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The original Shaw University Library, (now Tyler Hall) was erected in 1910 as the hospital building and was originally known as Library Hall. This building also housed the Home Economics Department and the Teacher’s Club during the early years of Shaw. 

In 1932, Dr. Robert Tyler, an alumnus of Shaw University, donated $5,000.00 for the renovation and enlargement of the library. The name of the building was later changed to Tyler Hall. Today, this building houses the Business Office and the Registrar’s Office. This building housed the library until 1968 when, under the leadership of the seventh president Dr. James E. Cheek, a new library building was erected in the center of the campus. 

The James E. Cheek Library which serves today as the main campus library was built in 1968 and is a two-story building that covers 26,196 square feet of floor space. The circulation and technical services departments, a reading room, a computer area, reserve textbooks, Archives and library administrative offices occupy the first floor of the library. The Reference Department, the African-American Materials Collection, the Mollie Houston Lee and John Wilson Fleming Special Collections, a 2nd floor computer lab, the Mass Communications Department and the campus radio station WSHA-FM occupy the 2nd floor of the library.  

The James E. Cheek Library houses a collection of approximately 94,000 volumes. The collection includes: 

  • monographs (books) 
  • serials (newspapers, journals and magazines)  
  • audiovisual materials 
  • electronic resources  

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