Library History (Facilities, Services, and Organizations)

An ultra-modem barrier-free, five-story Library Learning Center was first occupied in January 1982. Cost of the facility was $6.7 million. The total building consists of 123,000 square feet with seating for 1,086 users and space for 400,000 volumes. Eight major functions were originally planned for: Library Learning Center Library; Area Research Center; Micrographics Laboratory; Media Self-Instruction Laboratory; Campus Computing Laboratory; Academic Skills Center; teaching facilities for the Media Technology department; and an office for the Dean of Learning Resources.

Since the Facility was occupied in 1982, and up to the time of this writing (seventeen years later), much change and evolvement has occurred. The Media-Self-Instruction Lab, Academic Skills Center and Campus Computing have moved elsewhere on campus. The Dean of Learning Resources position has been abolished. In May, 1996, Instructional Resource Services (rental/textbooks) moved to a newly remodeled area on second floor, formerly occupied by the Academic Skills Center and Media Self-Instruction Laboratory. This brought together all service units of the Library Learning Center under one roof. In 1997-1998, a major remodeling and heating, ventilation and air conditioning project brought improved building air quality and an enlarged Library Instruction Lab on first floor. The former technical services area moved to fifth floor into an area previously occupied by the Campus Computing Lab. Group study rooms on each floor were converted to library staff offices and the study rooms moved to first floor (former staff) offices.

Interlibrary Loan and the Periodicals Unit were relocated on first floor. The campus Budget Planning and Analysis unit now is located on second floor west, formerly the Dean of Learning Resources suite.

The late 1980's and all through the 1990's saw tremendous electronic and digital technological advances in the library. From 1986-1999, three automated computer systems were acquired (LS2000, NOTIS and Endeavor Voyager). The library's first automated system was acquired in 1982 making a total of four systems in seventeen years. Optical scanners, full text databases, Digital LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) presentation units and hundreds of microcomputers were purchased. A public access print management system was developed and installed in 1998. A big change has been noted with more users accessing library information remotely (out of building) than ever before. This trend will continue.

A new Library Learning Center organizational model was introduced in January 1996. The new restructure evolved after a fifteen-month review by eight elected library staff members, comprising academic staff, classified, library faculty, and the library director. The new model, which focuses on working groups rather than a pyramidal decision-making structure, was strongly endorsed by the staff.

The Library Learning Center continues to have individuals who are committed to serving students, faculty and staff and dedicated to enhancing users' lifelong learning skills.

--John Joseph Jax

Facilities, Services  |  Directors & Libraries  |  Works Cited