A single service desk in Ellis, a new location for Archives, and re-purposing Ellis Room 52 are some of the current topics being discussed under the umbrella of “space needs.” Back in 1971, the need for more space was a topic of interest, too. An article in the Missouri Alumnus (May 1971) highlights how crowded Ellis library and some of the specialized libraries were even then.
- Dr. C. Edward Carroll, director of libraries “knows that the building was designed to hold two million volumes and, counting the items in the State Historical Society and the Western Historical Manuscripts collection, it already exceeds that number.”
- “The main library building was built in 1914. It became crowded as the campus grew and a new addition was added in 1939. With time and continued growth the new addition also filled to capacity. Planners at the University fore-saw the growth and another addition was completed by 1962. Since then, more than half a million volumes have been added to the library’s shelves. The number of students on the campus has nearly doubled.”
- “Also included in the request for next year are the funds to operate not only the main library, but also the network of seven branch libraries, housed in the professional schools. ‘The only one that has any space at all is the mathematics library,’ in the newly-opened Mathematical Sciences Building, Carroll said. If the veterinary medicine complex is built, that school will also have enough library space.”
The good news is that, despite space shortcomings, the strengths of the libraries were extolled, too:
- “The strengths are impressive: More than 1.5 million books and 18,OOO current journals make the main library complex on the Columbia campus one of the largest in the Midwest; its microfilm collection is the second largest of any research library in the country; its rare book collection is the best in the Big Eight; it is a nationally-recognized pioneer in library computer applications … “
Additional historical details are given in the article, which is available in MOspace: Mizzou Alumnus, 1971 May, pages 8-11.