In November, 2019, the John M. Kelly Library celebrated the 50th Anniversary of its opening. The iconic brutalist architecture has served generations of students, staff, and academic researchers. Many changes have taken place over the years, such as providing the Kelly Café in the original reading room, improving the study carrels and creating the Information Commons on the ground floor. In fact, many of the services needed for a great university library required significant upgrades over the years.
To help meet the costs of upgrades and renewals, the Friends of the John M. Kelly Library came together in 2004, at the invitation of then Chief Librarian Jonathan Bengtson. A small group of St. Mike’s Alumni gathered and sorted hundreds of “gently used” donated books to put on the first SMC Annual Book Sale in October, 2004. The success of this effort meant that St. Mike’s joined Victoria, Trinity, and University Colleges in a widely known series of large annual book sales every autumn, raising funds for the college libraries.
The Friends of the John M. Kelly Library continues to grow every year. The all-volunteer committee meets to plan and organize the annual sale, to provide support specific to the needs of the Kelly Library. Some of the accomplishments include:
- Purchasing study desks and tables with lap top connections
- Upgrading study rooms with presentation technology
- Replacing worn out chairs on every floor
- Adding to the collections for undergraduates
New volunteers are welcomed. There are tasks the year round, such as picking up boxes of books donated by alumni, staff members, and the general public; sorting the donations into subject areas for the book sale; helping during the week of the sale by setting up the tables, assisting customers; maintaining the displays, and cleaning up. There is plenty to do!
Interested in volunteering with the Friends of the Kelly Library?
Please contact Rick Hayward, Volunteer Coordinator