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Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti, MI, USA 48197
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Historic Tour > Virtual Tour > Halle Library

Halle Library

Historic Name(s): Bruce T. Halle Library

Halle Library

Halle Library

Date constructed: Groundbreaking 1995. Opened 1998

Architect: Giffels Hoyem Basso, Inc. of Troy, MI and design consultants Sheply, Bulfinch, Richardson, and Abbott, Boston MA.

Style of Architecture: Post-modern

Original Use: Library

Dates of renovation: None

Current Use: Library

History: The Halle Library is the third library building on campus following Ford Hall and what is now the Porter College of Education Building. The earliest library on campus was a single room in the Administration building. Ford Hall was built as the first library building in 1929 and the Porter was built to replace it in 1966-67. By the early 1990s, the old library had become over-crowded. Strong student activism in 1992 provided the impetus to begin a drive to build a new and larger library.

$2.5 million dollars came from a large donation by Bruce T. Halle, a 1956 EMU graduate and chairman and CEO of Discount Tire, Inc. Halle donated a total of $5 million to the school and requested that half to be put into library endowment fund.

The new library, built on the site of the old physical plant, was designed and built to state-of-the-art specifications and cost $41 million to complete. The dedication program described the Halle Library as a “cybrary” pointing to its close ties to modern information technology. The library is 270,000 square feet and contains 800,000 volumes split between a browsing level and an automated retrieval system (ARC). The ARC was the second of its kind to be placed in a university library, but was part of a national trend towards condensed shelving and automatic access storage systems. Books that have not been checked out in the last five years are placed in ARC. The building was designed to contain the latest technology including 520 computer stations, 1,500 network connections, and a 70-seat teleconferencing room.

Even the carillon, donated by E. Gregg Liechty has been brought in to the 21st century through digitalization. A computer produces the sounds of cast bells, but without the $1 million price tag and the stress of cold winters on fragile cast-iron bells. Instead, two keyboards, one an autobell console and the second an organ console, are played and the songs saved on a sound card for later replay. Four speakers in the tower can send the sound 1.5 miles on a misty day.

The library is not solely a computerized wonder, however. More traditional collections include the University Archives, the Map Library, traditional periodicals collection, and a Browsing Collection on the third floor. Other building amenities include a 100-seat auditorium, meeting rooms, and the Eagle Cafe @ Halle Library, a small snack bar and study area.

Location - Halle Library


Location of Halle Library (Click on the image for a bigger view)