logo for B.F. Hamilton Library at Franklin College

Our Mission

B.F. Hamilton Library provides the resources, instruction, technology, and personal service that support the information needs of the Franklin College learning community.

Our Objectives

Aware that the practice of responsible leadership and service, as expressed in the Franklin College Mission Statement, requires that all members of the College community be able to access and use information intelligently, and knowing that the Library has the primary responsibility to provide this service, we the staff of B.F. Hamilton Library will:

  • Provide easy access to quality information in a variety of formats for our patrons within Hamilton Library and at remote locations.
  • Create comfortable and attractive spaces that accommodate and encourage both individual and group study.
  • Strive to continually improve the quality of service to our internal and external customers.
  • Promote, encourage, and nurture information literacy skills.
  • Support and encourage on-going staff training and development.
  • Participate in cooperative alliances to complement local resources.
  • Keep the Franklin College community informed about new resources and services.

Our Story

Dedicated May 15, 1965, the B.F. Hamilton Library was named in honor of industrialist Bertis Frank Hamilton of Columbus, Indiana. Hamilton, known for promoting corporate gift funding of private colleges, founded Hamilton Cosco of Columbus and helped form the Associated Colleges of Indiana.

Prior to Hamilton Library’s current location, several venues on campus played host to its physical collections. Chandler Hall, now the north wing of Old Main, housed a collection of roughly 200 volumes. Professors staffed The Chandler Hall Library on a voluntary basis.

The library moved to Custer Theatre with the addition of Stott Hall, Old Main’s center section, in 1887-89. A donation from the late President Bailey’s personal collection and the designation of the library as a depository for United States Government documents also prompted this relocation.

The construction of Shirk Hall in 1903 facilitated the growing library collection. For half a century, Shirk Hall provided collection space as well as reading areas and staff workrooms.

On April 4, 1963, ground was broken for the current library. The College hired its first full-time librarian, Lois Amelia Johnstone, in 1908, and today there are two full-time librarians, two full-time staff members, and approximately 20 student staff.

To learn more about the history of Hamilton Library, email  libraryarchives@franklincollege.edu for more information.