JMU in the Community

A grand reopening

Original entrance to Carrier Library celebrated

by Eric Gorton

image: /_images/news/2016/09/2016-Carrier-Library-entrance-celebration.jpg

SUMMARY: Murray and other speakers then discussed the symbolic significance of reopening the main entrance to Carrier Library 34 years after it was closed.

"Opening a door that has been closed for more than 30 years is actually a lot more difficult than it sounds," quipped Adam Murray, dean of JMU Libraries and Educational Technologies.

Murray and other speakers then discussed the symbolic significance of reopening the main entrance to Carrier Library 34 years after it was closed. Held under clear skies and warm temperatures Friday, Sept. 23, the ceremony marked space updates in both Carrier Library and Rose Library. But the significance went beyond physical changes.

President Emeritus Ronald Carrier said libraries are essential to free society and "any door that opens to the library is appropriate because that door opens to knowledge and knowledge opens to independence and freedom."

Carrier told students he has a habit of trying to learn something new every time he goes into a library and advised them to do the same: "So search around until you find something that you did not know that will enrich you."

The Carrier Library building opened in 1939. Originally named Madison Memorial Library, it was renamed in 1984 to honor Carrier, JMU's fourth president, and his wife, Edith.

President Jonathan Alger called on the sizable gathering to reflect on the role of libraries as guardians of culture. "This building represents much more than a physical space. It really represents centuries of human history and knowledge, not just from the past, but also as we look toward the future."

Alger also said reopening the original entrance represents JMU's welcoming spirit and the opportunities it provides. "Everybody is welcome to come through these doors," he said, "and that's what our university community stands for."

Provost Jerry Benson reminisced about teaching in the basement of the building when he came to JMU in 1980 and said libraries are "foundational to our culture of innovation . . . This entrance is the opening, not only to this historic building, but an opening to innovation, collaboration, entrepreneurial thinking."

The final speaker, SGA President Matthew Mueller, said the opening signified a strong partnership between SGA and the JMU Libraries. Mueller said the student leadership has worked with libraries on a number of issues and that the relationship between the two entities is one of the strongest SGA has.

The speakers then gathered on the steps as Carrier cut a ribbon with a large pair of gold-handled scissors.

Published: Monday, September 26, 2016

Last Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2016

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