November 22, 2017

Ohio State U. Gets $7 Million Toward Library Renovation

By LJ Staff

The Ohio State University (OSU) Libraries have received a $5 million gift
from Thomas and Patricia Duke Robinson to support the renovation of the main
library. The gift will be complemented by an additional $2 million donation from
the Paul Duke Foundation, a supporting organization of the Columbus Foundation.
(Duke is Patricia Robinson’s father.) This represents nearly a quarter of the
private funds needed to renovate the William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library,
which has been listed as a priority in OSU’s Academic Plan. The university plans
to raise $100 million for this five-year project; it is committing between 50
and $70 million itself and plans to raise at least $30 million from the private
sector. Senior Development Officer Kaye Madden estimated that the remaining
funds would be raised by 2005 and construction would take place between 2005 and
2008.

The William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library was built in 1913, with the stack
tower added in 1951. A 1977 addition is not in harmony with the rest of the
building and does not accommodate pedestrians from the west. Many areas are
overcrowded, antiquated, and inaccessible. The renovation will restore the
building architecturally as well as modernize the facility technologically.
Plans include an entrance from the West Wing to draw visitors into the library
from West Campus. In recognition for the Robinsons’ gift, the West Wing will
bear their name and a new atrium will bear the name of the Duke
Foundation.

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