What if I told you that the entrance to Carrier we have been using wasn’t always the main entrance? …That the main entrance has been locked for decades?
That’s right. This morning, Carrier will be re-opening the main entrance doors.
In order to get you the inside scoop, I talked to three insiders: Kristen Shuyler (Director of Outreach and Partnerships), Stefanie Warlick (Director of Public Services), and Julia Merkel (Preservation Officer).
This mystery entrance was the original entrance/exit to Madison Memorial Library, which was first built in 1939. The entrance was closed and locked in March of 1982, when an addition to the library was opened. Consequently, the main entrance was then moved to the side of the library that now houses Starbucks.
“The historic entrance faces the Centennial Fountain on the bluestone side of campus, and is near Burruss Hall,” said Shuyler.
“The doors have been in use since late August. On the very first day they were opened for use, we tested them with some student employees and streamed it on Facebook live,” Shuyler explained. “That video has over 1,200 views!”
So, the Carrier Library Grand Re-Opening: The Front is Back, is taking place today! Refreshments will be served outside the historic entrance starting at 10am. The official presentation begins at 10:30.
There will be an impressive line-up of JMU VIPs speaking at the event, including:
- Dr. Adam Murray, Dean of JMU Libraries and Educational Technologies
- Dr. Jerry Benson, Provost
- Mr. Jonathan Alger, President
- Dr. Ronald Carrier, President Emeritus
- Mr. Matthew Mueller, President, Student Government Association
“So, this entrance has been closed since March of 1982—for over 34 years. The library was named ‘Carrier Library’ after the fourth president of the university, Dr. Ronald E. Carrier, in 1984,” said Shuyler.
Debating heading over to carrier? Warlick thinks you should: “It’s cool to take part in this historical moment in university history. And this is one more door you can hold open for your peers.”