In January, The Newberry Library completed the installation of a new compact shelving system on the lowest three floors of its thirty-year-old, ten-floor Stacks Building. This project was undertaken between July 21, 2011 and January 1, 2012. Compact shelving is very common in new or renovated archival repositories and libraries.
The Newberry Library is a privately-funded research library that is open to the public, located at 60 West Walton Street on the Near North Side of Chicago. The new system will hold twice as many books as the old system. Over the past decade, the Book Stack Building reached capacity.
At the end of January, The Newberry Library announced that the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has granted The Newberry Library’s Dr. William M. Scholl Center for American History & Culture “$326,803 to help community college faculty enrich their students’ learning in the area of American religious pluralism. Utilizing the Newberry’s rich collections and expertise, ‘Out of Many: Religious Pluralism in America’ is a two-year, multi-day seminar program that will bring together 20 community college faculty to explore American religious pluralism through discussions with scholars in the field, public programs, and collaborative research focused on curriculum development.”
In July, The Newberry Library celebrated the 125th anniversary of its foundation in 1887. This inspired a number of commemorative Newberry 125 events that will be open to the public. Chief among these, The Newberry 125 exhibition opened on Thursday, September 6, 2012 and run through today, Monday, December 31, 2012.
Note that the whole facility is closed on Sundays and only the Exhibition Galleries will be open on Monday, because the Reading Rooms and the M.C. McClurg Bookstore are closed on Mondays. The Exhibition Galleries are open from 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Normally, the Reading Rooms are open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays (when items can be requested from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.) and from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays (when items can be requested from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.). The Exhibition Galleries are open from 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Mondays, from 8:15 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, and from 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The M.C. McClurg Bookstore is open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, and from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
The Reading Rooms were closed Saturday, December 22, 2012, though Wednesday, December 26, 2012. The entire facility was closed Christmas Day (Tuesday, December 25, 2012) and will be closed on Tuesday, January 1, 2013 (New Year’s Day).
It cannot be a coincidence that in this important year for The Newberry Library it has re-branded itself as “The Newberry – Chicago’s Independent Research Library Since 1887.” Why did they do so, were they hoping if they lopped the word library off a library the place would seem more inviting to cretins?
Are they afraid the word library will lose any meaningful significance to current and future generations of children who grow up working with personal computers in a way that would have boggled the mind of the average person in 1980? The move may confuse new residents of the city who are transplants from faraway places and unfamiliar with our cultural landscape or scholars visiting one of the universities who have limited time to do research and cause them to overlook one of the jewels in the city’s crown.