Grainger Engineering Library Information Center
As early as 1968, the University was planning for an Engineering Library, and drew up plans for a new $5,786,900 facility. The University's College of Engineering had almost 5,000 students, including 1,300 graduate students, but a library with only 120 seats and space for only 50,000 books, with the library's stacks largely distributed to other departmental libraries across campus. 
While this building was not ultimately realized, the dream was not lost and groundbreaking for its ultimate realization, the Grainger Engineering Library Information Center, was held on May 14, 1992. The new center was designed by Woollen, Molzan and Partners, Inc, with P. K. Demars, Inc. providing the general contracting. <
The Grainger library was dedicated on the 59th anniversary of the University of Illinois Foundation, October 14, 1994.   The dedication proceedings, entitled a "Gateway to a New Era", established the largest engineering library in the country,  with over 92,000 square feet holding more than 300,000 volumes. 
When it first opened, the $34M building featured more than 800 networking jacks for students, 60 networked computers, 100 terminals with 30 capable of "advanced scientific computing" and 20 designed for imaging and multimedia, 7 information kiosks, and 6 servers offering access to CD-ROM collections, and online resources. A $5M endowment called the Grainger Endowment Fund provides for the continued upgrading of the computer systems in the library. Emerson Schroeder of Hilton Head Island South Carolina, a 1928 graduate, provided $1.2M for the Grainger Endowment Fund. 
In keeping with the building's cutting edge technical advancements, the ribbon cutting ceremony was a purely digital affair. President Stanley Ikenberry, Chancellor Michael Aiken, and David Grainger, representing his father, William Wallace Grainger, "pressed assigned areas on a computer touch screen to change a computerized red ribbon into a visual explosion of fireworks".  As part of the building's inaugural festivities, a symposium entitled "From the University to the Consumer: Putting Knowledge to Work for Business, Government and the Public" was conducted in the new building the day before the dedication. 
On the building's southern side a singular man sits in rapt attention, forever reading a book titled The Future. The character, titled "Computing a Future", is one of more than 200 similar sculptures created by sculptor J. Seward Johnson Jr.  Often known simply as "Grainger Bob" to the students who frequent the library, the sculpture is quite detailed, down to his watch, which is stuck forever at 11:25.