Ohio Wesleyan University's Beeghly Library will be renovated to include a second-floor reading room for patrons using the library's special collections department.

Ohio Wesleyan University's Beeghly Library will be renovated to include a second-floor reading room for patrons using the library's special collections department.

The Beeghly Family Special Collections Reading Room is being funded by the family of L.A. Beeghly. The project will begin in the spring.

Existing space will be used to create an 880-square-foot reading room and work area for people using the library's three historic collections: the Rare Books Collection, the Ohio Wesleyan University Historical Collection and the Archives of Ohio United Methodism.

The new room will be enclosed by glass wall partitions and will include a comfortable seating area with upholstered furniture, exhibit areas, research tables, ambient lighting and a work space with state-of-the-art equipment, according to a news release.

Beeghly, a co-founder in 1914 of the Standard Slag Co. in Youngstown, supported library and college building construction at several U.S. schools. OWU's library was built in 1966 with a $1-million gift from Beeghly.

Ohio Wesleyan University will observe Branch Rickey-Jackie Robinson Week from Monday, Jan 24 through Thursday, Jan. 27.

According to an OWU news release, the event celebrates "the extraordinary legacy of these men in integrating Major League Baseball. Their actions to end racial segregation in professional sports preceded and helped set the stage for the U. S. Civil Rights movement" of the 1950s and 1960s.

The celebration will include a night of movies at the Strand Theatre, a one-man performance by an actor who plays Branch Rickey and a roundtable discussion.

Rickey's grandson, Branch B. Rickey II, president of Minor League Baseball's Pacific League, will discuss the Rickey-Robinson legacy from his perspective.

All events are free and open to the public.

Some of the events scheduled for Rickey-Robinson Week include:

Take Me Out to the Movies, 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 24, Strand Theatre, 28 E. Winter St. Movies that celebrate Branch Rickey, Jackie Robinson and baseball. Free.

Chuck Chalberg as Branch Rickey will present a "first person" account of Rickey's life at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25 on Chappelear Drama Center's main stage, 45 Rowland Ave.

Baseball Roundtable, 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 26. (Location to be announced.) Bob DiBiasio (OWU, '77), vice president of public relations for the Cleveland Indians and host of SportsTime Ohio's "Indians Roundtables" will talk baseball with Branch B. Rickey and other guests.

Other events will be announced later. Visit http://rickeyrobinson.owu.edu.