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About Library Services: Mission & History

Mission & History


The mission of Library Services is to provide the Springfield College community with access to, instruction in, and support of the use of, information resources for the greater purpose of the College.


The Springfield College library collection originated in the late 1800s, when Jacob T. Bowne donated his personal library of books related to YMCA history to the young College. One of Bowne's students, John W. Cook began the campaign to create a true library for the College. Edward Lippincott Tilton, who designed the U.S. Immigrant Station on Ellis Island as well as the main branch of the Springfield City Library and Museums, designed Marsh Memorial Library that currently houses the offices of the College President. William Howard Taft dedicated Marsh Memorial Library on October 18, 1913.

The collection of materials housed in the library grew steadily for years, until finally, the pressing need for a larger space was acknowledged. Babson Library opened in 1972 and was named for its benefactors, Dr. Paul T. and Mrs. Edith Babson of Boston. In 2015, the decision was made to renovate the library facility and adopted the academic support service model of Learning Commons. As the library is now one department housed inside the Commons, Babson Library changed its name to Library Services.

As of September 2017, Harold C. Smith Learning Commons is now open for business. It was formally opened by President Mary-Beth Cooper at a ceremony in October 2017. For more information please see the Learning Commons webpage.

For more information about the mission and history of Library Services, contact the Director's Office (413-748-3609) or the College Archives (413-748-3309).