JMU announces Carrier Library renovations

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Above: Artist’s conception of a future entrance to Carrier Library featuring seating, ramps, and stairs.

Harrisonburg, Virginia –  James Madison University is unveiling plans for a newly renovated and expanded Carrier Library on campus. The renovation will ensure the library is universally accessible, easy to visit, environmentally responsible and welcoming for Dukes and the local community.

The new building will include a 24-hour student study space, beautiful reading rooms, outdoor terraces, a café and consultation and group study rooms. Other features include a makerspace and experimental technology classroom, video and audio podcasting studios, new collections areas and Special Collections facilities, and a lab for the conservation of books and manuscripts. 

The expanded building will include a beautiful and accessible new entrance facing Grace Street, making it easier for the campus and the community to visit. 

“Whether you enter through the preserved 1939 historic entrance or one of two new grand entrances, designed for maximum accessibility, you’ll find light-filled, airy spaces where you can read, research and create,” said Bethany Nowviskie, dean of JMU Libraries. “We want to create a welcoming library for all members of our community.”

Furious Flower Poetry Center will also have a new home inside the library, merging the work of the nation’s first academic center devoted to Black poetry with ongoing efforts to digitize and preserve the center’s unique audiovisual, print and manuscript collections held by JMU Libraries Special Collections.  

The renovation and expansion are made possible by funding from the Commonwealth of Virginia. Construction is expected to begin in summer of 2023 following JMU’s graduation and will include the addition of 56,400 square feet and renovation of 121,200 square feet. Plans are to re-open the building for the fall semester of 2026. During the renovation, patrons will continue to have access to expert help, study spaces, books and resources at Rose Library, the Music Library, the Educational Technology & Media Center and other locations on campus. 

Artist’s renderings of the new Carrier Library, answers to frequently asked questions and the latest updates on the renovation project are available on the Carrier Library Renovation and Expansion webpage.

JMU Libraries has launched a web page to collect and celebrate memories of Carrier Library.  Anyone with fond memories of Carrier Library is invited to share them at as this chapter of the library closes and a new one begins.    


Contact: Ginny Cramer,, 540-568-5325

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Published: Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Last Updated: Thursday, January 4, 2024

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