Kent Library: Home of the Past, Resource for the Future
Southeast Missouri State University's soul has, for more than 60 years, been housed in the center of campus within the body of Kent Library. After nearly a half century in Academic Hall, the University's library moved across the street in 1939 into a beautiful structure named in honor of longtime head librarian Sadie Kent. This structure is remembered fondly by the many students attending Southeast Missouri State Teachers College during the mid-1900s.
Shortly before the College became the University in the late 1960s, a new facade was placed on Kent Library and the inside was updated to serve a larger student body in a more modern age. Now, at the turn of the 21st century, Kent Library looks very much the same but has made giant changes in less visible, but more critical ways, expanding the collection and upgrading technology to serve new generations of students.
As a charter member of MOBIUS, a statewide consortium sharing an online library system, students and faculty can now have access to the books in more than 50 public and private academic libraries in Missouri. "MOBIUS has increased the number of titles available at Kent Library from 400,000 within our walls to more than 17 million titles held in libraries across the state," says Dr. Sarah Cron, Dean of Academic Information Services and Director of Kent Library.
Of course, the value of Kent Library goes far beyond its collections of materials. Walk in the doors and you enter an atmosphere of learning with numerous quiet study areas for individuals and groups. When help is needed, librarians and staff are available to answer questions.
Yet, even as our library looks to the future with new materials and technology, the past is not forgotten. The Special Collections and Archives unit acquires, preserves and makes accessible research materials that document not only the history of the University, but also the historical, literary and cultural experience of the region. Many families have graciously allowed their histories to become a part of our history by donating significant materials documenting the development of southeastern Missouri.
The past, present and future come together in wonderful ways at Kent Library. Come to campus for a visit or log on to library.semo.edu to find out more!