The library was created in 1930 as the Mineral Industries Library from a collection of approximately 1,000 books from Dean Edward Steidle's office and University Libraries, adding relevant materials from their collections. In 1966, the library was moved from the Mineral Industries Building (now the Steidle Building) to Deike Building and renamed the Earth and Mineral Sciences Library. In 2001, the library received an endowment from Mr. George Middlemas and was named in honor of Fletcher L. Byrom, who received a degree in metallurgy from EMS in 1940.
Born in Lakewood, OH, July 13, 1918, Mr. Byrom was the retired chairman and CEO of Koppers Co., and served as director of the Conference Board, the Committee for Economic Development, the President's Export Council, the Public Education Fund, and AT International.
He was president of the Penn State Alumni Association from 1965-66 and served on the Penn State Board of Trustees from 1970 to 1973. Mr. Byrom was also the recipient of several awards, including:
- the Distinguished Civilian Service Award from the United States Navy
- the Harvard Business School Alumni Achievement Award
- the American Society for Metals (ASM International) Penn State Chapter David Ford McFarland Award for Achievement in Metallurgy
- the Penn State Alumni Fellow Award
- Penn State Distinguished Alumnus, 1963
- the Engineers’ Society of Western PA William Metcalf Award
Mr. Byrom died on July 23, 2009.