Though IC only has one dedicated library (this one, Schewe Library), we occasionally get questions about the “other libraries” on campus. For reasons of signage, this is an entirely understandable question. In fact, if you went by campus signage alone, you’d think IC had three libraries in operation. Let’s talk about the two “false libraries” for a moment.
The first “false library” on campus is to be found in Tanner Hall, which, in spite of its exterior signage (“Tanner Library”), is not in any way a library. Confusing, yes, but at one time accurate. Tanner Library was IC’s first Library, and was initially constructed for IC’s Centennial in 1929. Though Tanner Hall now houses IC’s Administration and various sub-departments, the building ceased to be a base of library operations in 1973 with the construction of Schewe Library. For reasons not entirely known — though surely not ones of practicality — the building’s existing signage was retained.
The second “false library” is the Khalaf al Habtoor Leadership Library, located in Whipple Hall. As succinctly stated in the Illinois College Catalog 2014-2015, the “Khalaf Al Habtoor Leadership Library supports the programming of the Khalaf Al Habtoor Leadership Center… The Library also features artifacts from Abraham Lincoln and Edward Beecher (p. 187).” Practically, the Khalaf al Habtoor Leadership Library is a conference room, with a select number of publications which feed into the mission of the Leadership Center, and which also contains the aforementioned items from Lincoln and Beecher (amongst them, Lincoln’s law library couch). What material the Leadership Library has does not circulate.
And that, briefly, is the story of IC’s two pretenders to the Library crown. Let there be confusion no more!