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Townsend Library turns 50 years old

Townsend Library turns 50 years old

In September, Townsend Memorial Library celebrated its 50th anniversary with a display featuring a card catalog and various library tools, equipment, and photos. Director of Learning Resources Denise Karimkhani said the exhibit paid tribute to days gone by when the most sophisticated pieces of technology were typewriters or microfilm readers.

“Since most students today grew up with technology, it is unlikely that they give much thought to the rapid strides made in library and information science,” Karimkhani said. “I started here as the public services librarian in 1977, so I have witnessed transformations in my profession, in our building, and in the number and types of resources—advances I never imagined.”

The present day building was dedicated in September 1961. The new building was a long-held dream for many, who had been using a “temporary” $10,000 frame structure—originally built to last no more than five years for the library—since the 1920s. The new library cost $327,000 to build and was designed to hold 75,000 volumes. With its new open stacks and air conditioning, this new library no doubt felt like a luxury to the students and faculty at that time. The building was named in memory of longtime university champions E.G. and Elli Moore Townsend.