Notes on the closing of the RMU Pittsburgh Center Library from RMU Library Dean, Fran Caplan …
Earlier this month, the Robert Morris library in downtown Pittsburgh closed its doors after six decades of service. Books that were stamped The Robert Morris School, Robert Morris Junior College, Robert Morris College and Robert Morris University have either been integrated into the collection on the Moon Campus or sent to the big book depository in the sky. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will remember pictures taken last October as we closed up shop on the 5th floor of 600 Fifth Ave. At that time, approximately 10,000 books were boxed up to be transferred to Moon and another 17,000+ were withdrawn from the collection and either sent to a used book dealer or given away to students and faculty during our two-day giveaway.
When I first came to Robert Morris in 1978, the Library was located on the 7th floor of the old Rust Engineering building, which was purchased by Robert Morris in 1959. A total building renovation in 1980 doubled the size of the library to 11,000 square feet as the library moved to the 5th floor. A venerable staff provided service to literally thousands of students and hundreds of faculty during these years. Pound for pound and square foot per square foot, this library was a gem. Not only did our faculty and students think it was a gem, but accountants, lawyers and business people all over downtown appreciated its value as well.
In the last decade the Pittsburgh Library fell on some pretty hard times. But if you remember those days where every seat was occupied in the mornings and almost every chair at 5:00 in the evenings, you will be remembering a time when the academic experience thrived on one tiny floor, in a rather inconspicuous building, in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh and in the heart of all of those who loved it.