Gilbert Memorial Library and Information Center

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Front of the Library more images.[1]

The Gilbert Memorial Library is an academic library and information center for the students, faculty, and staff at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Contents

Bids to Construct the Library

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Architectural perspective of library from parking lot. [2]


A new library was desperately needed at Georgia Tech. There was talk about the overall ranking of the school being hurt by its old library. Dorothy Crosland was responsible for the main push to build a new library. The construction of the library was a long process. After procuring the necessary funds, the next step involved finding a contractor. Originally, there were four potential contractors; however, only one contractor was necessary for construction. In order to settle this, the companies placed bids. These companies included J. A. Jones Construction Co., Thompson & Street Co., T C Batson Construction Co., and Southeastern Construction Co. J. A. Jones bid $1,585,500 and estimated construction to be complete within five hundred and fifty days. Thompson & Street bid $1,678,000 and estimated five hundred and forty days to construct the library. T C Batson bid $1,648,000 and estimated five hundred days would be required to complete construction of the library. Southeastern bid $1,736,344 and gave an estimate of five hundred days to construct the library. The chart below depicts alternate deductions for the library and the amount that each construction company would be willing to deduct from their original estimate.

Alternative Deductions J. A. Jones Construction Co. Thompson & Street Co. T C Batson Construction Co. Southeastern Construction Co.
Subs of one for two chillers $400 $475 $450 $385
Subs of lighting fixtures in stack areas $42,500 $3,150 $4,000 $3,300
Omission of fourth floor finish $27,000 $28,560 $30,000 $32,900
Omission of elevator 2 $12,500 $13,800 $14,000 $14,800
Omission of finish in faculty lounge and music lounge area $16,000 $18,700 $19,000 $21,200
Omission of other finish and partitions on ground floor level $27,000 $35,300 $33,000 $39,000
Subs of asphalt tile for cork tile flooring $5,000 $7,500 $6,700 $5,500


The contract was eventually rewarded to J. A. Jones Construction Co. It was awarded to J. A. Jones Construction Co. because they placed the lowest bid that also had a very competitive time line to complete the construction of the library.[3]

Funding of the Library

Construction of Prince Gilbert Memorial Library was funded in many different ways. Blake Ragsdale Van Leer, president at the time of construction, negotiated money from the General Education Board Grant in 1945. Senator Stirling Price Gilbert, Sr.[4] was also very responsible in funding the library. Students were also asked to make donations to the library.[5]

Ground Breaking Day

When construction of the library was complete, a ground breaking day occurred. Mr. C. I. Emerson, Mrs. J. H. Crosland, Mr. Harold Bush-Brown, Mr. T. B. Massey, Mr. R. A. Smith, and Mr. J. R. Jenkins were invited to be part of the ground breaking committee. They were asked to sit on a platform, speak about the completion of the library, and give a tribute to Judge Gilbert, the former Supreme Court Justice of Georgia for whom the library is named. They were then invited to attend a luncheon held in Brittain Hall.[6]B

Functions of the Library

When Georgia Institute of Technology was in the process of raising funds for a new library, they created a flyer. This flyer showcased many of the potential functions of the library. The flyer showed that the library would house over 35,000 volumes and would serve a student body of 5000 in order to provide quiet, comfortable, and attractive rooms for studying and reading. In addition, the faculty would be provided with facilities. Graduate students and research workers would be provided with cubicles in the library. Other functions of the library included serving the members of the engineering research staff as well as industrial, federal, state and municipal agencies of engineering and research. The library was also created to serve alumni and to provide space for audio and visual materials (to be used for instructional purposes), as well as maps. Another function that should not be ignored is the fact that the library was originally designed to provide adequate space and facilities for internal work of the library, such as ordering, cataloging, and preparing materials for bindery, and also to provide adequate facilities for library staff. [7]


The contemporary library still offers everything mentioned in the flyer. It also offers different functions such as a bank of computers, a multimedia center, and rooms for group studying. In addition, it provides access to an extensive collection of books, journals, electronic resources, and databases. "The library maintains over 2.4 million books, bound periodicals and serials, including about 900,000 government documents, approximately 2.72 million technical reports, and over 197,000 cartographic materials." Furthermore it includes over 240 online databases, over 29,000 electronic books, and 39,000 e-journals. It also has virtual and in person research assistance, electronic reservations, information consulting, library instruction, interlibrary loan/document delivery, acquisitions, and assistance with software, hardware, wireless, and network port connections. It has 220 library classes and tours that reach 4,054 students. The library employs over 120 staff members, which includes specialists in 35 disciplines who assist the students and the library.[8]

