Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Benner Library and Learning Resource Center

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Institution Name: Olivet Nazarene University
Original/Historic Place Name: Benner Library and Learning Resource Center
Location on Campus: central to academic/residence hall area
Date(s) of Construction:
1975dedication Keys, James
Designer: James Keys
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Modern/post-WWII (Glossary)
Significance: culture, education
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: concrete, steel
Walls: brick, block, and steel
Roof: insulated tar, gravel
1975-present (2006)library

The original Olivet library was housed on the 2nd floor of Burke Administration Building. The three-story Memorial Library was completed and occupied in 1954-1955. The Benner Library, which included the Memorial Library in its structure, was built in 1974-1975.

The Benner Library has 83,746 square feet on four floors. It houses 180,000 volumes, plus 255,000 other items, such as periodicals, microfilm, and microfiche, as well as research facilities to serve all academic departments. All materials are listed in BLIS computer files accessible on terminals in the library or online via the internet.

The ground floor has archives and a media center for all audio-visual services, including media connections to all major campus buildings. The campus computer center for academic, administrative, and student connections is in one wing of this building. Every campus office and residence hall room is connected to a media services network. Academic buildings are equipped with a total of 57 "Smart Classrooms." The media center also has facilities for distance learning transmission and reception for a number of classrooms and off-campus sites.

The campus FM radio station, WONU, has studios and classrooms on the upper level of the original Memorial Library building. The station operates 24 hours a day with 35,000 watts of power, reaching out 60 miles in all directions.

Benner Library was the last of 11 major academic and residential buildings erected on this campus under the leadership of the late Dr. Harold W. Reed, who was president of the school from 1949-1975. The building is named for the late Dr. Hugh C. Benner, a 1919 graduate of Olivet who served as a pastor and seminary president and was elected general superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene (1952-1968).

Benner's central location among academic buildings and residence halls makes it readily accessible for all and also contributed to the decision to place the computer center there.

The library is beautifully landscaped with trees and shrubs. It faces the Decker Quadrangle, an open area where most resident students walk daily to and from residence halls, classes, and the student center.


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Council of Independent Colleges
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Last update: November 2006