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GU's Library Legacy: Exhibit Info

GU's Library Legacy: Transitioning from the "Storehouse for knowledge" to the "Library of the Future" - Introduction


Fall 2017 signifies the 60th anniversary of the Crosby Library and the 25th anniversary of the Foley Center Library. Over the years, these two libraries have provided Gonzaga’s students and faculty a place for research and study. Both are located in the center of campus denoting their importance to the university’s mission. Both have endured the changing world as technology has dramatically changed how library services are provided.

Gonzaga’s first libraries were housed in the Administration Building, now College Hall. By the late 1940s, the library was over-crowded and some book collections were stored elsewhere in the building. When finally completed in November 1957, the Crosby Library was called the “Storehouse for Knowledge”. This was the first time in Gonzaga’s history that the library was located in its own building and it provided adequate space at the time.

However, by the mid-1980s it was apparent that Gonzaga had again outgrown its library facilities due to increased enrollment, acquisitions, and technology. Various plans for additions to the Crosby Library were considered but consultants found the plans did not provide adequate space or technological needs. Consequently, the plans for the Center for Information Technology (CIT) were developed and funding sought. Called the “Library of the Future” CIT was renamed in 1991 to the Ralph E. and Helen Higgins Foley Center. It opened on September 2, 1992.

Foley Center Vital Statistics, 1992

Dimensions 400 ft.

Square Feet: 137,000

Shelf capacity: 700,000 volume potential

Seating: 1,050 seats

Study carrels: 300

Cost: $20 million

Architect: Tan Boyle Heyamoto

Crosby Library Vital Statistics, 1957

Dimensions: 120 ft. by 90 ft.

Square feet: 33,464

Shelf capacity: 310,600 volume potential

Seating: 331 reading room seats

Study carrels: 44 study

Cost: $705,000

Architect: John W. Malone

Special Collections Librarian