Scribner Library History & Mission


The Lucy Scribner Library, in its location as well as its purpose, is at the heart of Skidmore College. The first academic building on the Jonsson Campus, it was originally designed by O’Neill, Ford and Associates and constructed in 1966 with 50,000 squarefeet of usable space and a capacity for 400,000 volumes.

In the early 1990s, when that capacity was rapidly approaching, it became clear that the existing structure would need to be expanded and renovated in order to continue to serve the needs of the College. Architects Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott, a Boston firm noted for its work on academic libraries, created a spacious design that captures natural light and harmonizes with the surrounding landscape. With its increased space of 75,000 square feet, there is ample book and study space and capacity for the new technology of today’s “virtual library.” Ground was broken in May 1994 and the renovated and expanded Scribner Library opened its doors in August 1995.

The Scribner Library offers a comfortable and productive environment for learning, including an array of group study rooms, meeting rooms, event spaces, and quiet study areas. The most recent renovation was completed in the autumn of 2012, adding 250 seats, including 12 new study carrels and 13 new group study rooms. Additionally, the department of Information Technology was relocated to the Library, along with the College Writing Center and the newly created Documentary Studies lab.

Lucy Scribner Library Mission Statement

The Lucy Scribner Library is dedicated to the educational and scholarly activities of the Skidmore community, and provides the resources and services necessary to support the College’s mission “to prepare liberally educated graduates to continue their quest for knowledge and to make the choices required of informed, responsible citizens.” Library personnel uphold and encourage inclusive excellence, creativity, and integrity throughout the learning process. To this end, we work to:

  • Develop, preserve, and provide access to collections that resonate with diverse populations and inspire lifelong learning;
  • Create and maintain dynamic spaces for collaboration and study that foster intellectual discovery;
  • Educate and engage library users to become discerning, self-directed researchers and constructive participants in a global society;
  • Assess and evaluate services and resources to assure that the library continually evolves to meet the needs of a changing cultural, social, and information landscape.