Renovations to the Library

Philip Carey Manufacturing Company fixed a leak in the library soon after completion. The leak was near the south side of the Equipment room at the elevator. The repairs were made at no cost to Georgia Tech, as the contract stated that Philip Carey Manufacturing Company would pay to fix this type of leak. The repairs were made on January 20, 1958. [9]


Philip Carey Manufacturing Company was also responsible for helping Georgia Tech replace the roman travertine marble on the library building. The roman travertine marble was cracking in various spots on all sides of the building. Pieces of it had even fallen out of place. These repairs were made on December 16, 1957.[10]


These two examples of renovations to the library demonstrate how much emphasis Georgia Tech places on maintaining its buildings. It also shows that Georgia Tech has good relationships with the contractors because of how easily and quickly the repairs were made in both situations.

Sections of the Library

The library is separated into two different parts, East Commons and Ground Floor West. The East Commons space was opened in August 2006 and offers a place for students and staff to utilize great learning spaces, a café, and an instant theater to practice presentations and performances. The East Commons' purpose was to accommodate groups of students working at computers, showcase the best and brightest output of Georgia Tech, and accommodate both students and faculty in a common setting for mutually beneficial enterprise. In the spring of 2006, Ground Floor West opened up. It currently houses the OIT and the Library Resource Center. The purpose of this space is to provide a student focused and centrally supported place for one-stop services. The Library Resource Center is comprised of some of the OIT’s Customer Support, a showcase for new technology, undergraduate academic advisement facilities, and one on one tutoring on nights and weekends. [11]

People Who Influenced the Library

The following people had a great deal of influence on developing the library to what it is today.

Stirling Price Gilbert, Sr

Stirling Price Gilbert was born on January 31, 1862 in Stewart County, Georgia. He graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1883 with a Bachelor of Science degree and from Yale University in 1885 with a Bachelor of Laws degree. After admission to the bar in 1885, he practiced law in Atlanta and Columbus, Georgia. In 1916, Gilbert became a member of the Supreme Court of Georgia, where he remained for over twenty five years. He donated the money to construct the much needed new library on the Georgia Tech campus. Named in his honor, the Price Gilbert Memorial Library opened in 1953. A portrait of Price Gilbert hangs near the rotunda of the library.[12]

Dorothy Crosland

Dorothy Crosland was appointed librarian in 1927 and held that position until 1951, when her title was changed to director of libraries. She held that position until she retired in 1971 and was responsible for building the library’s collection. It was a goal of hers to have Georgia Tech’s library rival those of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other leading technological schools. She made trips through Europe and in the United States to purchase rare and out of print books. It was her relationships with book dealers around the world that allowed Georgia Tech to acquire such a vast collection. [13]

Sources

References

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Georgia_Tech_Library_Front.jpg
  2. "Gilbert Memorial Library," in Georgia Tech Archives Digital Collections, Item #1521, http://history.library.gatech.edu/exhibits/show/buildings/lib/item/1521 (accessed October 22, 2010).
  3. Library Construction, Archives, Library and Information Center, Georgia Institute of Technology
  4. Judge S. Price Gilbert, Sr. Speech, Archives, Library and Information Center, Georgia Institute of Technology
  5. Library Construction, Archives, Library and Information Center, Georgia Institute of Technology
  6. Library Ground breaking Day, Archives, Library and Information Center, Georgia Institute of Technology
  7. Dorothy M. Crosland Papers (MS001), Archives, Library and Information Center, Georgia Institute of Technology
  8. cite web|url=https://intranet.library.gatech.edu/docs/2006factsheet.pdf%7Ctitle="Empower. Enrich. Advance" (Library fact sheet)|publisher=Library and Information Center, Georgia Institute of Technology|accessdate=2010-10-03
  9. Renovations to the Library, Archives, Library and Information Center, Georgia Institute of Technology
  10. Renovations to the Library, Archives, Library and Information Center, Georgia Institute of Technology
  11. cite web|url=https://intranet.library.gatech.edu/docs/2006factsheet.pdf%7Ctitle="Empower. Enrich. Advance" (Library fact sheet)|publisher=Library and Information Center, Georgia Institute of Technology|accessdate=2010-10-03
  12. Judge S. Price Gilbert, Sr. Speech, Archives, Library and Information Center, Georgia Institute of Technology
  13. Dorothy M. Crosland Papers (MS001), Archives, Library and Information Center, Georgia Institute of Technology
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