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GU's Library Legacy: Case 1

Case 1: Introduction to Exhibit

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.

The font used for this exhibit is inspired by a recommended penmanship style for librarians to use when writing out card catalogue cards.  It is based on Library Primer by John Cotton Dana, published in 1899 and created by Margo Burns on August 16, 2017.

Jesuit Fathers’ Library, 1935

Located at the west end of the Administrating Building, now College Hall, the Jesuits had their own library.

Students in the library located in the Administration Building, now College Hall, 1950s

Promotional photo of students studying in Crosby Library, October 23, 1957

Photo was taken before library actually opened and before the books had been moved into the library.

“The Crosby Library, Gonzaga University Campus, Spokane, Washington,” about 1958

This 16 paged booklet describes the Crosby Library as the “Storehouse for Knowledge”. Included with photographs and floor plans, the booklet describes what is on each floor and its vital statistics.

CIT: Center for Information and Technology, brochure, about 1990

This brochure was used to solicit interest and financial support for Gonzaga’s new library. CIT would link students, faculty, and regional corporate, agricultural and industrial interests with information sources throughout the United States. CIT would be GU’s one-stop “Library of the Future”. In 1991 CIT was renamed the Foley Center.

Foley Library’s Circulation Desk, 1992

Aerial View of Foley Center, about 1994

Students studying in Foley, 2009