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Library rededication event set for October 18
October 13, 1998
Lieutenant Gov. Jodi Rell and U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd will be among the dignitaries on hand for the rededication of Homer Babbidge Library on Sunday, October 18. Historian, biographer and political analyst Doris Kearns Goodwin will be the keynote speaker.
Ceremonies will begin at 2 p.m., on the South Plaza, with Kearns Goodwin's address on "The Beauty of Crowded Shelves." Her talk will be followed by a reception and tours of the library. The event is free and open to the public. All are welcome to attend.
The exterior of the 20-year-old library has been under repair for nearly 11 years in a project supervised by the state Department of Public Works. Although the project began because of structural problems causing the brick facade of the building to come loose, it was expanded to include interior renovations that have made the library more convenient for patrons and one of the most technologically advanced research libraries in the United States.
"Symbolically as well as physically and programmatically, the library is central to the University," says President Philip E. Austin. "We are very pleased with the structure, and we are particularly proud of the advanced technology that we are now able to provide students, faculty and other patrons. The completion of this magnificent facility, after many difficult years, is yet another sign of the transformation of the Storrs campus and the University's movement toward international stature."
Goodwin is the author of Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream, The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning No Ordinary Time, the story of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.
She is working on a book about the life and presidency of Abraham Lincoln and is a frequent speaker on leadership and the American presidency. A devoted baseball fan, she was the first woman journalist to enter the Boston Red Sox locker room and was a consultant for the Ken Burns documentary, Baseball.
The rededication activity includes several exhibits: sculpture by Carol Kreeger Davidson of New York City and West Hartford, Mythic Columns; Southern New England Telephone: Treasures from the Archives, 1878-1928; and The First Century: Building a Library for the University of Connecticut.
In addition, book illustrations by Wendell Minor of Washington, Conn., who designed the jackets of the bestselling novels Beach Music by Pat Conroy and That Camden Summer by LaVyrle Spencer, and the cover of the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography Truman by David McCullough, are on display. Also on display is Minor's cover design for Goodwin's current best-selling memoir, Wait Till Next Year, which recalls her childhood in Brooklyn in the 1950s.