This October, the campus community is invited to celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month. The University’s official kickoff is Monday, Oct. 3, in Schine Student Center 304 from 4 to 6 p.m. The LGBTQ Resource Center, along with students and campus partners,…
Campus Community Invited to Celebrate 50 Years of Bird Library
Bird Library opened its doors to the Syracuse University community for the first time in September of 1972. As the University and Syracuse University Libraries marks Bird Library’s 50th anniversary, the campus community is invited to commemorate this occasion during a celebration on Wednesday, Sept. 14 from 3-5 p.m. on the first floor of Bird Library.
Bird Library’s Anniversary Celebration to Include:
- An original model of Bird Library, created by architect Russell King ’52 of King and King Associates
- University Archives exhibit display featuring architectural drawings, photos and other materials from the design, build and opening of Bird Library
- Learning Commons display featuring popular cultural items from 1972
- Professor Rick Burton ’80, David B. Falk Endowed Professor of Sport Management in Falk College, and Scott Pitoniak ’77, authors of Forever Orange: The Story of Syracuse University will share campus history and highlights from 1972
- Remarks from David Seaman, current University Librarian and Dean of the Libraries, and also Interim Dean of the School of Information Studies
- Photo opportunity with a green screen background consisting of Bird Library photographs
- Trivia questions from 1972 and Bird Library displayed on the digital screens
- Commemorative buttons and sticker giveaway
- Anniversary cake and refreshments.
Reflecting on 50 Years of Bird Library
Designed by Syracuse architectural firm King and King Associates, Bird Library boasts seven floors and more than 212,000 square feet, and cost $13.8 million to build. Funding for the building came from Ernest Stevenson Bird ‘1916, George Arents H’33, the Federal government under Titles I and II, the University and many other donors.
Chancellor William Pearson Tolley was in office in 1969 when the groundbreaking for the building took place and presented the dedication address at the building’s formal dedication on April 6, 1973. Chancellor Melvin Arnold Eggers was in office when the building was opened in 1972.
“The significance of this building is the increased opportunity it provides for learning. It is a new opportunity for the city and the county, for business and industry, for old and young, for everyone in the community as well as university students and members of the faculty. It is a community resource of the highest importance. It adds a new dimension to the cultural life of our city. It opens doors of opportunity to learn that we have not had before. . . . This is a learning center designed for people to use. . . This is a building that makes real the spirit of learning. Here one comes to understand the University’s threefold aim to conserve, transmit and advance knowledge and learning,” Chancellor Emeritus Tolley reflected during his dedication remarks.
As part of the move, more than one million volumes and millions more other items—including manuscripts, pamphlets and microform—were moved from the collections at Carnegie Library, the library annex and branch libraries. The following year, stress tests were conducted to ensure the building structure could withstand the weight of the books.
Library users increased from 1,500 to 7,000 in the first two months after Bird Library opened. Today, Bird Library is the busiest academic building on campus, with more than one million visits annually (pre-COVID-19).
In addition to the general collections and resources, Bird Library is home to several other campus-wide resources including: Syracuse Abroad, Center for Learning and Student Success, Blackstone LaunchPad, Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Engagement, Digital Scholarship Space, Faculty Commons, Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence, Women in Science and Engineering and the Special Collections Research Center.