About Meriam Library

Meriam Library is the main library for the campus of California State University, Chico, serving 16,000 full-time students, more than 970 instructional faculty, and over 1,000 staff, as well as the communities of Chico and Northeastern California. Meriam Library was named in honor of Ted Meriam and the Meriam Family and is the largest library in California north of Sacramento.

Mission Statement

Meriam Library is a trusted partner and strategic asset for the University in the advancement of knowledge, providing intellectual leadership, vital collections, and essential expertise.

The Library supports the University’s education, research, and public service missions by providing access to and preservation of physical and digital materials; spaces and tools that allow collaborative and individual learning; and expertise to help the communities we serve connect to, engage with, and contribute to the world of knowledge and new ideas.

History of Meriam Library

 

Chico State Normal School

The library at Chico State Normal School began with 350 books, housed in the Normal School building in 1887. The stacks and reading area were all in one room.

 

Library Expands

By 1900, the library had grown to 8,900 volumes with periodicals and special reference books. The library was open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, and books could be checked out for a week, more than one book could be checked out as long as it was not of the same subject.

 

Fire!

In 1927 the Normal School building burned down, destroying the library.

 

A New Home

The library did not have a permanent home until 1933 when Trinity Hall was built; it was known only as the ‘Library.’

 

Chico State College Library

In 1959, Chico State College Library was built in what is presently the east side of Meriam Library.

 

On a LARC

In 1975, the library was expanded and the name changed to Learning Activities Resource Center or LARC.

 

Meriam Library

The library was again expanded to its current size, and in 1981 dedicated Meriam Library after the family of Ted Meriam.

 

A Fourth Floor

The fourth floor was completed in 1985.