Gulf Coast Libraries History
GULF COAST LIBRARIES
Cox Library, Media Center and Curriculum Lab: The Gulf Coast Library was originally housed in the Cox Library building (at the Southern Miss Gulf Park campus). The Cox Library building was formerly an art studio, built in 1923. USM acquired the former two-year liberal arts Gulf Park College for Women in 1972. The Cox Library was dedicated in 1975, in honor of Dr. Richard Garfield Cox (1881-1967), founder and first president of Gulf Park College. The historic building retained its decorative brick fireplace and tall wood-framed windows, even through several renovations, one in 1983, and another in 1986. Over the years, the library staff and collections outgrew the original Cox Library building. By the time funding was found for a new building, library services were housed in three buildings on campus: The Cox Library, the Media Center, and the Smith Studio (which contained the Curriculum Lab).
Gulf Coast Library: In 2000, there was a groundbreaking ceremony for the new library. The style of the building was Mediterranean, designed to match the other buildings on campus. The building is beautiful, but also very functional and user-friendly. The Gulf Coast Library opened for business in August 2002. The new three-story 54,000 square foot library contains a state-of-the-art Learning Commons, computers on every floor, study rooms, book and DVD collections, Curriculum Lab education materials collection—including an extensive children's literature collection, the Speaking/Writing Center, a foreign language lab, a coffee shop, and the Gulf Park College for Women Archives. After Hurricane Katrina, the Katrina Research Center was established and is housed on the third floor of the Library.
Hurricane Katrina: In 2005, the first floor of the Gulf Coast Library was heavily damaged by storm surge. The entire first floor was renovated. New computers and furniture were purchased, and the Learning Commons was designed. The Gulf Coast Library on the Gulf Park Campus re-opened to the public in 2007.
Gulf Coast Student Center Library: While the Gulf Coast Library was closed after sustaining damage from Katrina, library services were moved to the Gulf Coast Student Service Center in Gulfport. Full library services were available, including circulation, course reserves, computers, reference assistance, and a book/DVD collection that complements the academic programs that were available at that site. The GCSSC Library closed in December 2012 when the Gulf Park Campus renovation were completed.
Gunter Library, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Ocean Springs: The scientific collection is comprehensive with materials reflecting the scope and depth of research and teaching done by the USM Dept. of Coastal Sciences and GCRL scientific staff. Gunter Library owns nearly 7,000 books. Two hundred fifty periodical titles are received annually by subscription, gift, and exchange. The collection also contains "Gunter Library Reprints" (27,000+ cataloged reprints, reports, and gray literature); expedition reports; dissertations and theses; government documents; environmental impact statements; fishery management plans; and newsletters, annual reports, and collected reprints from national and international marine research institutions. "Gunter Library Archives" consists of GCRL publications, GCRL dissertations and theses, and a collection of clippings, photographs, and other materials documenting the history of GCRL.