Davidson College to reimagine historic 50-year-old library

May 31, 2024

Davidson College in North Carolina will renovate the E.H. Little Library to provide modern services, preserve its book collection and expand the space to facilitate student learning. The $100 million project is currently in the design phase, with construction beginning in 2025.

The existing 50-year-old library lacks built-in infrastructure to serve the needs of the digital age. The college will renovate the library to provide specialized information resources, peer-to-peer tutoring, foundational and emerging technologies and professional expertise for students across all disciplines.

The college will expand the building, renamed the George Lawrence Abernathy Library, to 120,000 square feet and include a permanent, temperature-controlled annex location for the existing book collection. Plans include scaling back the amount of book space originally allocated to hold expanding collections.

The updated library will ensure the existing collection remains accessible and will expand on student-centric collaboration and sharing spaces. The facility will include multi-purpose spaces, workspaces and interactive areas. The facility will feature additional event and programming space on a rooftop level.

The college will emphasize sustainable building practices to create a low-carbon, resilient structure. Plans include ample natural lighting, renewable geothermal and photovoltaic energy systems and efficient water use technologies.

Davidson College has already received $85 million from private donors to launch the library renovation project.

Photo courtesy of Davidson College

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