Our hearts go out to the people of San Bernardino and to the Cal Poly families who have lost loved ones, even while we celebrate and cheer our hard-working students this week.  Our students inspire us with their courage and energy and hopefulness. We wish every student health and luck over the coming days before a welcome winter break with friends and family.

This week I learned a lot about campus sustainability initiatives and how some of these may impact the library. Some sustainability projects in the library are visible (our hydration stations, participation in the Zero Waste pilot, and some small-scale lighting efficiency pilots); others may be coming our way (including, we hope, several Dyson hand dryers). There are also some big ideas and campus sustainability initiatives that will include the library. One campus initiative is to seek LEED certification of existing buildings on campus, among them the library; we’ve agreed to support campus outreach about sustainability issues (e.g. using the library’s ‘partner’ digital signs); and we can also support the Academic Spierenate Sustainability Committee in its work to better integrate and encourage learning about sustainability across the curriculum. Finally but not least: we’ll be working on finding the most sustainable solutions we can, for keeping library temperatures in a comfortable range. Our next step here will be to find out the results of an HVAC consultant’s campus-wide report and recommendations – it should be available next spring – and then get a more detailed analysis of library HVAC solutions.

Today an amazing exhibit will appear in the library. The new architecture reading room on the third floor (with gorgeous new whiteboard walls – check them out!) will be the setting for a display of student projects from CAED that reimagine Port San Luis Pier.   Over 270 first-year Architecture and ARCE majors formed teams this quarter and created these incredibly beautiful (and large) models, which we’ll get to enjoy through February.

As we begin to look towards the New Year, our symbolic threshold of the future, there was big news this week about a major new research effort on AI, “the future of intelligence.”  The 
Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence at Oxford will bring researchers together from philosophy, computer and cognitive science, social science, and other fields to study machine intelligence and its implications if (or when) machine intelligence surpasses human intelligence.  Will it be the best of times, or the worst of times?  Stuart Russell at Berkeley says this would be “the biggest event in human history.” And Stephen Hawking says “when it eventually does occur, it’s likely to be either the best or worst thing ever to happen to humanity, so there’s huge value in getting it right.”

Speaking of the future –  if you missed Keith Webster’s talk about “Building the Library of the Future” on Nov. 18, or if you just want to listen again – we now have his slides and podcast posted on the event website.  Enjoy!

And have a great weekend,