Bruce T. Halle Library

Item

Building Name

Bruce T. Halle Library

Description

The Halle Library is the third library building on campus following R. Clyde Ford Hall, and what is now the Porter College of Education Building. The earliest library on campus was a single room in the administration building, known as Old Main. Ford Hall was built as the first library building in 1929 and Porter was built in 1966 - 1967 as a replacement. By the early 1990s, the library in Porter had become over-crowded, and strong student activism in 1992 provided the impetus to begin a drive to build a new and larger library. The new library, built on the site of the old physical plant, was designed and built to state-of-the-art specifications and cost $41 million to complete. The dedication program described the Halle Library as a library pointing to its close ties to modern information technology. The library is 270,000 square feet and contains close to a million volumes split between a browsing level and an automated retrieval system (ARC). The ARC was the second of its kind to be placed in a university library, but was part of a national trend towards condensed shelving and automatic access storage systems. Books that have not been checked out in the last five years are placed in the ARC. The building was designed to contain the latest technology including, 520 computer stations, 1,500 network connections, wireless internet, and a 70-seat teleconferencing room. Even the carillon, donated by E. Gregg Liechty, has been brought into the 21st century through digitization. A computer produces the sounds of cast bells, but without the $1 million price tag and the stress of cold winters on fragile cast-iron bells. Instead, two keyboards, an auto bell console, and an organ console, are played and the songs saved on a sound card for later replay. Four speakers in the tower can send the sound 1.5 miles on a misty day. The library is not solely a computerized wonder; more traditional collections include the University Archives, the Map Library, a traditional periodicals collection, and a browsing collection on the third floor. Other building amenities include a 100-seat auditorium, meeting rooms, and the Paradox Cafe, a small snack bar and study area. In the fall of 2010, the Paradox Cafe was renamed the Eagle Cafe.

Namesake Biography

Bruce Halle was born in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1930. In 1948, he enrolled at Eastern Michigan University, but left to join the Marines Corps to serve in the Korean War. Halle returned to Eastern Michigan University where he got his degree in Business Administration. In 1960, Halle opened the first Discount Tire Store in Ann Arbor. By 2014, Discount Tire had become the largest independent tire company in the world. Halle dedicated most of his life to philanthropy with donations to the Halle Heart Center, Special Olympics, Arizona State University Cancer Center, and Eastern Michigan University, and many more. Halle passed away January 4, 2018.

Building Namesake

Bruce T. Halle, Founder of Discount Tire and EMU Alumnus (1965)

Year Constructed

1995

Date Dedicated

1998

Building Functions

University Library

Architect

Giffels, Hoyem, and Basso, Incorporated., Troy, MI

Original Cost

$41,000,000

Architectural Style

Post Modern

Square Footage

270,000

Rights

This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. In addition, no permission is required from the rights-holder(s) for educational uses. For other uses, you need to obtain permission from the owner, Eastern Michigan University Archives (lib_archives@emich.edu).

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