2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the completion of the Mart Library, the south-facing portion of what is now the E.W. Fairchild-Martindale Library. When its doors opened in 1969, the new building addressed chronic and long-documented problems of overcrowded stacks and cramped spaces in the Linderman Library. The “sci-tech” books were moved from Linderman to the new building, formally named the Mart Science and Engineering Library, but the new library was touted for more than its stacks. A September 12, 1969 Brown and White article stated that Mart Library contained “some of the most advanced electronic devices now employed in libraries, including an automated circulation system, teaching machines, computer and teletype consoles, and closed circuit television.”
Now, as in 1969, we continue to re-envision and transform the EWFM complex. The construction of the cafe on the fourth (main) library level and the merging of the LTS Help Desk and Lending Services Desk into one unified help space took place over the summer. These enhancements are part of a multi-phased examination of services and spaces and an overarching strategy to strengthen our student services, to recognize the social context for learning, and to encourage intellectual exploration and innovation.
Did you know?
Current Lehigh staffers and students might reasonably assume that the Mart Library is a nickname for E.W. Fairchild-Martindale Library. However, Mart is not short for Martindale. Rather, the building was named in memory of alumnus Leon T. Mart ‘13 and his son. Mrs. Mart made the gift. the largest contribution toward construction of the new library. The Marts' only son, Thomas, a member of the Class of 1951, had been killed in an auto accident in 1949. In 1984, the library was renamed for Harry T. Martindale and wife Elizabeth Fairchild Martindale, who donated $4 million for the expansion of the Mart building. At the time it was the largest amount ever donated to Lehigh. The hyphenated Fairchild-Martindale Library reflects the maiden name of Mrs. Martindale whose father founded Fairchild publications, a major magazine and trade publisher of the time.