The University Library proactively supports the University's mission by providing scholarly resources, research and information services, a welcoming environment, and collaborative alliances to promote learning and teaching.
Service Maintain standards and practices that produce optimum levels of service to the Samford Community.
Teaching/Learning Collaborate with the samford community inthe adoption of acdemic resources and technologies to support Samford's educational mission.
Scholarship Raise the University's research and scholarship profile by acquiring critical resources and providing specialized research support.
Stewardship Maintain proactive and ongoing collaborations with the Samford community to meet pedagogical and research needs. Upgrade and maintain the physical library environment, to ensure the library is comfortable, safe, and easy to navigate.
Innovation Identify the needs and possibilities for the library of the future through ongoing research and assessment to improve the user experience of information resources and spaces.
Please note that the text of this document was produced ca. 1988.
- Collection Development (How the library began and grew)
- Leadership (Who led the library in growth and development)
- Organization (How the organizational structure started and changed)
The library collection of Howard College, now Samford University, began as a gift in 1842 to the year-old college from the Alabama Baptist State Convention. The donation of 324 volumes from the defunct Greensboro Manual Labor Institute initiated the concept of giving books to develop the school's library. President Samuel S. Sherman was personally involved in the collecting by going door-to door in Marion asking the citizens for books. Total number of books in the collection for the academic year numbered about 1,000. (Alabama Baptist State Convention Annual, 1843, p. 10).
When the school building burned in 1844, the library books and most of the scientific equipment were saved. By 1846, the Howard College had a new "large and commodious" edifice to house all administrative and academic halls and the library. (Howard College Catalog, 1845-46).
Howard College Library was included in the January 1850 "A Report on the Public Libraries of the United States of America," the appendix to the Smithsonian Institution's Report of the Board of Regents. (Report, p.121).
The report is as follows:
Howard College - The library, founded in 1842, contains 1,500 vols. It is opened once a week for half an hour. S. S. Sherman, president. This is a literary and theological institution, and the library is consequently designed to be literary and theological.
The fledgling college established two literary societies, the Adelphi and the Franklin, to elevate the literary and public speaking abilities of the students. All students were required to join. Each society had its own hall and library. Thus, the concept of special libraries was introduced. Three libraries, the two society libraries and the college library, were considered necessary to provide adequate sources.
Several students issued THE HOWARD COLLEGE MAGAZINE to further improve writing skills, to entertain the public, and to "appropriate all surplus funds to the increase of the libraries of the Franklin and Adelphi Societies, connected with the college." (SOUTH WESTERN BAPTIST, November 25, 1852).
Whatever financial or physical growth the college experienced was destroyed by a fire on October 15, 1854:
The building is a total loss. All the chemical and Philosophical Apparatus, the Cabinet, the Libraries of the College, the Literary Societies, the private libraries of the President [Talbird] and the Professors are utterly destroyed." (Howard College Catalog, 1854-55; Alabama Baptist State Convention Annual, 1854, p. 18-23).
Three days later, classes resumed in the basement of Siloam Baptist Church. The Alabama Baptist Convention and concerned citizens began pledging money to rebuild the campus. As in the beginning, a unique way to build the library was introduced: "The ladies of the First Baptist Church of Montgomery called on all Baptist ladies of Alabama to unite with them and endow an ample and suitable library for the College." Accepting the ladies' challenge was Edmund King of Montevallo pledging $500 for library materials if $5,000 could be raised by April 1858. No extant records note if these pledges were actually met, but by 1857, records show that $10,000 was ear-marked for library books. The library was indeed an important factor in the developing of this worthy institution. (Sulzby, Notes Toward the History of Samford University, p.32-35).
Records describing the campus place the library in the administration building. (Howard College Catalog, 1855-57). However, there is no statement of funding for the library needs until 1885. In his report to the Board of Trustees, President Murphree noted:
The two literary societies have each a library, and the enthusiasm of the young men will enlarge them. But the College Library needs additions, esp. of Encyclopedias. The apparatus for surveying and leveling is nearly sufficient--a few dollars will give the needful additions.
The Trustee reports and minutes give only an outline of the official activities of administration, but the library was specifically mentioned in the records, therefore considered a priority.
From 1841-1887, the college library collection developed through gifts of donors from their private libraries, bequests, and monies contributed for that specific purpose. The official records of the school note the continuing struggle to keep the school in operation, pay creditors, and maintain harmony with those who controlled the school.
