Business/SPEA Information Commons - History


The current combined library for the School of Business and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs dates back to 1935 when Herman B Wells, then Dean of the School of Business appointed a library committee to investigate the establishment of a departmental library.

There were several reasons in favor of establishing a library. The first was the distance of the School of Business (then located in the Social Science Building) from the University Library (then located in Franklin Hall). Instead of using the time between classes to study, students would do everything but study rather than walk two blocks to the University Library. Secondly, the University Library reading rooms were always crowded. Third, faculty members needed a convenient location to store the supplementary texts which they had placed on reserve for their students. Faculty members thought these texts should be located in close proximity to where students attended class. Fourth, business and economics students needed specialized help which the generalists at the University Library could not provide. Finally, faculty members believed that student study habits would be improved if they had a reading room near their classrooms.

Several steps were taken prior to the establishment of the Library. A supervised study hall was set up in 1936 to see whether students would use it. Proving successful, the Board of Trustees authorized a Business Administration Reading Room with an appropriation of $600 to furnish the room. The first books in the library were delivered by Harold Lusk, Chairman of the Library committee which established the Library delivered the Library's first books in his car! The reading room had 61 seats and was open from 7:45 a.m. to 9:50 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. to 9:50 p.m. on Sunday. Library rules directed that overdue books were to be returned to the Dean's office and that fines should be paid there.

Located in the west corner of the second floor of the Social Science Building, the reading room was originally staffed by participants in the National Youth Administration, one of the New Deal agencies established by Franklin Roosevelt. A consensus soon developed that the Business School must hire a professionally trained librarian with experience in acquiring new materials, managing the reading room, and organizing the collection. When Geraldine Bariani was hired, her first move was to compile a card catalog for the Reading Room's materials. Perhaps the most important acquisition was a complete set of Listing Statements of the New York Stock Exchange from 1884-1930. Bariani believed that the Business Library was the only library except for the NYSE to own the complete set.

In 1940, a survey by the American Library Association of IU's branch libraries found that the Business and Economics Library was used more than any other branch. So it was propitious that when the Business School moved into a new building (now named Woodburn Hall) in 1940, of course the Library moved along with it and received several benefits, including more space for a larger collection. A new assistant librarian was hired in accordance with the faculty's wish that the reading room should be staffed at all hours that the Library was open.

While serving as Business School Librarian, Bariani wrote her master's thesis in which she outlined her objectives for the Business and Economics Library:

  • Provide adequate materials of instruction for faculty members, researchers, and undergraduates as each may need them for his individual instruction;
  • To supply the materials of instruction which cover the descriptive, analytical, and technical aspects of business, as these are presented for the enlightenment of the student and for the continued study of the faculty members;
  • To collect the raw data and source materials of instruction which enable the researcher to prove or disprove his theories;
  • To furnish instructional materials of a general and browsing nature which the student may turn to in his leisure time, acquaintance with which is expected of the educated citizen;
  • To make all these materials conveniently and easily available to users and to assist in their location if they are not;
  • To offer a comfortable and attractive location for the consultation of materials conducive to quiet reflection and to productive study.

In 1942, IU's library system was reorganized and the Business and Economics Library's status changed from an independent library to a reserve library. The periodical collection was limited to current copies of business periodicals and the older bound copies of business journals were kept in the central library.

The Rawles Reading Room, named in honor of the first Dean of the School of Business was dedicated in May 1942 and planned as a browsing room for cultural reading. There were works by Shakespeare, Aristotle, Homer and Plato and more recent books such as Bellamy's Looking Backward and Pearl Buck's The Good Earth. It was Rawles' intention to "provide for the Students in his School cultural books which would broaden and enrich their background."

In 1966, the School of Business and its Library moved from Woodburn Hall to 10th Street across from the Main Library which was then under construction.
In 1973, the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) was established in the Poplars Research Center.
In 1982, a new complex of buildings was dedicated connecting the Schools of Business and of Public and Environmental Affairs. The School of Business' building was renovated and a new building was put up for the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, which was then housed in the Poplars Research and Conference Center. The two schools were linked by a spacious outdoor plaza and a new Business/SPEA Library with holdings of 120,000 volumes, including 2400 periodical volumes.

The library cost $16 million to build. The new library's design won a 1983 National Exhibit Award from the American Association of School Administrators, a 1983 Design Award from the National School Boards Association, and a 1984 Merit Award from the Minnesota Society of Landscape Architects. The design successfully expanded the Business School Library's space and created an entirely new facility for SPEA.

Read more about this topic:  Business/SPEA Information Commons

Other articles related to "history":

Casino - History of Gambling Houses
... that gambling in some form or another has been seen in almost every society in history ... Napoleon's France and Elizabethan England, much of history is filled with stories of entertainment based on games of chance ... In American history, early gambling establishments were known as saloons ...
Spain - History - Fall of Muslim Rule and Unification
... The breakup of Al-Andalus into the competing taifa kingdoms helped the long embattled Iberian Christian kingdoms gain the initiative ... The capture of the strategically central city of Toledo in 1085 marked a significant shift in the balance of power in favour of the Christian kingdoms ...
Voltaire - Works - Historical
... History of Charles XII, King of Sweden (1731) The Age of Louis XIV (1751) The Age of Louis XV (1746–1752) Annals of the Empire – Charlemagne, A.D ... II (1754) Essay on the Manners of Nations (or 'Universal History') (1756) History of the Russian Empire Under Peter the Great (Vol ... II 1763) History of the Parliament of Paris (1769) ...
Xia Dynasty - Modern Skepticism
... The Skeptical School of early Chinese history, started by Gu Jiegang in the 1920s, was the first group of scholars within China to seriously question the traditional story of ... early Chinese history is a tale told and retold for generations, during which new elements were added to the front end" ...
History of Computing
... The history of computing is longer than the history of computing hardware and modern computing technology and includes the history of methods intended for pen and paper or for chalk ...

Famous quotes containing the word history:

    The thing that struck me forcefully was the feeling of great age about the place. Standing on that old parade ground, which is now a cricket field, I could feel the dead generations crowding me. Here was the oldest settlement of freedmen in the Western world, no doubt. Men who had thrown off the bands of slavery by their own courage and ingenuity. The courage and daring of the Maroons strike like a purple beam across the history of Jamaica.
    Zora Neale Hurston (1891–1960)

    All history attests that man has subjected woman to his will, used her as a means to promote his selfish gratification, to minister to his sensual pleasures, to be instrumental in promoting his comfort; but never has he desired to elevate her to that rank she was created to fill. He has done all he could to debase and enslave her mind; and now he looks triumphantly on the ruin he has wrought, and say, the being he has thus deeply injured is his inferior.
    Sarah M. Grimke (1792–1873)

    Classes struggle, some classes triumph, others are eliminated. Such is history; such is the history of civilization for thousands of years.
    Mao Zedong (1893–1976)