PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. -- The Picatinny Armaments Technical Library held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Feb. 27 to celebrate its newly renovated hub for collaboration and research.

The library, located in Building 59, has undergone a drastic transformation over the last two years. The aging facilities have been upgraded and consolidated into a modern space designed to foster collaboration and innovation.

But the transition was not an easy one. Several previous attempts to reinvent the library stalled, as concepts and plans would arise, but ultimately did not come to fruition.

"This transformation was a long time in coming," said Scott Miller, chief of the CCDC Armaments Center's Knowledge Management Office. "The community here values a library that provides both virtual resources and a physical place to visit and work, and I believe we have succeeded in realizing that concept."

Working as part of a green belt project, Miller and Lead Librarian Liz Reisman devised a cost effective plan with the help of an extensive "voice of the customer" analysis.

The Picatinny workforce, Armaments University students and faculty, including Donald Carlucci, Armaments Center Chief Scientist, provided valuable insight as to what would enable better collaboration and research.

"An organization's technical library is the heart and soul of its research culture," Carlucci said. "It encompasses both the corporate memory of the organization and its vision of the future.

"Although the brick and mortar improvements to the Library may seem insignificant to some, the fact that it was completed codifies the commitment between leadership and the workforce that research is not only valued, but essential to innovation."

The remodeled Technical Library features state-of-the-art facilities, including extensive network connectivity (wireless NIPR, snaps to NIPR and DREN), various collaboration spaces throughout, and "The Fish Bowl" --an enclosed, dedicated space where engineers and scientists can scrawl notes and mathematical formulas on the windows.

"This room is the centerpiece of our vision for the Technical Library," said Reisman. "It offers the science and technology community a secluded place to share ideas outside of the bustle of a lab or office setting."

If a certain high-tech solution is a better fit, users can also visually capture their ideas on the new, 75-inch Sharp touch screen, which allows users to save or print their virtual white boards and markups.

In addition to its collaboration features, the Technical Library also provides a wide selection of academic and professional-level books and periodicals in its paper collection, which occupies a significant footprint within the renovated facility.

Patrons are free to browse or request assistance from the librarians on staff, who are trained to assist with scientific material.

"Our librarians are eager to assist our engineers and scientists in any way possible," said Miller. "They can facilitate access to many other technical collections through interlibrary loan, digital archives or comprehensive searches in the Defense Technical Information Center."

Travis Boyer, a contractor with Joint Program Executive Office for Armaments and Ammunition, lauded the support provided by the staff. "The Picatinny Armaments Technical Library and on-site librarians provide instrumental support to PEO Ammo, Armaments Center, and associated support staff to identify, consolidate, and deliver ammunition technical information," Boyer said.

"This use of the technical information supports JPEO A&A's mission to reduce ammunition acquisition cycle time and increase efficiency of the ammunition industrial base."

For patrons who prefer to browse from their desk, the library's 24/7 digital collection includes several eBook packages, journals and information databases like IEEE, Springer Ebooks, Knovel eBooks, ASM handbooks, and much more. Picatinny and Frankford Arsenal technical reports are digitally archived and available.

"When doing research or simply looking for solutions to the types of aerodynamics and controls problems I encounter, I need to be able to quickly sort through reference materials to determine their usefulness," said David Hosier, an aerospace engineer with CCDC Armaments Center. "Having access to these journals opens up an enormous wealth of information that I'm literally excited to dive into."

The Picatinny Armaments Technical Library is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. After-hours access is being planned in conjunction with the Armaments University, also at Picatinny Arsenal.