The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
Print Issues

Bush praises library

By Chris Mumford

At the rededication ceremony for the Marriott Library on Monday, former first lady Laura Bush chronicled its 41-year history and pointed to the future by highlighting its many new technologies and additions.

Bush was joined on the third floor of the newly renovated library by fellow speakers Gov. Gary Herbert, U President Michael Young, J.W. Marriott Jr. and U librarian and director Joyce Ogburn. Each of the speakers reflected on the library’s past, many drawing from speeches delivered at the original dedication in 1969, to emphasize the abundant advances that have occurred since then.

“History records a bright contrast between the year the library was built and today,” said Bush, who served as a librarian in Austin, Texas, and established the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries as first lady.

Bush described the tumultuous circumstances surrounding the library’s original dedication in 1968, a time when the Civil Rights Movement and Cold War were both at their height.
“Today, the Cold War is over, we’ve elected an African-American president of the United States, and there are more democracies in the world than ever before,” she said.

The determination of the Marriott Library staff to forge ahead with the library’s construction amid such turmoil led Pulitzer Prize-winning author Wallace Stegner to characterize the act as one of “stubborn, sassy faith” at the original dedication.

Marriott Jr. spoke about his father’s $1 million contribution to the library and the importance of the institution to his family: The library was the place where Marriott Sr. met his wife when it was located on Presidents Circle.

Bush came as a guest of the Marriott family, said Fred Esplin, vice president for institutional advancement.

Bush and Young both noted that the library receives 1.5 million visits per year, boasts a collection of more than

3 million books and 8 million photos. The four-year renovation project that began in 2005 also added seismic reinforcements for the safety of these visitors and prodigious collections, as well as 20 classrooms, 12 meeting rooms and other additions amounting to more than 1,000 square feet.

The library’s new technologies were also highlighted in Bush’s speech, including a new automatic retrieval center that uses a robot to retrieve and deliver more than a million resources.

“I’m wondering where those were when I was a librarian,” she joked.

The ceremony also featured the unveiling of the Malby Globes, two water-colored globes handcrafted between 1851 and 1854 that have been with the U for almost 150 years, Young said. Refurbishing work on the globes began in 2007, and they will now be on display in the George S. and Dolores Doré Reading room.

But above the library’s many additions, new and old, Bush reserved special praise for the library’s one constant.

“Even with all the gadgets and gizmos, the staff and librarians at the Marriott library are still its greatest resource,” she said.

[email protected]

Mike Mangum

Former first lady Laura Bush delivered the keynote address at the rededication ceremony of the Marriott Library on Monday. Bush compared events happening around the country in 1969, when the library first opened, to today.

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

We welcome feedback and dialogue from our community. However, when necessary, The Daily Utah Chronicle reserves the right to remove user comments. Posts may be removed for any of the following reasons: • Comments on a post that do not relate to the subject matter of the story • The use of obscene, threatening, defamatory, or harassing language • Comments advocating illegal activity • Posts violating copyrights or trademarks • Advertisement or promotion of commercial products, services, entities, or individuals • Duplicative comments by the same user. In the case of identical comments only the first submission will be posted. Users who habitually post comments or content that must be removed can be blocked from the comment section.
All The Daily Utah Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *