Administrators, staff, architects and benefactors gathered yesterday at Mann Library to inaugurate the building’s new addition and to celebrate the successful conclusion of the library’s endowment campaign.
The campaign raised over $4 million for preservation, acquisitions and innovation. Steven Ashley ’62, committee chair of the campaign, spoke at the lunch, describing the library as a place where “ideas take place and new knowledge is created.”
During the campaign, Ashley had warned potential donors that those who do not contribute might “find themselves naked and starving on a polluted planet,” since Mann is the library for the College of Human Ecology and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Sarah Thomas, a Carl A. Kroch University Librarian, described the “vast organization” of the University library system, noting that Cornell libraries have over 500 staff members and 600 students that work to make “personalized service a hallmark of the operation.”
Nicole Neroulias ’01 offered a student’s perspective on the importance of Mann. “I have so many fond memories of working in the computer lab,” she said, recalling shifts spent “bending paperclips to retrieve disks that patrons got stuck in drives.
University President Hunter R. Rawlings III concluded the lunch by thanking the benefactors and cutting a ribbon through a model of the “Old Mann Library” doorway, which was then turned around to represent the new library’s doorway.
Following the lunch, guests were taken on tours through the new addition where staff showcased many of Mann’s new features. The addition, designed by Edward Larabee Barnes, is commonly known by staff members as a four story “high-tech treehouse” because of the spectacular views of the woods through picture windows.
The new building also offers more than 38 miles of fiber optic networking, comfortable study areas, spacious stacks and climate control.
Janet McCue, director of Mann Library, described the celebration as a “wonderful assemblage of guests, architects, deans, staff and benefactors” adding that it was an “odyssey to get where we are and it took all these people to achieve this success.”
Archived article by Maria Rosso