Center for Archival Collections
March 2007: Volume 26, Number 1
"Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted... but to weigh and consider." --Sir Francis Bacon
Quotation above the front door of the Bowling Green State University Library, dedicated 1927.
Outside and Inside
Dedicated November 19, 1927
Architect: Carl E. Bentz, State Architect
Different ideas of "comfortable study space" are evident in these views, separated by some fifty years.
The foyer was open and inviting in the summer of 1967, but cold winds blew through all winter long; by the 1990s, computer terminals for catalog and internet access filled the space.
Cataloging and Circulation
The cataloger's job is to make it easy for users to find the right book. The librarian of the 1940s relied on her shelf list cards (the cabinet in the foreground) and printed references. Cris Plotts used a specialized computer for cataloging in the mid-1980s
Whether researchers must request books from staff or can find them themselves, a search through the catalog tells what books the library owns. Computers have made searching faster, but studying remains the same.
At left, students of the 1940s filled out call slips to hand to library assistants who then retrieved the books and delivered them to the student's reading room location. Today, students can browse the open stacks of the main collection and find a convenient study space nearby.
The window bars, at left, tell students that the books are valuable. Convenience and openness are hallmarks of modern circulation desks.
Reference and Other Services
Librarians strove to make the reference desk approachable. However, the desk at far left is so small that the staff member was often overlooked. The larger furniture style puts the staffer at eye-level and can accommodate several librarians, their computers, and a host of resources for quick answers.
Classrooms were designed as part of the original library building. When these were taken over by library needs, an addition was built to provide more classroom space. Classroom space was included on each of the upper floors of Jerome Library, and informal room was included for special activities like the Reading and Writing Lab in the 1970s.
Libraries provide group and personal instruction. At left, a librarian is explaining the use of the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) to students. At right, the librarian assists a student as she gets acquainted with the online catalog.
The Reserve Room (at left) provided convenient access to non-textbook publications required for coursework. Today, much of this work is provided for with online services. With the advent of computers, the old typing room was replaced with a computer lab (at right).
The Electronic Reading Room provided a quiet location for students to use resources available through the internet. The room also doubled as a classroom for instructional sessions to teach about the use of online library resources. Many changes in technology and resources have taken place in the short time since these photographs were taken.
By 1952, the University was purchasing microfilm for research use. Clearly, even a small addition to the old building was not enough to accommodate the huge amount of space that would be taken up in storing back issues of newspapers and periodicals. In publicity photos taken at the time, the two reels of microfilm (seen outside their boxes) sit on top of the bound newspaper volumes they replace. They sit on cabinets which will hold years worth of such volumes. A student (below, left) inspects a new microfilm reader in the early 1950s.
By the 1990s (above, at right), the same style of reader was still in use in the library. Here, the CAC's microfilm room also has a reader that can print copies (seen at left of photograph)--a valuable service for genealogical researchers.Since the mid-1970s (at left), the CAC has been producing microfilm of northwest Ohio government documents and newspapers.
The photocopier has probably been one of the two greatest labor-saving devices in student research. At right, a student in the early 1960s checks her photocopy--a black page with white print. Later copiers printed a normal-looking page and could enlarge and reduce the image as needed.
Microcards (seen here, at left--printed on a cardstock) and micofiche (a photographic image on a film base) can reduce an entire magazine issue to a single card. Special readers (at right) allow users to read the text and navigate from page to page.
Slide and movie projectors have been replaced by equipment that allows computer data to be displayed (at right).
Computers made more library materials available to more researchers, but it took dedicated equipment, like this keyboard for the visually impaired (ca. 1990s), to make the computers truly available to students with special needs.
The study of music requires students to listen to a wide variety of recordings. The Music Library and Sound Recordings Archives' Listening Center (at middle) allows students to concentrate on their assignments without disturbing others. The secret is the control room, where the recordings are sent to the appropriate listening station and security copies of holdings can be made.
Specialized Collections and Services
Rare books were kept in special locked bookcases before 1968. Today, these books can be used in the Center for Archival Collections.
When Jerome Library opened in 1967, Honors Students had a special reading lounge, located on the second floor. Note the library mural visible through the glass wall. Today, the second floor is occupied by administrative offices, cataloging and acquisitions, and the Curriculum Resource Center.
A Career Library was established in the late 1980s in the Student Services Building, next door to the Career Planning and Placement Offices. The staff assisted students with resume writing, job hunting, and research about career options. Today, many of these services are available through online programs.
The circulation desk in the Ogg Science Library was visible from its main stairway. Located on the second and third floors of the Math Science Building, this special service point opened not long after Jerome Library and closed in June 2009. Service for these materials is now at Jerome Library.
On the second floor of Jerome Library, the Curriculum Resource Center provides future teachers with an example of a school library collection, as well as with resources for their class assignments. At left are some of the puppets that can be used in classroom work. Library work goes on (at right) as students help prepare books for adding to the collections.
Space is always at a premium in the Music Library & Sound Recording Archives. Here Bill Schurk locates a recording needed by a researcher.
|The odd shapes and sizes of the artifacts in the Browne Popular Culture Library (seen here before the reference area was remodeled) are a special challenge.|
The access point for Historical Collections of the Great Lakes and Rare Books and Special Collections, the Center for Archival Collections welcomes researchers from on campus and from around the world. With holdings ranging from the Civil War to Women's Studies to local government records, we enjoy helping our researchers find the information they need.
THE PHOTOGRAPHS IN THIS ISSUE illustrate library services at Bowling Green State University during the 20th century.
Source: University Archives Photograph Collection.
Bowling Green State University | Bowling Green, OH 43403-0001 | Contact Us | Campus Map | Accessibility Policy