Indiana University Bloomington

Lilly Library

Bloomington, Indiana // 52,516 sq. ft.

The 60-year-old Lilly Library sits in the heart of Indiana University Bloomington’s campus in what has been dubbed the ‘Fine Arts Plaza.’ The historically significant building houses some 460,000 books, 120,000 pieces of sheet music, and more than 8.5 million manuscripts. In 2019, the library received a grant which allowed them to move forward on a large-scale renovation to revitalize and modernize the space.

The renovation reimagines the library and elevates its capabilities to preserve rare materials, protect library holdings and educate visitors. New classroom space will be used by classes and serve as a lecture hall for speakers. Updates were done to the library’s mechanical systems, lighting, technological equipment, fire protection, security systems, and space configurations. These improvements have enhanced a more modern presentation of the library’s literary and cultural treasures. The renovations are accompanied by new murals in the library’s well-known reading room. Created by muralist Ralph Gilbert, the art piece pays tribute to many of the great authors and playwrights whose works reside at the library, while also speaking to more diverse audiences the library hopes to attract.

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