Otto G. Richter Library Celebrates 50 Years

Opened in 1962, the Otto G. Richter Library at the University of Miami celebrates 50 years of supporting scholarship, research, and discovery this fall. Originally housed in temporary quarters in several locations throughout the University, the first central library was created in December 1949 by moving books from four locations into a section of the Merrick Building. Through donations from the estate of the late Otto G. Richter, the estate of Meyer Gold, and the George A. Brockway Foundation, construction of the Watson, Deutschman, and Kruse-designed Library began in 1959.

On June 10, 1962, University President Jay Pearson dedicated the new $3 Million, state-of-the-art facility. The modern building included amenities such as an escalator, a nine-story tower with closed stacks, bookveyors that allowed staff to quickly deliver books from the second to ninth floor, an undergraduate students floor, and graduate student reading rooms.

As the needs of Library users changed over the years, the University has updated the Library to reflect advances in the academic and research agendas. Thanks to substantial donor support, the University undertook major renovations from 1999 to 2003. The Dr. Maxwell and Reva B. Dauer Clock Tower was completed in 2000; the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion opened in 2003, which serves as the home of the acclaimed Cuban Heritage Collection; and a Starbucks on the first floor of the Brockway building opened, where students can sit and study.

The new design added classrooms, conference rooms, and student group study rooms. With a focus on technology, the Library has added a high-tech information commons, digital media lab, digital production and scanning facilities, and a sophisticated conservation laboratory that ensures preservation of fragile materials.

“Computing and technological advances have had a major impact on shaping service delivery, but just as important are the closer partnerships the Library has developed with students and faculty over the years,” said Dr. Lyn MacCorkle, Digital Repository Librarian who has been with the Richter Library for 30 years and seen the transformation occur.

Today, the Library offers students and researchers one of the most comprehensive information resources in the Southeast and continues to build its print, multimedia, and networked information resources at a robust pace. Also, the Library promotes the humanities with year-round exhibitions in which exceptional and unique items are displayed and provides noteworthy cultural programming that includes prominent guest speakers from around the world.

“As a champion of scholarship, the Library team has transformed the Richter Library into a sophisticated, high-tech program. Our community can use both materials born digitally as well as print for discovery and dissemination of new ideas and concepts. Physical library space still matters in this digital age. Richter is one of the most frequented venues on campus with a door count of over 950,000 visitors a year.  The Library has become a gateway to new technologies which give UM students exceptional opportunities to work in a highly innovative learning environment,” said Dean and University Librarian William Walker.

Richter Library will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a series of celebrations, which include exhibitions, speaker series and poetry series. The fall exhibitions will include a showcase on political poetry and join the centennial celebration of Cuban playwright Virgilio Pinera with an exhibition titled, Absurd Celebration, part of the kick-off event for Taking Flight: The Year of Humanities and Arts at the University of Miami.

For more information on the UM Libraries, please go to For more information on Richter’s 50th Anniversary, please click here.


Mobile Library Site Launched

Mobile Library – Any time – Anywhere

The University of Miami Libraries is pleased to announce the launch of their mobile library site :    The site is optimized for smart phones such as the iPhone, Android, touch-screen Blackberry, but should also work on most mobile phones with an internet/data plan.

The site provides quick, convenient access to core library information including library hours, contact info, and computer availability.   Users can do quick searches and email results by searching for articles and other materials from Summon – the Libraries’ new unified search engine, as well as mobile versions of key electronic resources.   The site will continue to grow and develop based on feedback received via the Site Feedback form also available on the library mobile site.

UML-Mobile Blackberry-curve

Full functionality of the mobile services will depend on your data plan, connectivity, and the capabilities of your phone.

Please use the Site Feedback form to let us know what you think!