Taylor Library turns 25!

Published on November 09, 2016

The main floor at Taylor Library

You are invited to join us in celebrating the 25th birthday of the Allyn and Betty Taylor Library and the opening of the Global Library Space on Monday, November 21, 3-5pm. Formal remarks by Catherine Steeves and others will begin at 4:15.  Please help us cheer on the opening of the Global Library Space; and Phases I and II of our Main floor space enhancements which have just been completed. We welcome our staff, campus partners and community, who make Taylor Library such a vital place for students, faculty and researchers. We also welcome our generous donors to thank them for making the project a reality. Catch the excitement of our new spaces through tours, student-led activities, and delicious food.


The Allyn and Betty Taylor Library was officially opened on November 22, 1991, with the design and construction of the new library funded through the Renaissance Campaign (1989 –1994). At the time of the Library’s opening, Dr. Allyn Taylor (Western’s Chancellor from 1976 to 1980) was quoted as saying: “My long association with Western is very close to my heart. Betty and I are proud and thankful indeed to have our names linked with this fine, new library, and can only say how grateful we are to the anonymous benefactor responsible.” The $11.8 million three floor addition to the north side of the Natural Sciences Building had a total seating capacity of 1,000 in 1991.

Taylor Library’s original design included some leading edge elements. For example, it was the first library in Canada to install weight-sensitive safety flooring compact shelving units and also included a grid of telecommunication channels within the floor so that the “latest” computer wiring could be installed as needed.

In the intervening 25 years, much has changed for academic libraries with the significant move from print to digitally born collections; the rethinking of library spaces to meet community needs for collaborative learning and research; and the transformation of library services to support academic and research excellence.

Today, the Allyn and Betty Taylor Library continues to serve faculty, students and researchers in the Faculty of Engineering, Science, Health Sciences and the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.

As our Western community joins us in reflecting back on Taylor Library’s 25 years and as well, in thinking forward to the future, this is a time to celebrate and build on our strengths: our dedicated library staff, quality library service, world class collections, strong connections with our communities; and library as both place and space.

Global Library Space

As well, we celebrate the opening of the Global Library Space and other space upgrades at Taylor. These include:

  • On the main floor, we created six new collaborative learning suites, each of which have state-of-the-art learning technology (interactive projectors, multi-view display screens, and white boards).
  • The east portico was furnished with comfortable chairs and couches; this is our Asian-themed global space, and the walls and cabinets will display art from several Asian countries and influences. The entrance to this space incorporates a global graphic design, with “welcomes” in many languages as an integral element of the design. The west portico also has comfortable seating space in well-lit, welcoming space.
  • Throughout the central area of the main floor, we have created a new spatial design with a variety of learning and seating options to create an inviting, inspiring and collaborative learning and research space that will meet the expressed needs of undergraduate and graduate students.
  • New banquettes along the north windows allow seating areas for collaborative work.
  • On the ground floor, we installed 90 new individual study carrels, thanks to the Western Science Students’ Council Challenge Fund.