In 1887, Howard College moved from Marion to Birmingham. The BIRMINGHAM AGE HERALD, August 26, 1887, stated: "That in securing this institution, Birmingham has gained a prize." The hurried construction of a new campus was in the forefront of the record. The literary societies still existed, but no mention of their libraries nor of the main library was made.
During the first decade of the twentieth century, new methods of helping the library were instituted. The Ladies Co-operative Association of Alabama provided $300 annually. Part of the money ($180) was for the purchase of books and the remainder ($120) funded a scholarship for a ministerial student who would serve as librarian. (Howard College Catalog, 1904-05).
In like manner, the Howard College Co-operative Association, raised funds for library needs. They collected money, not only for books, but also equipped a room in Montague Hall as the Library. Their advertisements were published in the College bulletins for several years asking, "Friends of the College to make donations of money, books, or current magazines to the library." (Howard College Catalog, 1906-13).
The campaign proved effective. In one year, significant collections of books were given by the first president, Dr. Samuel S. Sherman, Mrs.. Charles Manly, and F. M. Molton, totaling over 2500 volumes. Frank Willis Barnett, editor of the ALABAMA BAPTIST gave "for the use of students a large number of popular magazines and papers." He continued giving these sources and providing periodicals as a broadening resource. (Howard College Catalog, 1906-07, 1914-15)
Besides the generosity of her friends and graduates, funding for the Library came from the profits of the Howard College bookstore and the student library fee. The bookstore was located in connection with the Library on the second floor of Montague Hall. Books for the departments were ordered and sold to students at the same price "as charged by bookstores in the city." Other supplies and texts were available and bought by students and faculty. (Howard College Catalog, 1919).
Each term students paid a fee, part of which was allocated to the library. The $2.50 was eventually dropped or otherwise given to other needs on campus.
In 1919, there was a campaign to raise an endowment to yield approximately $1,000 for the purchase of books. Dr. J. E. Dillard, pastor of Southside Baptist Church, wrote to Professor James Chapman noting his church's gift. The $130 check was to be divided: $100 for Religious Education books, and $30 for other books. On the envelope of the February 3, 1919 letter, Dr. Chapman penciled this note,
This is the first answer to personal requests for funds to begin the enlargement of Howard's Library. Heretofore, books were added only as friends donated them from their private collections.
Thus a new era in funding and collection development was beginning. (Letter, Library files, 1900-1930).
The Collection of 13,500 bound volumes grew to 21,600 bound volumes in the 1930's. (Howard College Bullpup, 1936). The library, recognized as a government documents depository in 1884, gained many volumes and valuable research materials from this source. The continued support from friends and alumni were encouraging.
The 1930's brought upheaval to the country as well as the College. In addition to the financial hardship, internal schisms were a burden to the school. However, from scattered reports, the library appears to have fared well. T. V. Neal noted in his resignation of 1939:
...since 1932, the last improvement made and most significant is the rebuilding of the interior of the library building and equipping the same with the most modern standard equipment necessary to meet the requirements of standardizing agencies.
Major Harwell Davis came to the campus with a vision and new techniques for raising the standards of the entire institution. His centennial campaign, celebrating the anniversary of the school's founding, included funds for library materials and the idea of an entire library building. (Sulzby, Notes Towards a History of Samford University, p. 703; 1930/31 Annual Report to the President from the Librarian).
Howard College of the 1940's was a new place. Heretofore, the library committee had assisted in choosing books, but now the Library committee and each faculty member was enlisted to assist in the collection's development.
In the 1946 issue of "Library News", the book selection policy was featured:
Book ordering, as a Spring activity, must receive the hearty participation of the faculty! As you know, the annual budget is divided by the library committee and the librarian among the various departments. This means that each department is responsible for seeing that its library resources are kept up-to-date and filled in historically. In the event any department falls behind in library strength, or, for any reason, is unable to spend its funds, the library naturally feels a responsibility in building that particular collection.
Commending the faculty who had worked with her, the librarian asked their assistance in another aspect of collection development - weeding. Miss Willoughby asked that this be a team effort to build a "live" collection and "weed" the obsolete and unused materials from the collection.
The collection reflected the main objectives of the curriculum. Miss Willoughby enlisted faculty assistance and input:
When new courses are added to the curriculum, please check with the librarian well in advance of the time the courses are put into effect, so that instructors and students will not be discouraged because of inadequate library materials.
