Theodore Lownik Library (1963 - 2001)
The construction of Lownik library was a milestone in the college's efforts to uphold the Benedictine tradition of progress and book keeping. Built in 1962-1963, the library opened in September of 1963. Scholarship was encouraged within the library through a myriad of different venues while playing a significant role in developing leaders with intellectual powers, manifest and meaningful interest, good judgement, proper perspective, human sympathy and a keen sense of moral responsibility. Lownik library served the college until the construction of Kindlon Hall in 2001. Lownik Hall is now home to the administrative offices on campus.
Constructing a New Era
"The library was designed with special emphasis upon its functional aspects and pleasant environment. It provides an efficient workshop where creative scholarship is encouraged in a milieu which lends itself to cheerfulness, and where the student may share the treasured wealth of the world of books."
Library Dedication, St. Procopius College, Lisle, Illinois
On October 17, 1959, Abbot Ambrose presided over the groundbreaking ceremony for Lownik Library and Kohlbeck Hall.
To help raise the $615,000 needed to build the new libarary, the Board of Trustees held a Dinner-Dance on May 10, 1962 where they showcased the building designs drafted by Barry Byrne and Parks architectural firm. An additional $46,000 for the library was donated by the Catholic Central Union with the specific purpose of creating a center from Slav Culture.
M. A. Lombard and Son Company were hired to carry out the construction. Construction finished in September 1963 and materials were moved into the new library. The blessing ceremony was given by Rt. Rev. Gregory J. Roettger.
A Modern Library for a Modern Liberal Arts College
"It is our hope that the new library building, particuliarly, will stand as a symbol of the cultural and intellectual heritage that belongs, by historic rights, to a Benedictine College. I hope, too, that it will symbolize and actually be a beacon for the dissemination of culture and knowledge to our students and to the community around us.
- Abbot Ambrose, The Procopian News pg. 1, October 1959
Theodore Lownik Library served the University for 38 years and through two name changes while continuing its mission to foster education and scholarship. The library was designed around the idea of an open stack system which encouraged users to become independent researchers. This scholastic mission was also carried out through the different information centers it housed such as the Slav Cultural Center, Audio-Visual Department, Current Periodicals Reading Room, Language Lab, and auditorium, and the Lincoln Collection. It also served as a Government Documents Repository. Several services were provided to the community to aid them with using the library, such as reference services (both in person and digitally), interlibrary loan, and library computer services.