"The library is the heart of the university..."
Charles William Eliot, President, Harvard, 1869-1926
Slippery Rock Normal School recognized the importance of establishing a library for research and study and housed their original collections on the third floor of Old Main. In the campus building boom of 1936, Maltby Library was established at a cost of approximately $100,000.00. The new library was named after the second principal of Slippery Rock Normal School, Dr. Albert E. Maltby, and was dedicated on January 30, 1939.
A red brick colonial structure, the building has a slate roof topped by a lead cupola at the center peak. Large, gracefully arched windows provided natural lighting for its numerous reading rooms. The building was rectangular in shape and consisted of a main floor and basement.
Expansion of the Maltby Library was completed in 1960. The building is today known as Maltby Center and houses Information Technology. This gracious building served as the campus library until the current building, Bailey Library, was completed in 1973.
The current building was named for Dr. Matilda Bailey who was a popular teacher and member of the English department from 1935 to 1941, and again from 1957 to 1958. When she returned to teach as a visiting professor in the early 1960s, she was a national celebrity, the author of textbooks for junior high English courses, which sold over a million copies a year. Her close friend and officemate during some of this time was Dr. Albert Schmittlein. He remembers her well. "She was sophistication. When she came into a classroom she was dressed magnificently. She wore a mink stole and she'd slip that stole off and toss it over a chair and proceed to lecture. It would look as if it were all off the cuff, but it wasn't; it was all extremely well prepared. When she did something she went all out. There were never any boring moments in a Matilda Bailey classroom."
Bailey library is composed of three levels and a basement. The brick building includes a computer lab, a quiet and cozy reading room housing popular fiction and nonfiction books, and a coffee shop. The building also contains over 280 computers for student use. The focal point of the first floor reference room is a large and inviting information desk where students are encouraged to ask for help. Other public areas in the building are the Instructional Materials Center, Government Documents Area, and the Serials Department. The library subscribes to approximately 10,000 online full text journals, magazines, and newspapers and many other print and electronic resources. The library collection currently includes over 500,000 books. From 1973 to the present, Bailey Library has had three directors and one interim director: Harold Helmrich, Edna King, William Garton, Dr. Barbara Farah, and Philip Tramdack, the current Director of Library Services.
The Library would like to acknowledge the following contributions to the Library web site.
- Joey Kennedy, Student Photographer
- Susan Ferrandiz, Professor Emeritus, Original Author of Websites by Subject
- Communication Media Group, Student Web Designers