Cooper 2.0: A Vision for the Future

It starts with a vision

The R.M. Cooper Library has been the heart of Clemson’s campus ever since it opened its doors in 1966. It is a gathering place, a study space, and the gateway to a wealth of information and resources for scholars and researchers from every discipline. It is the place where students can get the expert help they need as they start their own research journeys, and a repository where faculty researchers can share their discoveries with the world.

Just as Clemson University has transformed over the past 56 years from a small, regional public college to a nationally known R-1 research university, Cooper Library has also evolved to meet the ever-changing needs of our students, faculty and staff. But we need to do more.

We have a vision of Cooper Library as a national leader among public research university libraries, as model of innovation and as the research hub on the Clemson University campus. In order to move towards this vision, library leadership has commissioned several recent studies to help identify gaps and opportunities for growth and improvement.

Putting the vision on paper

In 2019, library leadership created a task force to research what it would take for Cooper Library to become a Research 1 Library. Those findings and recommendations are outlined in the R1 Library Task Force Report.

Also in 2019, Brightspot Strategy conducted a master plan study that looked at how Cooper Library could renovate its existing space and enhance services and collections to better serve the university community and the research mission of the university. Read the full Brightspot master plan report.

In 2020, Collins Cooper Carusi Architects built upon the work done by Brightspot and conducted a master plan study that includes expanding the footprint of Cooper Library to create more space for patrons, collections, services and partner organizations. Read the full Collins Cooper Carusi master plan study report.

Realizing the vision

Inspired by those studies, work has been underway on a number of small projects to help get us closer to our vision for the next version of the R.M. Cooper Library. Smaller facility upgrades – from fresh paint on the walls to the creation of new group study spaces – are always underway. Keep up with the latest building projects updates as we continue to move Cooper Library into the future.