1. Stauffer Library Cornerstone
During Alumni Weekend in 1993, a cornerstone-laying ceremony was held for the new Stauffer library, set to open the following fall. The ceremony included a parade with the Queen’s Bands, as well as remarks from university officials and Stauffer’s lead architect Tom Payne. Honouring Queen’s University’s Gaelic roots, dried rose leaves, pine needles, shamrock, and thistle were ceremoniously poured onto the cornerstone.
Two alumni time capsules played a role in the cornerstone ceremony as well. David Whiting and Dr. Andy Weeks, both past presidents of the Alumni Association, sealed these time capsules in the concrete cornerstone at the building’s entrance. The time capsules are set to be opened during the university’s 200th anniversary in 2041.
To continue your self-guided tour, walk past the entrance to the library. The next stop is the donor wall, which will be to your right.
2. Donor Wall: Stauffer Library’s Grand Opening
On Oct. 28, 1994, Queen’s University officials and invited guests came together to celebrate the official opening of Stauffer Library. The celebrations began in Douglas Library, where a recognition dinner was held. Dinner was followed by a parade to Stauffer for the dedication ceremony, which featured speeches by Bob Rae, Premier of Ontario; Dr. Alan Green, Chair of the Building Committee; Dennis Jordan, representative of the Stauffer Foundation; and Marianne Scott, National Librarian. The evening also featured opera singing courtesy of Edith Wiens (left), an internationally renowned soprano and sister of Paul Wiens (right), Chief Librarian.
To continue your self-guided tour, enter Stauffer Library through the doors to your right. Explore the Stauffer@25 display at the entrance. The next stop will be against the right wall.
3. Adaptive Technology Centre
In 1991, Queen’s University opened its Adaptive Technology Lab – forerunner to the Adaptive Technology Centre (ATC) – in Douglas Library. The ATC supports students, staff and faculty with disabilities at Queen’s through its library services; the provision of accessible spaces, course and research materials in alternate formats; and access to specialized technologies, such as software programmes, and assistive devices.
In 1994, the Canadian Association of College and University Libraries recognized the ATC with an innovation achievement award for its leadership in serving students with disabilities. That same year, the ATC moved to Stauffer Library, where it remains today. The ATC removes barriers to access, fosters an inclusive environment, and contributes to student academic success.
To continue your self-guided tour, head to the second floor via the spiral staircase, or use the elevators to the right of the stairs. The next stop is the Fireplace Reading Room, which is in the northeast corner of the building.
4. Fireplace Reading Room: Dr. Alan Green
Dr. Alan Green, an economic historian, worked at Queen’s from 1963 until his retirement in 1997. His contributions to his field remain deeply important. He was also passionate about his work: as a professor emeritus, he remained involved in teaching and research until his passing in 2010.
The dedication ceremony for the newly renamed Dr. Alan G. Green Fireplace Reading Room occurred in September of 2011. This was not done solely to pay homage to Dr. Green’s academic career, but to honour his integral role in the creation of Stauffer Library. His involvement began long before the library’s official opening in 1994: in 1985, he sat on a committee that examined the needs of Queen’s University Library. Planning for a new central library facility – a “library of the 21st century” – was in full swing by 1990. Alan Green took on the role of project champion, which had him acting as a go-between for the 20 committees involved in the creation of the library, the Stauffer Foundation, and the university. As Green said in a 1994 Gazette article: “My job was to drive the project through to completion, to try and bring all the people and committees together.” With the project finishing on-time and on-budget, we can say Dr. Green did a spectacular job. Still, he was humble: “Me, I’m an incredibly small part of it. I’m just the guy who wandered between all the groups.”
The next stop is the library terrace, accessible through doors in the Fireplace Reading Room.
5. Stauffer Library Terrace
When Stauffer Library was built, the second floor terrace was envisioned as an outdoor study space for use in warm weather. However, this vision required significant accessibility and safety upgrades before it could become a reality. In the Library and Archives Master Plan, approved in 2013, plans for making Stauffer’s terrace into an additional study space were included. It opened for student use in August of 2018 as an inviting space to meet or study while enjoying the outdoors.
To continue your self-guided tour, make your way to the southwest corner of the second floor. The next stop is the Prayer and Meditation Space (Room 233).
6. Prayer and Meditation Space
The Prayer and Meditation Space, located on the second floor of Stauffer Library, opened in 2015. It provides students and staff with a space to engage in quiet reflection, meditation, and prayer. Prayer mats, cushions, and literature are available to those using the space.
To continue your self-guided tour, make your way to the third floor. At the next stop, you’ll be looking at some Indigenous-named study rooms, which are in the southwest corner of the third floor (Rooms 301 and 302).
7. Indigenous-Named Study Rooms
Recognizing the importance of increasing the visibility of Indigenous Peoples following the release Truth and Reconciliation Report, Queen’s University Library partnered with Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre to commission eight Indigenous artists to create paintings for Indigenous-named study rooms. Each of the 12 study rooms have been given a name in one of several Indigenous Languages (either Mohawk, Anishinaabemowin, Cree, Inuktitut, Michif, or Mik’maq) and feature artwork that corresponds to the meaning of its name. The Anishinaabe-named rooms each represent one of the Seven Grandfather Teachings. The rooms opened for use in 2017. To learn more about the artists, visit the virtual exhibit.
The Stauffer Foundation provided the Queen’s University Library with a generous gift in commemoration of Stauffer’s 25th anniversary. Part of this funding will go toward the creation of six additional Indigenous-named study rooms in other library locations.
To continue your self-guided tour, make your way to the northeast corner of the third floor. The next stop is the Helen Howard Graduate Student Reading Room.
8. Helen Howard Graduate Student Reading Room
The Graduate Student Reading Room was part of Stauffer Library when it initially opened in 1994 – in a 1995 Canadian Architecture article on Stauffer, the Graduate Student Reading Room’s lilac ceiling receives a special mention. As the number of Queen’s graduate students grew, modifications were needed to better accommodate changing needs, such as small and large wired group study rooms as well as individual study. Made possible through the support of a generous donor, the newly renovated and expanded Helen Howard Graduate Student Reading Room opened in the fall of 2018. It can be accessed by graduate students via code. You can sneak a peek at the space as you head toward the stairs.
To continue your self-guided tour, make your way to the fourth floor. The final stop is the Designated Movement Space, which is in the southwest corner.
9. Designated Movement Space
What began as an exam season partnership between the Athletics and Recreation Centre’s Get Your 150 campaign and the Queen’s University Library in 2017 has since become a permanent part of Stauffer Library. Located in the southwest corner of Stauffer’s fourth floor, the designated movement space features stationary bike desks, bosu balance trainers, and stability balls, as well as space for activities that don’t require equipment, such as yoga.
That concludes the self-guided tour!
Still interested in exploring? Here are some additional spaces to check out:
- The Art Collection, located in the northwest corner of the second floor.
- The Music Collection and listening rooms, located in the stacks just outside of the Art Collection.
- Displays on the ground floor: a display on Stauffer’s history is near the main entrance, and revolving displays are in the bookcases near the information desk.
- The Map and Air Photos Collection, located on Stauffer’s lower level.
- Union Gallery, located on the ground floor beside the building’s Alfred St. entrance.