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Porter Henderson Library Building Turns 50!

January 30, 2017

2017 will be a big year for the Porter Henderson Library! 

The year was 1967. Thurgood Marshall became the first African American Justice to serve on the United States Supreme Court. 100,000 people gathered in Washington, D.C. to protest American involvement in the Vietnam War. The first issue of Rolling Stone magazine was released, and Angelo State University welcomed the newly constructed building for the Porter Henderson Library.

Prior to opening its doors, the ASU Library was housed in what we now know as the Student Accounts office of the Meyer Administration Building. The rounded portion of the building served as the space for the Library for over 20 years until the spacious Porter Henderson Library opened.

The Library has seen several updates since construction in 1967, but the building changed significantly with recent renovations. In 2003, the third floor of the Library was added, and in 2011 a most dramatic interior renovation occurred with the opening of the Learning Commons. Prior to the most recent renovation; the first floor housed the Circulation desk; the Juvenile, Reference, Government Documents collections; and a rapidly growing area for computer access. Increased demands for technology became a fundamental requirement in higher education, and academic libraries addressed this need by exploring the concept of an information or learning commons to provide an integration of technology and information access with collaborative learning spaces. Through research and insight, key Library and Information Technology staff members decided that a major update to the first floor was necessary. With one exception, those collections formerly housed on the first floor were moved to the basement. The Learning Commons first floor became the largest collaborative and technologically capable study space on campus. This dynamic environment for study and social interaction includes the Common Grounds Café.

The Library of old was a solitary place to study and conduct research; the Learning Commons on Library’s first floor is better able to meet the changing needs of ASU students! The Porter Henderson Library remains dedicated to developing student research skills that help them both academically and in their future professions. From Information Literacy instruction, tutorials, research guides, and staff who are always willing to provide assistance, the Library does its part to help set the foundation for future academic and professional success. Students who prefer the quieter space may find traditional research environments in the basement and second floors.

In addition, the Library provides a sense of community through events designed to give back to the campus and local community. From Therapy Dogs, to Trick or Treat at the Library, to Give More HUGS, the Library is committed to making students feel both welcome and encouraged to succeed by getting involved!

As we celebrate the Library’s 50th Anniversary, the Library invites you to join in the festivities. Throughout 2017, the Library homepage will feature archived images of the Library as well as several new blog posts devoted to the Anniversary. As always, the Porter Henderson Library will provide updates on upcoming contests and events through social media! If you don’t already follow us, now is the time to start. Stay tuned and join us in celebrating the Porter Henderson Library’s milestone!