In these next installments of Library History at FSU, we will be exploring the histories of the several libraries of FSU. This installment traces the history of the Paul A. M. Dirac Science Library at Florida State University.
Discussions about a science library began as early as 1961, when faculty recognized the need for a science research center closer to the “science complex”, as it was referenced in the 1977 Florida State University Building Program. This is the area on the northwest side of campus that consists of the science buildings, including the biology, chemistry and physics buildings. Faculty and administration wanted to create a space for scientific research in close proximity to those students that would be using the material. The physical distance between Strozier Library and the science buildings was the main reason for the push to establish a science library. In 1963, a Science Library Planning Committee was created. This committee put together several proposals and had lengthy correspondence with university administration, but by 1970 the Science Library still had not been built.
In 1976, a new Science Library Building Program Committee was created. The University Space Committee approved a long-term building plan that included the science library, and it was finally opened in 1989. It was dedicated the Paul A. M. Dirac Science Library in December of 1989.
Dirac Library is located amongst the math and science buildings of FSU and supports STEM-related research. The science library houses most science and math library materials and offers group and individual study rooms. Four STEM subject librarians are available to provide scholars with research consultations, data management support, library instruction, and other services. The library was renovated in 2015 and now has wireless displays for collaborative work, a Starbucks, and houses Geoset Studios, a recording studio part of the Global Educational Outreach for Science Engineering and Technology initiative.