The University of Minnesota Morris library building was built in two phases on the site of the WCSA lawn west of the Administration building (National Register of Historic Places). The first phase of the library was completed in 1968 and included roughly half of the current building. The south half of the building and fourth floor were completed in the second phase in 1974. Both phases were designed by the Walter Butler Company and were completed at a cost of $1.8 million (Granger). The building was planned to be functional for 20 years and hold up to 100,000 volumes, though this volume milestone was already reached in 1978. Originally named simply the UMM Library, the building was dedicated and renamed in honor of Rodney A. Briggs, UMN Morris' first Dean and Provost, on October 19, 1974 (National Register of Historic Places).
The building is a simple rectangle, constructed of brick, with aggregate concrete screens hiding the fourth-floor windows on the east and west sides. The band of windows on the ground floor on the west facade lightens the building and opens it up to students and visitors arriving from town. Since its construction, there have been no major remodels of Rodney A. Briggs Library, though some minor changes have occurred. When Edson Hall was remodeled and expanded to become the Student Center between 1990 and 1991, a terrace was added between the library and the new Student Center (Granger). The library building once included a 24-hour study room (now the Career Services office) and restrooms on the first floor which were eliminated to provide space for the tunnel connecting the Science Building and the Student Center.
Over the years, various units have moved into the library building, and today the building hosts the Writing Center, Academic Assistance, the Disability Resource Center and Academic Advising (the latter three combined into the Student Success Center). The Career Services Library and the Technology Help Desk are also housed in Briggs Library.
When first built the library building was known as the UMM Library and did not have a more specific name.
Rodney A. Briggs Library
The library building was dedicated to the first UMN Morris provost, Rodney A. Briggs, on October 19, 1974 during a dedication ceremony held in the library building.