Welcome to The Joseph B. Ely Library! The Library is a great place to study, work on projects with friends, and get the help you need. We have books and journals, DVDs, streaming video, e-books, and more. Faculty and staff come to the library to find resources, meet with students, teach classes with librarians, and get away from their departments to get some work done.
Our librarians can get you started with your research projects, helping you understand assignments, choosing a great topic, and teaching you to find the information you need.
We have computers, comfortable chairs, group study rooms, lots of outlets for laptops, and we are next to all the amenities of the Campus Center. We even have laptops you can borrow for use in the library. Food in the Library? No problem; just use cups with lids and help us keep the library clean for everyone.
Our staff and student employees can help you locate and borrow materials from the library, and get things from other libraries if we don't have them.
Come visit us any time and learn why Ely Library is the most popular academic space on campus!
The mission of Ely Library is to support the curricular, research, and community-building activities of the University through the effective and efficient provision of information resources, services, and instruction in a supportive learning environment.
To accomplish this, the library:
Sherman Adams and six other students established a Library of 200 books in the fields of “Literature, Science, and Art” twenty years after the school was founded.
Westfield State students have always been actively involved in shaping the institution, from its early days as a normal school to its current status as a university. So it shouldn’t be surprising that in 1858 a group of seven students (three women and four men) got together to form a library. Until then, only textbooks had been available to students and they felt that a well-stocked library was critical to their studies. The Library was started with 200 books, most of them provided by the students themselves, and the rest donated by faculty members and “friends of Education”.
The Library was formed as part of the Normal Lyceum and Library Association, a student debate and library club. The students felt that reading extensively on subjects and learning how to speak logically and convincingly about those ideas were integrated activities essential to their education. “In order that these two ends of study may be gained, the student, in addition to the results of his own thinking, must be able to avail himself of the thoughts of others who have labored before him upon the same subject for the same end. This shows the necessity of having in our Library standard works of Literature, Science, and Art. On account of this necessity, the students of the school commenced during the last term a collection of such standard works as would best aid them in preparation for the work in which they are engaged.” (from the Constitution, Bylaws, and Catalogue of the Normal Lyceum and Library Association of Westfield, 1858).
Ely Library has played a central role in the development of Westfield State University. Some of the history that we carry forward includes:
Governor Joe Ely throws out the first ball of the season at Fenway Park, 1933: