Prior to October 1984, the Library of Maynooth College occupied eight locations. Two of these had been principal locations: the Main Library, located in the building complex built by Pugin for the Seminary in the mid-nineteenth century, and the New Arts Library in the new campus, created in the middle of the twentieth century.  A shortage of space in the Library and the lack of modern facilities led the college and its then President Monsignor Olden to build a new library from donations in Ireland and abroad, mainly the United States.  The foundation stone of the new building was blessed by Pope John Paul II during his visit to Ireland in 1979 and in 1983 the John Paul II Library opened its doors. The former eight locations were reduced to three: the old "Main Library" became, in 1984, the Russell Library for old and rare books and manuscripts, the new John Paul II Library became the main working academic library, and a separate Chemistry Store for a surfeit of chemistry periodicals.  In November 2010, the construction of an extension to the existing library began, which opened in 2012. It incorporated the former Chemistry Store, thus reducing the library locations to two.