The Middlebury Libraries acquire and provide access to information resources in a variety of formats to support the teaching and research needs of the College's students, faculty, and staff.
At a roomy 143,000 square feet—roughly 3 acres—the Davis Family Library on Storrs Avenue boasts 725 seats; wired and wireless networks; key service desks immediately accessible from a spacious, sunlit atrium; state-of-the-art classrooms; group study rooms; and offices for staff members supporting library and technology, as well as the Center for Teaching, Learning and Research and the Undergraduate Research Office.
Sensitivity to environmental concerns were paramount in the construction of the building. The carrels, reading tables and chairs, bookcase end panels, and architectural trim all use certified lumber, much of it harvested from the College's Bread Loaf campus forest in nearby Ripton. Linoleum rather than plastic or vinyl is used for counter and carrel surfaces, and the carpet is made entirely of recycled fibers.
New England firms were contracted whenever possible, including Island Pond Woodworkers in Vermont's northeast kingdom for manufacture of the carrels and end panels, Windham (Maine) Woodworking for millwork, and Beeken-Parsons in Shelburne for reading tables and chairs. Automatic lighting controls and an efficient heating and air conditioning system minimize energy use.
As with all major construction projects at Middlebury, special funding was applied to art work. Besides exhibiting art from the College Museum's permanent collections, outside the library The Garden of the Seasons by Michael Singer was commissioned; and hanging high above the atrium is Matt Mullican's mural L'Art d'Écrire.
When the Davis Family Library (then called the "Main Library") opened on June 28, 2004, it replaced the venerable Egbert Starr Library, which was constructed in 1900. Soon afterward, Starr Library was renovated to house the Donald Everett Axinn '51 Center for Literary and Cultural Studies at Starr Library, which opened in 2008.