The D. W. Reynolds Library & Technology Center anchors a two-acre site, prominently located at the main entrance to the Philander Smith College campus.
In the year 2000, Philander Smith College received a $7.8 million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation to build, furnish and equip a new two-story, 49,404 square feet, state-of-the art library and technology center. The official dedication took place on March 7, 2003. The previous library facility, the M. L. Harris Library and Fine Arts building had been constructed in 1962.
The D. W. Reynolds Library and Technology center was designed by Roark, Perkins, Perry and Yelvington Architects of Little Rock. This multi-million dollar facility enables the college to bring together resources needed to expand many of the existing programs and services, the Faculty Development Center, the Archival Center and Teacher Education Lab / Children’s’ collection. New services include a Multi-media collection center, electronic keyboard studios, a Music Lab with video projection and a surround sound audio system, and a Distance Learning / Computer Instruction Lab with video conferencing and a wide variety of media system. The Conference Center is also equipped with a multi-media presentation system. Other features of this facility include meeting and study rooms for small groups. Wireless technology is functional in virtually all areas of the library.
The library strives to provide Philander Smith College students, faculty and staff with information resources and services that enable them to excel in their academic and intellectual pursuits.
In 2000, Philander Smith College received an art grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation which made it possible to establish the largest museum-quality collection of African American art at an academic library in Arkansas. The 83 piece collection has increased awareness and appreciation of regional and prominent black artists. The collection has been praised for its quality and diverse medium and it frequently used by students as an educational resource and visited by tourists, local groups and individuals of all ages. The original collections’ value exceeds $500,000. The collection represents the works of 39 artists including John Biggers, Hale Woodruff, Ron Adams, Romare Bearden, Lois Mailou Jones and Elizabeth Catlett.
The most recent addition to the collection is from Melissa and Kevin Katz and valued at $950,000. Their donation of 23 pieces of African art includes an assortment of Sculptures, Masks and ceremonial pieces amassed by the couple over 35 years in mixed media formats including bronze, metal and wood. The art represents and depicts traditional clothing and customs from 9 countries in West and Central Africa including Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, Gabon, the Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria and Mali. The Katz Collection is on display in the Philander Smith College Archives on the second floor of the library.
The Mission of the Library contributes to the College’s mission of graduating academically accomplished students who are grounded as advocates for social justice, determined to change the world for the better. In particular, the library facilitates the pursuit and access of knowledge and information literacy through user focused services and collections.
D. W. Reynolds Library will be the destination for information collection, connection, creation, conservation and preservation.