Carl S. Swisher Library Mission Statement: The Carl S. Swisher Library/Learning Resources Center transforms the scholarly community by providing exemplary services, adaptive and functional spaces, collections that promote scholarship, creative endeavors, the formation of knowledge, and preserves the history of the University and our founder, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune.

The Carl S. Swisher Library & Learning Resources Center (LRC) was constructed in 1971 and now contains over 140,000 volumes, in addition to periodicals, audio and videotapes, microforms, and access to numerous electronic resources and non-print materials. Prior to the pandemic, the library was open over 90 hours per week including evenings and weekends. Operating hours now vary according to University guidelines. It has a full-time staff of eight librarians and six support staff members. The library serves the entire campus including faculty, staff, students, and administrators, satellite campuses, as well as other community constituents.

The Library & Learning Resources Center features an Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) that provides access to the library’s collection via the Internet. In addition, it also provides access to a number of subscribed and open educational resource electronic databases available 24/7, both on-campus and remotely, from any online computer station. These databases feature electronic periodicals, newspapers, and electronic books in support of academic programs. The electronic resources are particularly tailored to support the undergraduate distance learning programs, and the graduate and professional studies programs.

The library falls under the administrative Office of the Provost, under the leadership of Provost Dr. William Berry.  The library receives system support from the Center for Information Technology which is directed by the vice president of general services and information technology, Dr. Franklin Patterson.

How did the Library receive its name?

The Carl S. Swisher Library was dedicated during the 1970-71 school year and named after Carl S. Swisher who helped finance the library along with the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and gifts from various benefactors. Carl S. Swisher Library is a combination of the original library and Harrison Rhodes Memorial Library.

Carl S. Swisher was born on August 2, 1891, in Newark, Ohio. He was very interested in educational and cultural activities and later spent a great deal of his life in Jacksonville, Florida.

Swisher became a dynamic leader of his family’s cigar-making business, which he expanded into one of the largest enterprises in its field. Swisher headed the company as chairman. After the company began producing machine-made cigars, the company moved its headquarters from Newark, Ohio, to Jacksonville, Florida.

Swisher served several terms as a member of the Bethune-Cookman College Board of Trustees for several terms and dedicated his life and service to improving his community. Swisher died on December 2, 1973. Mr. Swisher's legacy of civic work is carried on by his family and the Carl S. Swisher Foundation.