Archival boxes containing some of the Feuerstein Collection

The Baylor Libraries serve a wide range of users: students, faculty and staff of our fine university and the greater Central Texas area, for starters. In fact, almost a million visitors come into the Central Libraries buildings every year. But sometimes we get the opportunity to connect on a personal level with a patron, and in the case of a recent visit by Victor Kramer, it's a connection with a personal tie.

Mr. Kramer is the nephew of Thomas C. Feuerstein, a 1952 Baylor graduate and longtime theater, speech and drama instructor. Feuerstein's materials were donated to the Central Libraries Special Collections, and Mr. Kramer contacted Central Libraries Director Beth Farwell for a chance to see them in person. Beth, Victor, his wife Dewey and special collections manager Andrea Turner spent time last week looking through the collection of unique materials from Thomas Feuerstein's academic and professional career, including scrapbooks, personal correspondence and Baylor memorabilia from the 1950s.

We wanted to show off some photos of the meeting as a look into one of the many ways our Central Libraries interact with our patrons on a daily basis.

In 2018, Moody Memorial Library will celebrate its 50th anniversary as Baylor University’s main campus library. In advance of that significant milestone, the Baylor Libraries have secured a $100,000 grant from the Moody Foundation to begin renovations and upgrades to the historic structure’s first floor.

With this gift, the Moody Foundation – which provided a sizable lead gift in 1964 that helped finance the building’s construction in 1967 – has pledged its support to revitalize the building’s interior with the creation of an innovative instructional learning space complete with flexible furnishings, upgraded interiors and the latest in instructional technology.

“This gift will serve as a significant catalyst for our long-term plans to reimagine and renovate Moody’s first floor as we continue to meet the needs of our 21st century patrons,” said John S. Wilson, interim dean of University Libraries. “The Moody Foundation saw the importance of continuing to provide a high level of service to Baylor students, faculty and staff through innovative learning spaces, and we are excited to partner with them on this project.”

The space, which will be located behind the library’s main circulation desk, is envisioned as an active learning space. The multi-purpose area will fill the growing need for dedicated areas in the library that support a variety of instructional needs.

Beth Farwell, director of Central Libraries, noted that the planned space is an important jumping-off point for grander plans for Moody. “We hope to see the entire first floor reimagined to include the kind of spaces students have told us are important to their success, like individual study spaces and aesthetically pleasing areas that inspire creativity, collaboration and academic success,” she said.

Work on the instructional learning space is expected to begin during the fall 2017 semester. Updates on progress will be posted on the library’s website at www.baylor.edu/lib and on the libraries’ social media channels, including Twitter @baylorlibraries and Facebook at www.facebook.com/baylorlibraries.