The names were chosen because they had all written things that had contributed to social change.
The six visible names on the front of the library are:
Lowell [James Russell]
There are four names on the East exterior wall of the original building which are still visible from 3rd floor windows of the East Tower are
Poe [Edgar Allan]
On the West exterior wall four names were covered up by the new construction of the West addition.
Shelley [Percy Bysshe]