Daniel Library's spectacular renovation ready for all to see
The Citadel’s Daniel Library has undergone a stunning transformation since last May. Paid for entirely with $2.2 million in private donations, the library has been renovated for the first time since it was built in 1960.
The library will be barely recognizable to the generations of cadets and graduate students that have studied there. A showpiece staircase now dominates the main entryway and the first floor has been renovated with modern fixtures, furnishings and technology. The ambitious five-month renovation project was marked by some delays, interrupted service and even a closing a two due to construction. But the effort was worth it, said Angie LeClercq, director of the library.
“The newly configured and renovated Daniel Library will be a showplace that is equal to the prestige of The Citadel as an educational institution,” LeClercq said. “Faculty students and staff will congregate in this wonderful building, as they do today, to enjoy the fruits of learning, the insights of critical awareness, and the joy associated with being a member of The Citadel family.”
The Citadel Memorial Library and Museum was dedicated in June 1960. Before it opened, the campus had been served by a small library on the third floor of Bond Hall. The remnants of the old library still exist in the offices that now occupy that space in Bond Hall.
On its dedication then college President Gen. Mark Clark said: "Dedication of the beautiful new Citadel Memorial Library and Museum fulfills a long nurtured dream of mine and of many others who saw the need for such an installation. It ... combines utility and beauty to give The Citadel one of the most magnificent library buildings in the South."
In 1972 the library was re-dedicated as The Daniel Library in honor of two brothers, Charles E. Daniel (1895-1964) and Robert Hugh Daniel (1906-1983) whose enormous generosity to The Citadel provided the funds for the creation of The Citadel's Development Foundation. Then in 2006 Citadel President Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa, realizing that the library was due for a technology and infrastructure update, approached Bill and Lindra Daniel of the Daniel Foundation of Alabama for support of a renovation project. The Daniels visited and then gave the college $1.5 million.
|The slate and cherry wood circular staircase, which provides much needed access to the library's second floor, is the first thing people will notice when they enter the building. Photo courtesy of The Daniel Library on Flickr. View more photos, here.|
“This was an extraordinarily generous gift that brought reality to the vision of vital, re-energized library,” LeClercq said.
From the time of its dedication in 1960, the library remains unchanged as the student body and the campus grew and the academic environment became more dependent on technology. Soon, the library was woefully behind the times as staff worked tirelessly to keep up with the changes, particularly the technological advancements in library science and higher education.
In 1996 when LeClercq became library director there were no computers in the library. Today the wiring and electrical have been upgraded and more than 100 computers have been added in a common area and a classroom lab.
A grant from The Post and Courier Foundation allowed the library to improve the technology available to students and faculty. Spread over five years, the $150,000 grant was the first commitment to the renovation project and it paved the way for the Information Commons that was created where the reference desk use to be located.
While the $1.5 million from the Daniel Foundation was the launching point for the renovation project, alumni along with the Post and Courier Foundation help move the project along. The Citadel Class of 1970 donated $250,000 for the new entry way and stairwell. And the Class of 1980 has committed $250,000 for a Leadership Library Reading Room.
The library’s new design provides for new group study spaces on the second floor that are quiet and comfortable to use and for the infrastructure to support electronic access to library collections.
“We now have a library that our faculty as well as our students will enjoy as a gathering place and as a important part of their academic and leadership development endeavors at The Citadel,” LeClercq said.
Several events are planned in the library to recognize the donors to the renovation project:
- Nov 5 – Class of 1980 reception, 4 p.m.
- Nov. 6 – Class of 1970 reception, 10 a.m.
- Nov. 15 – The Post and Courier Foundation reception, 4 p.m.
- A reception for the Daniels will be scheduled at a later date.
View photos of the Daniel Library under construction on Flickr. Click here.