Library at Gustavus (Part 10 of 10)

Posted on September 12th, 2022 by

FOLKE 2 (1972-Present)

The current Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library opened in September 1972.  Princess Christina of Sweden participated in the dedication ceremonies on 25 October.  The new building was designed to house 309,000 volumes, with an increased emphasis on audio-visual media.  A computer terminal, five microfilm readers, three microfiche readers, and microfilm printout machine were available for student use.

In 1976, the library became a member of OCLC, and catalog cards were produced online.

In 1977, the Gustavus Library Associates, a special fund-raising organization dedicated to the library was created.  GLA formed during a time when both the college and the library were facing financial difficulties.  The library was unable to keep up with the rising costs of periodicals and many years of inadequate funding had left the library’s collection lacking.

Karl Ozolins, a native of Latvia, received his library science degree from the University of Minnesota, and served as head librarian from 1973-1977.  Howard Cohrt was head librarian from 1977-1981.  During his time, the library began searching on online bibliographic databases.  Searches were conducted by librarians, not the public.  From 1980 on, technology was the main catalyst for changes in the library catalog and collections.

Michael Haeuser, head librarian from 1981-1997, oversaw the transition of the library catalog from a physical card catalog to an online catalog in 1986.  During this time, the library obtained increasing numbers of electronic resources.  Library patrons rather than librarians, performed searches on these databases, many of which provided full-text articles, allowing patrons to find a large number of resources without needing to go to the library shelves.

Beginning in 1997, a new collegial organizational system was implemented.  One librarian is appointed for a limited term to serve as the chair of the Library.  Librarians and library staff are involved in collaborative decision-making concerning library-wide efforts.

As of 2018-19, the library provides both print and electronic resources through a local collection and access to collections at other libraries via Interlibrary Loan.  The library has more than 300,000 volumes, a Web-based catalog, campus-wide access to many full-text periodicals and databases, and research assistance from faculty librarians.

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