occupation. However, the library suffers from substantial building, technology, and accessibility deficiencies that significantly impact its functionality. Built in 1977 for a university of fewer than 400 students, and after nearly four decades of use with few upgrades, the library does not meet 21st century demands. The library retains a physical design that predates pedagogical and technological changes in the learning environment.
A comprehensive renovation, estimated to cost $2.9 million, will keep the library vital for years to come. The result is a more functional application of the space to advance collaborative activities and technology usage. With refurbishments, such as establishment of dedicated teaching and learning areas, upgrades in technology, and improvements in climate control, the library will preserve its collections, exploit new technologies, and adopt innovative educational approaches.
We invite you to look over these pages dedicated to a new vision for Bethlehem University’s Library. This is a journey we must take – for our students, for our faculty, for the University, for the Palestinian people.
We hope you decide to join us.