Celebrating the Past, Imagining the Future: Irwin Library Turns 50

By , May 29, 2013 6:14 pm
Irwin Library Then: Card Catalog, 1963

Irwin Library Then: Card Catalog, 1963

Butler University students had just returned from summer break to find the campus transformed. Some described the building as a riverboat, some as a wedding cake.  The Butler Collegian described it as a “floating palace of light” and “a dream come true for every student” when Irwin Library opened its doors to Butler faculty and students for the first time on Sept. 9, 1963.

Join us as we celebrate Irwin Library’s past and imagine its future with events throughout the 2013-14 academic year.  Highlights include:

 

  • an open house at Irwin Library on September 9 with complete with cake and a display of the building’s history from the University Archives;
  • two art contests( featuring the library as subject) and displays;
  • speaker events focusing on mid-century architectural design and renowned architect Minoru Yamasaki.

Yamasaki, whose most famous architectural achievement was the World Trade Center in New York, designed Irwin Library not only to house knowledge, but also to stimulate thought. He created the central atrium with its large skylight and fountain to provide an “unexpected experience” upon entering the library.

Irwin Library Now: Librarian Teresa Williams and a student collaborate on research

Irwin Library Now: Librarian Teresa Williams and a student collaborate on research

A reporter for the Collegian lauded Irwin Library’s “modern accommodations which serve the student in his every need for academic excellence” in 1963.  Today’s students have different information needs, and Irwin Library is changing as well. Print journals and books are being replaced by Web-based databases and e-books, requiring wireless Internet access throughout the building.  The library’s classrooms are outfitted with instructional technology. Study spaces designed for collaboration have replaced some of the study carrels for individual study.

Watch Library News for details about Irwin Library anniversary events or contact the Dean’s office at 940-9926 for more information.

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