While technology has changed in the library world after forty years, faculty involvement in collection development, faculty assistance in collection assessment, library committee involvement, and collection needs for proposed curriculum addition or revision remain as basic sources for building a great library's collection.
The library Director presents the general budget to the Library Committee, composed of the faculty The Committee reviews and discusses the proposed allocation of these funds to departments and schools, presents concerns of the library to the faculty and acts as both an advisor/advocate panel.
The active involvement of faculty in recommending materials and services, assisting librarians in assessment of their particular curriculum area or school, actively helping in the weeding of the collection, and including library needs as part of any new curriculum proposal continues the "team effort" approach to collection development. As in earlier years, the librarians still have the major responsibility to maintain the balance of new and old, fill in any needs, and foresee new areas in which the institution may grow.
Collection development is a major aspect of librarianship. Because of its importance and the broadening aspect of information service, this function is coordinated by a collection development librarian.
Library materials and space to house them were provided. However, the personnel to care for these materials were, for many years, students on scholarship. The scholarships were usually designated with this specific task, librarian, stated.
Perusing the college bulletins and catalogs for listing of faculty and staff, the first notation of librarian was in 1900/01. S.J. Ansley was listed as librarian. Ansley, 1895 graduate, taught Greek and Latin, 1896-1901, and served as the librarian, 1900-1901. The library committee, composed of faculty, was listed in the College Bulletin. Another committee listing was the Alumni committee. The alumni committee, with Ansley as chair was to "aid in enlarging and completing, so far as possible, the Library of Howard College. It has the power to solicit and receive subscriptions, books, etc." (Howard College Catalog, 1900, p. 54.)
From 1902-1905, no librarian was listed, but a faculty committee was listed. From 1906-1913, students served as librarian-J. A. Cook, E. L. Barlow, and T. E. Hand. In 1915, Mrs. Jasper C. Hutto was listed in the Bulletin as Librarian. Her husband was the registrar.
Mrs. Hutto remained as Librarian until 1917. During this period, Miss Lois Watlington was the Assistant Librarian. The faculty committee were responsible for setting Library rules and policy. (Howard College Catalog, 1916). Mrs. Hutto noted in the HOWARD CRIMSON of November 1915 that there should be fewer talkers and more readers using the Library. Students were admonished to use the library for serious study rather than a social hall.
Miss Marie Bost came to the College as Librarian in 1917. During her tenure, 1917-1930, she was assisted by Lola Mae Moody, graduate of Howard, who taught at Jones Valley High School during the school year and worked in the College library during the summer session. Students assistants were also included on the staff by 1928. The staff was small but professional.
Miss Avis Marshall was appointed librarian in 1930. The Texas native earned her degrees from the University of Richmond and Columbia. Her library experience was both academic and public, having worked at Averett College, William and Mary College, and New York Public Library. She was a "standard librarian" (HOWARD CRIMSON, September 17, 1930; January 14, 1931)
On December 25, 1930, Miss Marshall married Dr. John C. Dawson, president of Howard College. In the January 14, 1931 issue of the CRIMSON, the announcement carried a formal farewell to Dr. Dawson, who in September had resigned to take teaching position at the University of Alabama, and the new Mrs. Dawson.
In 1931 Miss Mabel Willoughby was hired as College Librarian. Miss Willoughby, a graduate of Howard College, received her graduate degree in Librarianship from Emory University and had experience in public libraries as well.
For the first time in the school's history, the librarian was a member of the faculty library committee. Miss Willoughby established herself and her staff as the core of information specialists for the campus. Her style of management, her cooperative spirit, and her genuine interest in all the activities of the College, endeared her to students and faculty.
When Major Davis arrived in 1939, Miss Willoughby retained her position as Librarian and led the library forward. The College Library was located in one room of Montague Hall. By 1948 the Library used the entire building.
The library was divided into departments - Periodicals, Reserve Room, Government Documents, Audio Visual Center, and Archives. Each of these areas was reviewed in the "News from the Library", a monthly publication from the Librarian and her staff. As new staff were added, not only were services increased but qualified personnel were placed in charge of these divisions.
Other areas in which Miss Willoughby was innovative were student assistants, student services, and professional development. Miss Willoughby increased the number of students who worked in the library from five in the 1930s to thirty one in 1947/48 (Annual report, 1947/48). To help these assistants and interest others in the library and librarianship, she organized the Library Club, May 14, 1948. The February 1949 News from the Library announced training classes for student assistants directed by professional librarians. To increase morale, she initiated the "Student of the Month" award, leading to the "Year" award. One of the first members of the library club was Wilbur Helmbold, in later years, the next College librarian.
