McNichols Library Dedication, November 11, 1950
“What’s in the new University of Detroit Library besides 125,000 books? According to the Very Rev. Father Celestin Steiner, S.J., University president, there’s everything including the kitchen sink.” That was how the press release began with the announcement of a formal dedication of the library November 11, 1950. As the highlight of the University of Detroit’s homecoming week, the one million dollar library was dedicated by Edward Cardinal Mooney, archbishop of Detroit.
When the library first opened, the stacks were closed. Students would place their request for a book at the circulation desk on the main floor where a pneumatic tube would shoot the request up to another floor for another student or staff person to send the book down via the dumbwaiter. You can still see remnants of those on the upper floors, but they don’t work anymore. Initially, the library housed a 300 seat theatre, recording studio and microfilm unit on the third floor; all that has gone away for various reasons, but we still have the kitchen sink in the staff lounge!