An Expanding Library for a Growing University

Despite the fact that Goodell was built to suit UMass’s growing collection of books, the University found it necessary to double the size of the building in 1959 with a 2 million dollar addition, just 24 years after its original design6. Yet upon its expansion, the librarians were unable to fill the shelves of the new building, as the State Legislature had denied the University’s 1957 request to fund the purchase of new books5. One Boston Globe writer commented on this irony: “The Legislature has treated UMass well as far as buildings are concerned…But buildings have always been easier to get politically than good salaries to attract faculty and funds for research books.” 6 

However, in 1960 the State Legislature reversed their stand on the University’s request, and granted UMass $100,000 toward books, allowing Goodell’s new wings to finally be filled5. But with UMass’ sights set on further expansion and growth (particularly with the new generation of baby-boomers in mind) it was announced in 1962 that a new library would be built at an estimated cost of $4.25 million4. The new library was part of a 10 year plan which would include numerous new academic buildings and dormitories, and would increase University enrollment from roughly 7,000 students in 1962 to an estimated 20,000 students by 19724.