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Briggs Library celebrates 40 years

Hilton M. Briggs Library is a building that has meant many things to many people. To some, it’s a quiet space for studying. Others come here seeking answers from our librarians and resources. But overall, it is a welcoming environment at South Dakota State University that has encouraged creative scholarship and lifelong learning for the past four decades.

This fall marks the 40th anniversary of Briggs Library. We invite the SDSU community and the public to celebrate this milestone with us on September 14.

We’re all about the ‘70s at our student event as we pay homage to the library’s 1977 opening. From 11 am—1 pm, students can tie-dye a bandana (perfect gear for Hobo Day!) on the library lawn. A jump rope battle starts at noon. The participant who jumps the longest wins $50 in Hobo Dough. Jump ropes are provided by the Wellness Center and available to contestants on a first-come, first-serve basis.

A community reception begins at 5 pm on the Briggs Library main level, with appetizers and beverages served. At 6 pm, current and former   library administrators will give brief remarks.

The “Wit of the Wosters” keynote event at 6:30 pm features South Dakota siblings Jim, Kevin and Terry Woster and Mary Alice Haug. These four SDSU alumni have led respected careers in journalism, public speaking, teaching and writing. Attendees will be in for a spirited discussion among the family members as they talk about the impact of books, reading and libraries.

As part of the 40th anniversary, the library collected essays from alumni, faculty and staff that recall influential books or significant library experiences. Authors include Sen. Tom Daschle, First Lady Linda Daugaard and writer Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve. Booklets of the essay collection will be available to reception attendees. These essays are also on the anniversary website (

Library visitors can see several exhibits related to the anniversary about SDSU library history; the life of the building’s namesake, former President Hilton M. Briggs; and books by alumni and faculty.

A new digital bookplate initiative is being launched with the celebration. Gifts of $40 or more made in honor of the 40th anniversary will be recognized with digital bookplates that are going to be featured in a gallery coming to the library website this semester. These donations will support library collections. As with traditional bookplates, digital bookplates acknowledge the generosity of supporters and friends whose gifts help improve library resources and services.

Whether you can be with us in person or can only enjoy the celebration through the anniversary website, we hope you join us as we commemorate Hilton M. Briggs Library’s 40 years of service to the SDSU campus and the larger community.