April 02, 2009

Ceremony will mark library expansion, renovation

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A pair of special events on April 16 will formally unveil Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s renovated and expanded Morris Library.

The Morris Library re-dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting is set for 10 a.m. in the basement of the library. Immediately following the ceremony, visitors can enjoy a reception with light refreshments and tours of the facility. That afternoon, author, critic and book authority Nicholas Basbanes will present “Fruits of a Gentle Madness” in the Morris Library Auditorium at 1:30 p.m., with a book signing immediately following.

“Nicholas Basbanes is a well-known author and speaker, said David H. Carlson, dean of Library Affairs. “We’re very pleased to have him.”

The April 16 festivities celebrate the $56.6 million project that has included extensive renovations from the basement through the fifth floor, relocation of some library services, and a variety of additions, including Delyte’s, the new coffee commons. Future plans include relocating library materials housed at the McLafferty Annex during the construction along with renovation of the sixth and seventh floors of the library. Also in the works is a new library patio featuring stonework from the historic Old Main building.

“This is a time for the library, the University and the region to celebrate a true revitalization of Morris Library, not just in its space but in its role of carrying out its mission as a state-of-the-art physical facility,” Carlson said. “For many years, Morris Library has offered a world-class collection of materials and special collections. With the renovation and expansion of Morris, we now have an outstanding physical facility that matches the quality of our outstanding collections.”

The SIUC library facilities house more than 2.4 million volumes, 3.1 million microform units and about 12,500 periodicals and serials. In addition, the Special Collections Research Center has an extensive collection of manuscripts, personal letters, photographs, rare book collections and academic dissertations, theses and University records. Library Affairs also provides numerous services, including access to I-Share and the Learning Express Library, Instructional Support Services and its lab features 80 public computers.

For more information about Morris Library or the re-dedication events, call 618/453-1446.