CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that María R. Estorino is the Interim Vice Provost for University Libraries. She is the Vice Provost for University Libraries. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for this error.
Davis Library opened on Feb. 7, 1984, a year shared with "Purple Rain" by Prince and the original “Ghostbusters” premiering in theaters.
On Wednesday, a 1980s-themed party was thrown to celebrate the library's 40th birthday. Students lined up in the first-floor atrium for free holographic stickers, Rameses stuffed animals and t-shirts printed on-site with neon pink lettering.
Vice Provost for University Libraries and University Librarian María R. Estorino said that Davis has changed since its opening.
“It was the kind of place where you would be asked to be quiet on every floor, not just on certain floors, and so although clearly people were pushing those boundaries, today, we don’t work in that way anymore,” she said.
She said that some notable changes include allowing food and drink inside and having flexible furniture that students can move, which meets students' different needs and moods.
Estorino said that the adaptable nature of libraries is in part one of the reasons they still exist after centuries and continue to be used in the modern world. The way information is given and received is constantly changing and libraries are frequently acclimating, she said.
She said in comparison to Wilson Library, which gets its appeal from its historic archives and traditional architecture, Davis is a place that is responsive to shifts in research and culture.
Isaiah Kirkpatrick, a junior majoring in medical anthropology, said that students are drawn to Davis because of the solidarity they find in stressful times, like finals week each semester.