History of Perkins Library
Hastings College has always had a library. In the beginning it was located in McCormick Hall, with George White being the first librarian. For the next nearly 30 years it had various homes until, in 1911, thanks to the generosity of Andrew Carnegie, a new library opened on the south end of campus. This library served the college until 1963 when Perkins Library opened. At that time, the Carnegie Library building received a face-lift and a new brick facade.
Perkins Library was a gift to the college by Edwin E. and Kitty Perkins. Neither Edwin nor Kitty Perkins attended Hastings College, but both had strong south-central Nebraska connections. Edwin is now best known as an entrepreneur and the inventor of Kool-Aid, but it is for their interest in education and the devotion to the welfare of college students that they should be remembered.
At the dedication of Perkins Library, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Hal Lainson, summed up the Perkins’s contribution:
“This library has been given to the students of Hastings College by Mr. and Mrs. Edwin E. Perkins. By devotion to hard work, personal integrity and commitment to the Christian philosophy of life, they amassed a great fortune. Believing as they did in the native worth of the young people in this area, they have given this library and its equipment in order that Hastings College students may be well prepared for lives of service and distinction.”
Hastings College continues to produce graduates of distinction who will be of service to their communities. We in Perkins Library hope that the Perkins’ gift will continue to contribute to this goal.
Robert Nedderman, Library Director Emeritus