The Science Library (later renamed to the Orbach Science Library) was the first new library building at UCR in over 25 years when it opened in 1998. The building was designed by the architectural firms, Ehrlich-Rominger and Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson, and Abbott. Construction began in February 1996 and was completed shortly before the library officially opened in August 1998.

Prior to the completion of the Science Library, library holdings that supported the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences and the College of Engineering were housed in two separate locations: the Physical Sciences Library and Bio-Agricultural Library. These collections were consolidated and moved into the new library building when it was completed and the space occupied by the two former libraries was returned to the campus for reallocation.

In November 2009, the Science Library was renamed for Raymond L. Orbach, the former UCR chancellor (1992-2002).

About Raymond L. Orbach

Raymond L. Orbach, born in Los Angeles, California in 1934, is a physicist and administrator. He graduated from the California Institute of Technology in 1956 and went on to receive his PhD from UC Berkeley in 1960. Orbach spent much of his early career at UC Los Angeles (UCLA) and was promoted to full professor in 1966. He later served at the Provost of the College of Letters and Science at UCLA from 1982-1992 before coming to UCR.

Orbach is UCR's second longest tenured chancellor having held the post for 10 years from 1992-2002. During his time as chancellor the student population at UCR nearly doubled from 8,500 to 15,500 and the campus experienced a builiding boom that saw over 1 million square feet of office, research, and teaching facilities constructed. In 2002, Orbach left UCR to become director of the Office of Science at the US Department of Energy in Washington D.C.