To assist students at Howard College, Miss Willoughby designed the LIBRARY HANDBOOK:
We feel that a contribution toward the advancement of every department can be made by helping the student become an independent user of the Library, so that he may more easily and quickly find and use reading matter in all areas of learning.
Copies of the Handbook were available at the Circulation desk. These were used in freshman orientation and updated frequently.
Another aid for students was bibliographic instruction. These sessions taught by professional librarians were designed to
...make the library a teaching agency and a vital experience in the life of students... and to give the student some understanding of the operation of the library, its facilities and resources, how to use the library, and a working knowledge of the catalog and of general reference books.
The incoming freshmen were taught in these sessions as well as shown a film on the use of a college library. (Annual Report 1946-47; News from the Library, January 1952, March 1955).
Interlibrary loan was considered a service to students and faculty to provide books needed for research and not available in the library. In 1950, Miss Willoughby explained that interlibrary loan was a "way to further the objectives of the library as a service agency and as a teaching agency." (News from the Library, April 1950).
Miss Willoughby encouraged professional development. As she hired new staff members, they were degreed persons. Their education was in a related field to librarianship or in library science. Miss Willoughby was active in the Alabama Library Association, elected president in 1952 and was the originator and first editor of the Alabama Librarian. She served as the chairman in 1956 of the college and university section of the Southeastern Library Association and was on the Executive Committee.
In 1956, Miss Willoughby resigned her position at Howard College, having expanded the library from one room to one building and planned for a new building on a new campus, to go to Hardin Simmons University as Library Director. Her twenty-five years of service brought more than changes in space she brought a new era of librarianship and a new concept of the library to Howard College.
In 1957, Wilbur Helmbold came to the Library as Director. Mr. Helmbold, a graduate of Howard College, completed his graduate work at Duke University. Prior to his coming to Howard College as librarian, he served as Librarian at Barrington College, Rhode Island. Mr. H., as he was affectionately called was also an innovator.
Continuing with many of the programs established by Miss Willoughby, Mr. Helmbold wanted the library to grow both quantitatively and qualitatively. He defined the purpose of the library in the CRIMSON of October 16, 1959:
The Howard College library seeks to implement its strong position in the educational and cultural functions of the college by its comprehensive service and extensive resources.
Mr. Helmbold believed that the Library was the core of a great educational institution. All his energies and that of his staff were to accomplish that objective.
Working with architects and administration, Mr. Helmbold was ready to move the entire Howard College library from Montague Hall on the East Lake campus to the new Library on the Lakeshore campus. Former staff of that time relate that the systematic arranging, packing, and labeling were time consuming but well worth the effort for smooth transition. Mr. H. designed a conveyor belt that carried the books, in order, from the truck to the correct floor. At the windows, staff received the 85,000 volumes and were able to put these on the shelves in proper Dewey order. The library materials were ready for use.
The new library occupied two floors of the new structure. The upper floors were used by the English and Music departments, and in 1961 the Cumberland School of Law. During this period, the Library continued to grow. Recognized as the depository for Alabama Baptist materials, the Collection developed. Mr. Helmbold served as its Curator and actively worked throughout the state to build this collection.
His background as a newspaper man and bibliophile influenced his devotion to preservation of historical documents, rare books, and manuscripts. He began the Microfilm Department, sparsely furnished but technically sound to preserve Alabama history and denominational history as well.
In March 1964, contracts were awarded to complete the interior of the Library. The two upper floors would be finished. The third floor would house the growing government documents collection, the Special Collection department, and the microfilming laboratory. Fourth floor would temporarily house the English department.
As the College enrollment grew, the Library also grew. Mr. Helmbold was involved in all phases of its growth, from book selection process with library and faculty input to work at the circulation desk. His reputation for excellence brought gifts of books and finances to the Library. He worked within the College and in the state in the Alabama Library Association and national library organizations to achieve the high standards set for the Library.
In 1965, Howard College became Samford University. Having attained this status, the collection developed to meet this stage of research need. In 1972, Mr. Helmbold reported that the holdings remained first in the state in number of books per student among all institutions enrolling 1,000 students or more.
Mr. Helmbold's interests were broad. As a pastor, faculty member, Librarian, and Curator, his schedule was full. However, he added yet another area. In 1964/65, he directed the first Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research. The Institute's goal was to educate those interested in genealogical research in academic sources and methodology of research. From forty students in the first session to over 190 in the 1988 session, the Institute has developed into a nationally and internationally recognized program.
