Denison Wing Temporarily Closes for Renovation, but Library Remains Open

By KC Mautner '12Co-Editor-in-Chief

In spring 2009, the Council of Presidents at the 5Cs, in an effort to save money, decided to close the two science libraries on the campuses—Sprague Library at Harvey Mudd and Seely G. Mudd Library at Pomona—and consolidate resources housed at those two libraries at Honnold Mudd. The presidents planned to keep Denison Library at Scripps open for one more year before ceasing to fund services and staff in 2010. Under this plan, Denison would close and its circulation books would be transferred to Honnold Mudd. In the spring of 2010, however, the Scripps Board of Trustees decided to keep the Kaufmann wing of Denison open for one more year, with Scripps supporting the Denison staff and program emphasizing special collections.

However, luckily for both Scripps and the 5Cs, Denison will stay open, with no plans to close the library on the horizon. The infrastructure of the building, however, is 80 years old, and requires extensive renovations. According to the plan announced in the spring of 2010, starting in summer 2011, Scripps will begin renovating the electricity and plumbing systems, and add an elevator to the Dorothy M. Drake wing on the north side of the building to improve accessibility. It is likely that once the wing has been renovated, it will serve as a space for academic programs.

In the meantime, the building and its myriad resources—including its rare book collections—remain open for use by anyone in the community, and especially students at the 5Cs. The reserve readings at Denison have been transferred to Honnold Mudd, but Denison maintains browsing collections of books, especially ones on women’s studies and over 30 journals. Judy Harvey Sahak (’64), the Sally Preston Swan Librarian at Denison, emphasized that such collections are for the use of the students, and can also be integrated into course curriculums. “We want to have continuity for students at Denison,” said Sahak.

On Oct. 21 and 22, Denison will host a book sale in its courtyard, and will continue to grant the Slocum Awards each spring, given to the graduating seniors who have assembled the best personal libraries during their four years at Scripps.

Denison is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to midnight, Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from noon to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to midnight.