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History of the Oakland City University's Library
Oakland City University’s first library was established in 1892 when the Holeman-Speer library was moved to Oakland City College by the order of the General Baptist General Association. The original collection was expanded with the addition of Dr. A. D. Williams’s library of about twenty-five hundred volumes, bringing the total collection up to over three thousand volumes. Shelving was installed in January of 1892 and the first library index was completed on June 25, 1894. The first library fee was charged in the 1898-1899 school year and it amounted to twenty-five cents per term. This fee was raised to fifty cents per term at the beginning of the 1912 fall semester.
In May of 1922, the college library was moved to the basement of the new Student Memorial Hall (it was located directly below the gymnasium and, during basketball games, the ceiling lights would rock back and forth). This building was erected as a memorial to those heroes who fought in World War I. For a period of time, “The front of Student Memorial Hall carried the following inscription in raised letters: DEDICATED TO THE STUDENTS OF OAKLAND CITY COLLEGE WHO SERVED NOBLY IN WAR AND PEACE.” The library stayed at this location until 1961, (with the exception of when, during World War II, a portion of the collection was housed in the Administration Building).
The corner stone for the new Founders Memorial Library was laid on November 2, 1960. This library was erected on the corner of W. Columbia and N. Lucretia (the location of the parking lot for Chapman Seminary today) and was open for use by the students in September 1961. The dedication and open house for Founders Memorial Library was held on May 20, 1962. At that time, the library housed 23,000 volumes and had a staff of three professional librarians.
In the fall of 2002, construction began on the Barger-Richardson Learning Resource Center. The new facility is located on the corner of Franklin and Columbia and is facing the center of OCU’s main campus (the former location of Wheatly Hall). The dedication of and open house for the new library was held on May 2, 2003. The Barger-Richardson LRC currently houses over 80,000 print items, a state-of-the-art computer lab, a new communications lab, and an archive. Due to the collaboration between PALNI (Private Academic Library Network of Indiana) and OCLC (Online Computer Library Center), the Oakland City University library is able to provide its students access to information and materials worldwide. The library also provides services to the surrounding community.
(This information was obtained from articles and books written by Dr. Margaret Harper, Betty Shirley, and a variety of editorial staff of the "Mirror".)