Briggs Years to Kick off National Library Week

Cindy Rickeman

Cindy Rickeman

An event honoring Dr. Hilton M. Briggs will kick off National Library Week at H.M. Library at South Dakota State University.

“SDSU: The Briggs Years” is set for 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday April 12 in the Campanile Room.

Dr. Michael Reger, vice president for Administration, will talk about the building boom during the Briggs years. Dr. Harold Bailey, retired dean and vice president for academic affairs, will talk about the growth of academic programs. Dr. Leon Raney, emeritus dean of libraries, will talk about securing funds and planning the library.

Hilton Briggs was known for his down-to-earth and matter-of-fact direction of South Dakota State during his 17 years as president. These traits are typified in a widely quoted Briggs statement, made to the Board of Regents in the early 1970s to explain the impact the closure of the Engineering College would have on the university.

“You can castrate a good bull calf. It may not change his appearance, but it certainly changes his purpose in life.”

Briggs is credited with doubling the enrollment and classroom areas.

Other events during National Library Week include a Tour of the Archives.

From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., on Tuesday April 16, the library will host an open house of the archives and special collections.

At 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17, South Dakota Humanities Council scholars Lyn Messersmith and Deb Carpenter will give a special performance of “Heat’s Compass” a combination of poetry, story telling and music based on diaries of Nebraska and the Dakotas.

Sponsored by the Humanities Council, the event will be held in the Reference Room, after which a books sale, signing and reception will be held.

Professor and writer in residence Dr. David Evans will open the event by reading a proclamation declaring April 14-20 National Library Week and encouraging people to explore the “Past, Present and Future, all at your library”.

All events are free and open to the public.