About the Library
In 1927-28, Cupples Hall was converted from a men's dormitory to a library and the book and periodical collections were moved from Science Hall (now T. Berry Smith Hall). By this time the library had grown to approximately 20,000 volumes and it had run out of space on the third floor of Science Hall. The conversion from a dorm was made possible by a gift from Mary L Pollard of Carthage, Missouri, in honor of her nephew, George M. Smiley, a Central College graduate of 1881, and Adjunct Professor of Greek and Latin, 1881-85. It was considered a state-of-the-art facility with 3 or 4 reading rooms and a self-contained steel stack area to house the books and bound periodicals.
The next major improvement in the library's facilities was the completion of a new addition in 1969 that doubled the size of the library. At first, almost the entire operation of the library was moved into the new three-story addition, with Cupples serving as an annex. Primarily for security reasons, in the 1990s the main entrance and the circulation offices were moved back to the original entrance in Cupples Hall.
After moving into the new building it was decided to begin the process of changing the classification scheme for monographs from Dewey Decimal (DDC) to Library of Congress (LC). This conversion was finally completed in 1995.
The card catalog was automated in 1991, using the Dynix system. In 2001-02, Smiley Library launched its present web-based automation system, Quest, as a result of its membership in the Missouri Bibliographic Information User System (MOBIUS). Students and faculty can now request books online and have them delivered in just a few days.
Today, Smiley Memorial Library currently maintains a print collection of over 80,000 cataloged volumes, with additional materials in the archives and rare books divisions. The current periodical collection contains about two hundred titles. There are over forty computer workstations, a PC lab, scanners, digital cameras, and other multimedia equipment available. The library currently subscribes to 20 databases, available to local and distance learners. The lobby/entrance area has been refurbished into a welcoming and comfortable place for students to relax with a cup of coffee and a good book.