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C. Y. Thompson Library

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Also Known As:

Agricultural Library

Almost as soon as the new Don L Love Memorial Library opened to students in 1945, the University began planting the seed for another new library. In 1947, newly appointed Chancellor R. G. Gustavson included a library for the agricultural campus in his appeal to alumni. The Agricultural Library had been housed in Agriculture Hall since its doors opened in 1905. Space constraints were becoming a very real problem, with library materials stored in the basement, attic, and even on the downtown campus in Love Library.

In 1961 the Board of Regents hired Clark & Enersen to design a new library on the agricultural campus. The University was experiencing the beginning of the building boom that occurred on campus with the influx of baby boomers. Within five years, the number of new buildings on both campuses would soar.

Clark and Enersen, represented by chief designer Albert Hamersky, developed a free standing library building that would be described as "a modern representation of a classic Greek temple". Three stories arranged around a central atrium provided over 50,000 square feet of space for a projected 265,000 volumes. Exterior walls were topped by 13 foot eaves and acted as a dominant design element. Walls were primarily steel and glass, allowing library patrons to view the "lush, peaceful setting of the campus".

The library was designed for flexibility. Few fixed walled are incorporated into the design, and the book stacks were free standing. Seating for students was integrated into the shelving area, allowing for easy access to materials. The library was recognized with a Nebraska AIA Honor Award.

The library was dedicated on Jan. 8, 1966 and named to honor Charles Yoder Thompson, an agricultural leader and four term president of the Board of Regents.

Source Information:
Classic Design for Future Use, by Dan Lutz. Neb. Alumnus, Sep. 1965; Bd of Regents minutes, June 1961.