University Library celebrates 20 years

Holly M. Anderson

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For 20 years the University Library has supplied students and the community with the resources they need to better their education and further their personal knowledge.The library is planning to celebrate its 20th anniversary Thursday for which a reception will be held in the Library Atrium.

“I hope campus and community members take the opportunity to join us Sept. 3 as we celebrate the last 20 years of service to the region,” Tom Peters, dean of University Libraries, said in a press release. “We also want this to be a time to take in the beauty of this building and get a better understanding of what services are available.”

The $12 million main library building first opened its doors Sept. 5, 1978. All six floors are decorated with various types of plant life that filter out through its 85-foot high atrium. The walls of every floor convey student and faculty art from current and past decades.

To date the library is home to over 1 million cataloged volumes, including 3,200 current journal subscriptions and 25 foreign and domestic newspapers. The library houses a government publications division, which is a federal and state depository that includes a legal reference library for area attorneys. Also readily available to users is an archives and special collections section, which includes the university’s papers as well as an extensive collection of materials about West Central Illinois. It is also a host to several computer labs available to students and faculty.

Over the years the library facilities have continued to improve. The University Library has worked hard to offer users the latest in technology. During the reception, brief tours will be offered as well as a “virtual” tour of the new on-line catalog, World Wide Web site and other electronic resources.

Each dean of University Libraries has contributed significantly to the library’s success.

During the years that Donna Goehner was dean of University Libraries, from 1988 to 1998, the library reached new technological levels.

“We added new technology during the years when I was there. Illinet on-line was just getting started. Also, there weren’t any computer labs,” Goehner said. “We built up the WIU Regional Center in the Quad Cities, so that we would be able to communicate with them through e-mail.”

Every year around this time library tours are offered, free of charge, at specific times throughout the day to any interested groups or individual persons.

The library anniversary reception is a good time for WIU students and the Macomb community to better understand how the library can meet their needs.

“I’m looking forward to meeting the campus and community,” Peters added in a press release. “I’m also pleased that two former library deans who reside in Macomb, Donna Goehner and Don MacVean, will be at the reception.

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