Library services have adapted to changes over the years, such as the addition of the medical school in the 1970s.
University Librarian Brian Burch, who was awarded an OBE for services to librarianship, toured medical schools and negotiated a generous settlement from the health authority for medical information services – a great deal higher than that achieved by the other two medical schools in the region.
Things did not always run smoothly, though. Librarian and alumna Mary Bettles recalls a flood in the clinical sciences library, calling Burch for help and “all of us ended up sweeping water down the stairs”.
A campus bookshop opened in 1958, mainly thanks to the efforts of professors Jack Simmons and Leslie Sykes, and eventually specialised in arts and social sciences. Another bookshop opened, which specialised in medicine, science, engineering and education – and gramophone records.
The two bookshops were merged within the David Wilson library. This bookshop closed in 2016 and the space became the digital reading room.
The University’s library expertise has reached across the UK and beyond. Leicester staff have become university librarians at Aberystwyth, Swansea, the University of East Anglia, Brotherton Library at Leeds, King's College London, Warwick and Sydney.