Combining his talents of editor, researcher, and writer, Mr. Helmbold wrote the most popular book in the field, TRACING YOUR ANCESTRY. In addition to this publication, he edited THE ALABAMA BAPTIST HISTORIAN, THE ALABAMA GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY MAGAZINE and wrote numerous articles for library and educational journals.
Understanding the need for speedy access to nonindexed materials, he was one of the committee of the Historical Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention to develop the Baptist Information Retrieval System. BIRS enabled all state conventions as well as Southern Baptist agencies to computerize the indexing of their periodicals. These indexes brought easy access to over sixty periodicals/journals and state newspapers.
In 1983, Mr. Helmbold retired. Under his leadership the Library, now expanded into the entire building, was preparing for the technology of the twenty-first century yet remaining dedicated to the high standards he set when he came to an empty new building in 1957.
Following Mr. Helmbold's retirement, Mrs. Annie Ford Wheeler, was appointed Acting Librarian. Mrs. Wheeler, formerly head of the Technical Services department, capably led the Library in the interim period. A native of Hamberg, Alabama, Mrs. Wheeler, with background in library science and years of experience in cataloging, administrative and reference services, brought her special talents to advance the library.
During her tenure, the Library introduced Dialog searching to students and faculty. She worked with a new administration to assist in understanding the history and heritage of the Library and opened communication channels for the future.
In August 1986, Dr. William N. Nelson was chosen as Coordinator of University Libraries. Dr. Nelson, a native of Louisiana, earned his degrees from Centenary College (B.A.) and Louisiana State University (MLS., Ph.D.). In 1986, the Library joined OCLC, began retrospective conversion and reclassification of the collection from the Dewey system to Library of Congress system.
In the following two years, the Library offered our patrons CD-Rom technology - InfoTrac and the Wilson Line. The ordering process was automated with the use of Baker and Taylor's Beta Phone. The University provided each faculty member a personal computer and the Library provided additional computers for staff needs. Both library staff and patrons are learning the many uses for these machines.
In other areas of the Library, computerization is in place. Ordering has been automated with the installation of the Beta Phone. An IBM computer lab for students provides word processing and spread sheet capabilities. The Apple Lab for Courseware assists students and faculty in educational software offerings.
With growth comes the need for additional space. As the University looks forward to the celebration of its sesquicentennial in l99l, the Library anticipates expansion of space and services. An on-line catalog and circulation system is certainly in this projection. We look forward to the twenty-first century with high expectations and anticipation for additional opportunities to serve and teach.
When the entire Library was housed in one room, volumes were few, and personnel was limited, organization of the collection was simple. However, as the College grew as well as the Library, the need for systematic organization was recognized.
The earliest notation of cataloging system was made in the 1917 College Catalog:
All books are cataloged as promptly as possible and are classified by subjects according to the latest and most efficient system of classification.
The 1936 BULLPUP stated that the Library's materials were organized by the Dewey Decimal system. The Government documents were cataloged by the documents system of classification.
Prior to 1947, the card catalog was a union catalog. In the October News from the Library, Miss Willoughby informed the college community that there would be two catalogs, subject and author/title. This would "relieve the crowded condition of the card catalog", more people could use it at one time, and the "more obvious subject approach to books will be a decided advantage to both students and faculty."
The space and personnel of the Library, like the card catalog needed change. As more space became available, materials services, and people could shift. Reader Services - circulation periodicals, government documents, bibliographic instruction, reserve room improved. Technical Services gradually evolved to its own department. Special Collection, including the Baptist Historical Collection, Archives, and Microfilm Department, was considered a separate department. Moving into a new building and to a new campus gave additional opportunities for growth.
In 1948 all the periodicals were finally moved to one area. Binding back issues of scientific and technical journals was top priority, but cost prohibited binding the popular ones. (News from the Library, January and March 1948). By 1952, the Library had 630 subscriptions to journals, including gifts.
Periodicals in the new building occupied one half of one floor. The varying formats, paper, microfilm, microfiche, bound and unbound materials, present the reader with many sources and present the periodicals librarian with many challenges. This department, a part of Reader Services, evolved from the earliest concept of Periodicals as a way to insure that students would have the most up-to-date and contemporary views of events. Certainly in today's library, adding computer technology to the standard offerings, aids in meeting this goal.
