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FLITE Building

The Ferris State University Library for Information, Technology and Education (FLITE) is designed for flexibility and versatility, integrating modern technology with traditional information resources. Opened in 2001, FLITE is a gathering place for learning that incorporates information and technology as a strategy for facilitating education. FLITE is used not only by the students and the faculty but also by the Big Rapids community and surrounding areas.

History of Libraries at Ferris

Year Event
1884-1931 No library; Students could borrow books directly from Woodbridge Ferris’s personal collection
1910 Ferris Institute paid to redecorate community library; Woodbridge Ferris paid to rehouse the reference section; Students attending Ferris Institute encouraged to borrow from the public
1931 A small room off the auditorium converted into the first centralized library, eventually moving to the top floor of the Old Pharmacy Building; Charles Carlisle (a teacher since 1884) became the first librarian
1937 Carlisle died, Clarence M. Mitchell hired as first trained librarian
1942 Mitchell left because of budget cuts from the Depression and WWII
1942-1946 Library operated part-time
1946 Veterans returning meant Library could return to full-time operations; hired Goldie T. Nott as librarian
February 21, 1950 Fire destroyed Old Main, Old Pharmacy, & all but 200 library books that were checked out at the time
1950-1952 Library reopened in WWII surplus barracks and received donations from colleges, universities, townspeople, alumni, and others
1952 Library moved into the top floor of the new West Building
1956 A mezzanine added for more book space; A Buddha incense burner was purchased to cover the musty smells associated with moving the books into the mezzanine
1962 Following an experience renovating the Lincoln School to the new Big Rapids Public Library, President Spathelf moved from plans to convert the full West Building into the library to designing plans for a separate building
1965-1967 Construction of the Timme Library
 1967 Library moved to the Timme Building; collection moved using student volunteers, Ferris trucks, and beer boxes; Off-site storage was used for infrequently used materials
 1988 Video & Audio collection and Individualized Learning Center was moved to the IRC
 1989 The Video & Audio collection and ILC moved back to the Timme Building
 1992  The Health Sciences Library moved to West Commons
 1997 Architect began designing new building which could accommodate technology and the reintegration of the health sciences collection 
April 1999 Groundbreaking for FLITE
March 2001 Library moved in to FLITE during spring break
March 16, 2001 Ribbon Cutting