The speculation surrounding the fate of the now-defunct J. Henry Meyer Memorial Library has come to an end, as Stanford has announced that the Library is to be replaced with a new monument, dedicated to the Library, which will be precisely identical to the original Meyer Memorial Library.
Plans to demolish the old library have hurriedly been put into place, so that construction on its indistinguishable memorial can begin. Although the new library will be entirely functional, complete with state of the art technology and centuries worth of books and manuscripts, no students or faculty will be able to access its interior. Because the building still won’t be earthquake safe.
Many contractors competed for the demolition job, presenting a host of pitch ideas to President Hennessey and the University. For example, a group who spearheaded the draining of Lake Lag in the 1990s suggested that after the library was demolished, it would be replaced with an empty field that would still be referred to as “Meyer Library.” This, of course, in spite of the fact that the new “Meyer Library” would indeed be the exact absence of a library. Regardless of whether they would be replaced, all plans included the demolition of all current contents of the library, including its collections and the people who make announcements over the PA system.
Eventually the memorial idea won out. President Hennessey claimed, “There is so much more meaning behind this library because it is memorializing the memory of J. Henry Meyer, rather than merely memorializing J. Henry, himself. What better way to commemorate a benefactor than that?” The plan also gives the University an excuse to spend a lot of extra money filling up the new Lathrop Library to replace the millions of books that will remain unread in the Meyer Library Memorial for eternity.