About Us

"This library - the traditional heart of a university - is a tribute to three generations of the Staley family"
beginning with A. E. Staley, Sr.

-The Staley Library dedication plaque

Staley Library Stats

  • 110 full-service hours each week 
  • A staff of four librarians, four paraprofessionals, and many student assistants
  • 40,000 square feet of study, stacks, and service space on four floors 
  • 350 study seats, divided among tables, carrels, sofas, and easy chairs
  • 12 public computer workstations with campus network and Internet access, including to the library's own resource-rich website
  • 5 wireless laptops for Millikin student use within the library
  • Over 189,000 physical items in Staley Library that circulate and are accessed through the I-Share statewide electronic catalog. Anyone with a valid Millikin University ID can use and borrow in person from any of the 90 I-Share libraries.
  • Over 1,000 titles of print periodicals, some going back to the early 1900's and many to the 1970's
  • A print reference collection of over 6,000 titles (encyclopedias, almanacs, indexes) 
  • Over 3,400 videos,  8,800 musical recordings, 9,300 musical scores, as well as 2,300 curriculum materials and 4,500 children's books 
  • Access to over 80 electronic databases, broad and subject-specific 
  • Access to over 53,000 electronic full-text journals
  • Access to and use of more than 82,000 e-book titles (electronic books)
  • Staley Library belongs to CARLI, the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois, which provides our integrated library system, and brokers many of our electronic resources purchases. 


Staley Library is named for three generations of the Staley family of Decatur in recognition of their generous financial contributions and service.

Who was the first A. E. Staley? Augustus Eugene Staley built a commercially successful soybean processing plant in Decatur in 1922. His facility advanced the process of running beans through an expeller to remove the oil. The leftover residue was sold to the feed industry for use in commercial feeds or to farmers, who mixed the meal with other ingredients as a protein supplement.

Shilling Hall (1903-1931)

  • 1903: "The library occupied rooms on the south side of the main corridor, east of the central stairway in the Liberal Arts Building [now Shilling Hall]. There it remained for twenty-eight years, gradually expanding in its vicinity until at last it overflowed altogether and was removed to its own new building in 1931." (Gage, Daniel J. The Millikin Story, 1900-1970. Typescript, p.32.)
  • October 14, 1903: Darwin's Animals and Plants Under Domestication was the first library title catalogued. Both volumes of it are still available in the library's stacks.

Gorin Hall (1931-1978)

  • November 5, 1930: Gorin Library architect James H. White, University of Illinois, breaks ground for the new building. 
  • April 17, 1931: Mrs. A.R. Taylor, widow of University's first president, spreads mortar for cornerstone as President Jesse Hayes White and about five hundred others look on. The building is named after Orville B. Gorin, a long-time friend and benefactor of the University, as well as a member of the University's Board of Managers.
  • November 27, 1931: Books are moved from Shilling Hall to Gorin Library.

Staley Library (1978-Present)

  • April 8, 1976: Ground was broken for the new Staley Library by architectural firm Salogga, Bradley, Likins, and Dillow.
  • May 21, 1978: Staley Library was officially dedicated. The building encompasses 60,000 square feet, at a cost to build of $45.00 per square foot.
  • Summer 1978: Library staff moved all 145,364 books from Gorin to Staley libraries. They could move about 60 books per cart, and it took almost 2,500 carts. 
  • 1991: Card catalog is no longer updated, library switches to computerized catalog. The library began using electronic cataloging and circulation systems in 1978.
  • 2003: Staley Library's now classic Peeps Research page debuts.
  • 2017: Staley Library moves into the new University Commons.

Library Directors

Eugenia Allin


Annie Morris Boyd


Lucie H. Snyder


Eugenia Allin


Edith Brainard


Helen Fromel


Beverly Moss


Donald Hendricks


Frances Robison (acting)


Maurice Boatman


Charles E. Hale


Karin Borei


Cindy Fuller