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    The Smythe Gambrell Library | Lower School
    As the largest lower school library in the country, The Smythe Gambrell Library is a visionary space in which students foster a lifelong love of learning. Designed by Pauline H. Anderson, a library design consultant of national repute, the brightly lit, colorful room features new learning resources, an extensive collection of print and audiovisual materials, and a community room. The “story well”—an enclosed, circular reading room with tiered seating—is a hub for reading and exploration. Surrounded by large murals and vibrant works of art, students’ curiosity and imagination is developed as they journey through the lasting works of Shel Silverstein, Louisa May Alcott and Dr. Seuss. 

    Mr. E. Smythe Gambrell was born in 1896 in Belton, South Carolina, and died in 1986 in Atlanta, Georgia. Mr. Gambrell was the first Atlantan to be elected president of the American Bar Association. He was an early champion of legal assistance for the poor and founded Atlanta's Legal Aid Society in 1924.

    He also lectured at Emory Law School from 1922-1940 and taught "Practice Court," a required moot trial course for all law students. As one of the first Southern attorneys to specialize in transportation law, Mr. Gambrell served as chief legal counsel for Eastern Air Lines for many years.

    Through his South Carolina roots, Mr. Gambrell established a friendship with Dr. William Pressly, later to be Westminster's first president, and became involved with Westminster during the early 1950s. When Emma Scott Hall was built in 1955, it housed the Elementary School. At the completion of construction, no money was left to purchase books for the new Elementary School library. Mr. Gambrell made a gift to provide the book collection and the library (which also served as the elementary cafeteria). The library was named for Mr. Gambrell.

    In 1981, the Elementary School was moved into a new building, Woodruff Hall, and the Smythe Gambrell Library became a much more visible part of school life. The new library comprised 3,500 square feet and contained 24,000 printed volumes, in addition to filmstrips, cassettes, videotapes, art prints and compact disks. A gift from Mr. Gambrell's family just prior to his death in 1986 established an endowment to help underwrite the growing needs of this important Westminster facility.

    In the fall of 1997, Love Hall was completed on the site of the old Woodruff Hall. Our new 72,000-square-foot building houses the newest version of the Smythe Gambrell Library, which was designed by Pauline H. Anderson, a library design consultant of national repute. It encompasses a 9,369-square-foot area with approximately 38,500 printed materials and 1,900 audio visual materials. It also includes a separate enclosed "story well," a seminar room that seats 20, three librarians' offices, a volunteer workroom, one classroom that seats eight, and a small professional library for faculty use. Eleven PC platform computers are available for student use, and students have access to the internet under our Acceptable Use Guidelines.
    SGL Research
    Library Catalog
    Ebooks and Audio Books
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    Contact Us
    Circulation Desk
    404-609-6309

    Ron Martin

    Lower School Head Librarian
    Smythe Gambrell Library
    404-609-6484

    Debbie Cushing
    Librarian
    404-609-6343

    Did You Know?
    The Smythe Gambrell Library:
    • Houses over 40,000 printed and audio-visual resources
    • Spans over 9,000 square feet
    • Features an enclosed "story well" for story time
    • Was designed by library design consultant Pauline Anderson
    Through his South Carolina roots, Mr. Gambrell established a friendship with Dr. William Pressly, later to be Westminster's first president, and became involved with Westminster during the early 1950s. When Emma Scott Hall was built in 1955, it housed the Elementary School. At the completion of construction, no money was left to purchase books for the new Elementary School library. Mr. Gambrell made a gift to provide the book collection and the library (which also served as the elementary cafeteria). The library was named for Mr. Gambrell.

    In 1981, the Elementary School was moved into a new building, Woodruff Hall, and the Smythe Gambrell Library became a much more visible part of school life. The new library comprised 3,500 square feet and contained 24,000 printed volumes, in addition to filmstrips, cassettes, videotapes, art prints and compact disks. A gift from Mr. Gambrell's family just prior to his death in 1986 established an endowment to help underwrite the growing needs of this important Westminster facility.

    In the fall of 1997, Love Hall was completed on the site of the old Woodruff Hall. Our new 72,000-square-foot building houses the newest version of the Smythe Gambrell Library, which was designed by Pauline H. Anderson, a library design consultant of national repute. It encompasses a 9,369-square-foot area with approximately 38,500 printed materials and 1,900 audio visual materials. It also includes a separate enclosed "story well," a seminar room that seats 20, three librarians' offices, a volunteer workroom, one classroom that seats eight, and a small professional library for faculty use. Eleven PC platform computers are available for student use, and students have access to the internet under our Acceptable Use Guidelines.