Homer D. Babbidge Library

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Coordinates: 41°48′24″N 72°15′06″W / 41.8066°N 72.2516°W / 41.8066; -72.2516

Homer D. Babbidge Library

The Homer D. Babbidge Library is the main library on the University of Connecticut campus.

History[edit]

In December 1962 University of Connecticut President Homer D. Babbidge went before the Connecticut Legislature to advocate for a stronger research-oriented institution in Storrs. When compared to its peers, UConn spent less on bookbinding, periodicals, collections development, and had an overall smaller inventory of books. UConn spent $30 per student on the library at a time when its peers were spending close to $70.[1]

Only ten years later, near the end of his term, the University's library passed the one million volume mark, joining only 58 other American Universities (out of 2,200 total) that had a collection of 1,000,000 or more volumes. Prior to Babbidge being built, the Wilbur Cross Library housed the University's books and volumes. That building has now been turned into the Wilbur Cross Building, which houses various administrative offices.

Regarding the naming of the University's new library, Bruce M. Stave writes that "Homer Daniels Babbidge, Jr., died of cancer at age 58 in March 1984. Shortly after his death, the University of Connecticut Board of Trustees, in a fitting tribute, named the university's new library, which stands central to the campus, in his honor."[2]

While under construction, the new main library had been named the Nathan Hale Library[3][4] at the urging of trustees appointed by Gov. Thomas Meskill, whose UConn budget cuts earlier prompted Babbidge to retire and run for governor against him. [5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stave, Bruce M. Red Brick in the Land of Steady Habits; Creating the University of Connecticut, 1881-2006 (Hanover and London: University Press of New England, 2006), p. 107-8.
  2. ^ Stave, Bruce M. Red Brick in the Land of Steady Habits; Creating the University of Connecticut, 1881-2006 (Hanover and London: University Press of New England, 2006), p. 158.
  3. ^ "Hale Picked As Name Of Library," The Hartford Courant, (Jul 12, 1975), p. 20
  4. ^ "Staff Protests Library Name," The Hartford Courant, (Jul 23, 1975), p. 51.
  5. ^ Zaiman, Jack. "The Babbidge Doctrine: A 'Popular' Nominee," The Hartford Courant. (Dec 2, 1973), p. 35.