Call to Action: Save the University of Maryland Art and Architecture Libraries

Forwarded message from Nicole Joy Riesenberger, PhD Candidate, Art History and Archaeology Department, University of Maryland 


As many of you know, the University of Maryland’s Art Library has been scheduled to close and be absorbed into McKeldin Library following this academic year. The Dean of Libraries, Patricia Steele, announced this decision during the summer without consulting any of the faculty or students whose work relies on the Art Library’s accessible collection. At more than 100,000 volumes, the Art Library houses one of the most comprehensive collections of art historical resources in the area.

While the library remains open this year, the hours have been substantially reduced to Monday – Friday, 11.00 am – 4.00 pm, with limited staffing. As many of the graduate students and faculty are in class during these hours, it will be very difficult for us to access the resources we need to conduct research during this academic year.

At the same time that the Art Library closure was announced, the Architecture Library was scheduled to close prior to the beginning of the fall semester. In part through an impressive petition and letter-writing campaign, the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation has managed to at least provisionally halt the closure of their library and to establish an advisory committee to determine a sustainable plan for its future. Please also show your support for the Architecture Library and consider signing their petition (see step 1 below).

The graduate students in the Department of Art History & Archaeology have begun a similar campaign to save our library. Please find links to the petitions below, and a general letter to Dean Patricia Steele attached to this message, which you may use as a starting point for your own personalized letter.

Here are the steps you can take to help save the Art Library:

1) Sign the petitions:

Art Library:

Architecture Library:

2) Send an email message to Dr. Patricia A. Steele, Dean of Libraries (; CC both the Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, Dr. Bonnie Thornton Dill ( and the President of the University of Maryland, Dr. Wallace D. Loh (

Please also BCC Dr. Meredith Gill, Chair of the Department of Art History and Archeology ( on emails so that she can keep track of those who have contributed to our campaign .

3) Send hard copies of your letter to:

Dr. Patricia A. Steele, Dean of Libraries, 6131 McKeldin Library , University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-7011

Dr. Bonnie Thornton Dill, Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities,1102 Francis Scott Key Hall, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-7311

Dr. Wallace D. Loh, President, 1101 Main Administration Building, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-6105

4) Attend the meeting with the Dean of Libraries Patricia Steele to discuss the future of the art library and show your support for saving the art library. The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 15th (sometime between 1:15-4:15pm) in the Special Events Room of McKeldin Library.

Please email Dr. Meredith Gill ( if you have any questions. Thank you for helping us to publicize this campaign, and thank you for helping to save the Art Library!