Why You Should Visit the Harold B Lee Library in Provo

It is one of the most unique looking buildings in Provo, UT, and probably in the entire state. Within its glass encasement, the Harold B Lee Library is the foundation of all research done at Brigham Young University. Without it, students and faculty alike wouldn’t be able to do an accurate job. This massive library houses important government documents, archives for the LDS church, and, of course, information old and new for student access. The Harold B Lee Library at BYU, though, is more than it appears. Descend into it with us and see what we mean!

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You Don’t Need a Library Card to Check Out the Harold B Lee Library

You will notice something odd about the library when you first come to it. The glass exterior doesn’t indicate the presence of a library. Instead, it looks more like a giant greenhouse. Don’t be fooled, though. As soon as you walk in, you’ll start your descent into 665,000 square feet of library resources. The library houses more than six million items in its extensive collections. You are sure to feel small in this massive library. Also, you might get lost in the 98 miles of shelving within the Harold B Lee Library. Add in a seating capacity of 4,600 and over 10,000 patrons visiting the library daily, and you have one of the largest, most important libraries in the state of Utah.

History of the Library

Back in the earliest days of Brigham Young University when it was called Brigham Young Academy, Karl G. Maeser was Principal. During his tenure, he began to build a small library of books and materials from gifts, donations, and what he could scavenge for free. Unfortunately, a fire destroyed the library he had put together, including the entire library collection. As the academy grew more, though, the library collection accumulated. And, by 1903, the Brigham Young Academy grew into Brigham Young University. With that growth came more space, which the library quickly outgrew. In 1924, a $125,000 budget for the BYU came through to include 40,000 books and 35,000 pamphlets into a new library space.

Over the next 50 years, the library went through two more name changes and expansions when, finally, in 1996, the library underwent its most dramatic change. The building standing today as the Harold B Lee Library at BYU came as a result. The beautiful glass exterior lets in natural light, giving the library a unique atmosphere that imparts inspiration to students and faculty alike. The extensive array of information alone is worthy of a visit.

Check In at Hines Mansion After You Check Out the Library

The Harold B Lee Library is just one of many wonderful things to do in Provo. Here at Hines Mansion, we consider ourselves experts on everything Provo. So, download our free Vacation Guide for all the best activities. Whether you’re in town for a quick getaway, vacation, or business trip, we are eager to accommodate you. Our spacious rooms are made better only by our specials! Ready to book your getaway to beautiful Provo, Utah? Contact us today!