The Joe and Rika Mansueto Library originated by recommendation of a faculty committee tasked to address the University Library’s increasing and rich collection of scholarly materials and the continuing importance of those materials as a key research tool. The committee advised that the University make every effort to keep all library materials on campus to facilitate the work of the faculty and students, whose research is dependent on their ready accessibility. A $25 million gift from alumni Joe and Rika Mansueto enabled the University to realize this vision. The Mansueto Library provides the storage capacity to make ours the sole academic research library among its peers that houses the University’s entire collection on campus.
University Communications worked closely with the Library to generate excitement about the new facility during the construction and to communicate its architectural and scholarly significance when it opened. The News Office and the Office of the Vice President for Communications developed a far-reaching media plan, including outreach to major general interest publications as well as technology, architecture, and higher education publications. UChicago Creative produced videos that documented the library construction process and explained its mission and operations. Additionally, our units collaborated on internal communications, including two homepage features, that generated enthusiasm for the Mansueto Library within the campus community.
The Joe and Rika Mansueto Library has emerged as a Chicago icon since it first opened its doors in 2011. Our media outreach resulted in coverage by publications such as… the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago magazine, The Atlantic, Wired, Architect’s Newspaper, Inside Higher Ed, and Chronicle of Higher Education. The Mansueto How It Works video has received more than 200,000 views, making it the University’s second most viewed YouTube video and the fifth most viewed YouTube EDU video of 2010–2011. The prominence of the Mansueto Library is a point of pride campus wide, and weekly tours of the facility consistently meet capacity.