The Reserve room served several functions. In 1946, this area housed the Nuclear Curriculum, mainly textbooks bought by the library for the core curriculum, but not considered a part of the general collection. In addition to this collection, the professors' reserves were placed here. This practice continued until the 1980's when the reserve room was dismantled to make room for the renovation of the first floor. The reserve function was maintained but moved to the circulation desk.
Government documents, a part of the Library since 1884, were moved to the main part of the Library in 1948. At that time, they were professionally cataloged and arranged. In the new building, documents occupied a large portion of the third floor of the library. A professional librarian was eventually hired to handle reference needs and catalog these records.
The Audio Visual Center of the Library was one of the most unique sections in the Library. The phonograph record collection began with three records and as additional recordings were added, they were cataloged as "recordings." Equipment for this area was a portable record player, with earphone attachment. The machine and records could be taken to professors' offices, classrooms, or used in the Library. This was the beginning of the Learning Resource Center, Language Lab, and Listening Room. (News from the Library, April 1947).
In 1951, the Library received a new Zenith radio-television-phonograph set. Bought with gifts and fine money, the set was housed in the Periodicals room, with a schedule posted in the Library. The hope was that programs and concerts would increase the reading of books and magazines as well as add to the educational and cultural enjoyment of the students and faculty. In October 1952, the assessment of the set was that the students were enjoying the concerts, ball games, etc. more than increasing the use of music books. (News from the Library, September, October 1951).
The Learning Resource Center of the Library fills several of the similar needs of the 1940's center. Cassette tapes, earphones, film and slide projectors, VCR's and closed caption TV and computers are a few of the offerings. As with the students of the 1940's some materials are certainly more appealing than others.
Bibliographic Instruction is one program begun in the 1940's which has remained and grown beyond anyone's dreams. As the program began, the Librarian and her assistant "gave instruction" to only a few sections of English classes in the use of the Library. The program was "favorably commented upon at the college libraries section of the conference of Alabama librarians in Florence" (News from the Library, April 1950).
By 1953, bibliographic instruction had grown to about 175 students in sixteen class periods. (New from the Library, October 1953). In 1955, the program was requested by the English and Education departments. In addition to the classroom time, each student was given the Library Handbook, and a tour of the Library. (News from the Library, March 1955).
The staff of Reader Services works with all departments and schools of the University to assist students in the use of the Library. General bibliographic instruction is available as well as instruction for specialized study - pharmacy, religious education, nursing, or music. Individually or collectively in a classroom setting, librarians attempt to make the library a teaching agency and vital experience in the life of students.
Another department of the library serving research needs is Special Collection. The concept of a special library began with the establishment of the Literary Societies, each having its own library. These materials added to gifts, publications of the College, and Baptist historical records formed the nucleus of the Collection.
In the 1940's Miss Willoughby requested materials for the archives and the Baptist Collection. She asked that "all student organizations appoint someone to see that all programs worthy of preserving are sent to the Library." She believed that involving many people in the library's work, would establish a loyal support group.
Mr. Helmbold, in like manner, believed in the development of such a special collection. As Curator of the Baptist Collection, he actively sought Baptist church records, microfilmed them, and preserved manuscripts relating to the study. Combining the sources for denominational history with those of Alabama history, he developed a research collection used by students, faculty, and visiting scholars.
As the Collection developed, Mr. Helmbold's reputation as a preservationist grew. The Microfilm department, a part of Special Collection, became a center for the state. Microfilming church and association records, newspapers, manuscripts, and rare items provided research materials otherwise unavailable to patrons. Preservation without dissemination was not the standard. Microfilmed materials, with no restrictions, were and are interlibrary loaned to all parts of the country.
Collections and those to assist patrons are only as valuable as access to them is available. Personnel for Technical Services was designated as "The cataloger". For many years, the College Librarian was the cataloger, reference person and book shelver. However, the first notation of the position was in 1946. Miss Willoughby in "News from the Library", April 1946, introduced Margaret Thomas as a professional cataloger. In 1948, the documents were classified by University of Alabama until another professional cataloger, Jean Daniel was added to continue the cataloging in-house.
Technical Services of the 1980s incorporates professional skills of catalogers and technological advancements of the age to provide access to the various kinds, formats, and volume of resources.
While the organization of the Library has changed, the basic need of patron assistance, access to information, and preservation of historical and archival materials remains unchanged. Technology has changed but hopefully it will be used to enhance the services we render to patrons. We, as those before us, are in this place to teach and serve.