Waterfield Library Art Installation
Chief Designer: Robert Spees
Harry Lee Waterfield Library officially opened on Murray State University’s campus in 1978. The new library offered MSU students a warm, open, contemporary environment for study and research. The facilities themselves were also right on the mark; new microfiche and microfilm machines were purchased, an on-site bindery was created, and ample room was allotted for future growth, with plenty of seating in every nook and cranny of the building.
Now that this MSU academic cornerstone is about to turn thirty, it only seems fit that MSU students, teachers, and alumni take time to look back on the beginning of this institution and the overwhelming amount of growth and change that has occurred in these three short decades. From countless changes in recording formats (film, beta, VHS, DVD, reel-to-reel audio, LPs, etc.) to emergence of the PC and the internet, what libraries offer the individual have not dissipated, but in fact grown.
The installation proposal for Waterfield Library is, in essence, a unique way of compiling the history of the building and of contemporary technological history in the form of a non-objective sculptural artwork. Many young viewers of the work will see computer punch cards, archaic floppy discs, and card catalog memorabilia possibly for the first time in person. Older viewers will note the same objects, and may reluctantly pull them out of their memory bank, giving away their true age.
Overall, the installation is designed to bring together all library patrons, no matter what age, background, race, or gender. It will serve as fun and interesting marker for the past thirty years of books and multimedia at Murray State University, as well as universally.