OU Libraries Timeline: firsts
1959: Lynn Anderson Ruth: First OU Student
Chosen from a pool of students who finished in the top half of their class, Lynn Anderson Ruth registers for classes at Michigan State University - Oakland and receives student number 000001, making history as the first MSUO student
Image: OU Kresge Library Archives
1959: OU's First International Students
OU enrolls its first international student, Aydin Ilgaz, a 19-year old male from Istanbul, Turkey (1). Dang Xich Lan (above right), a 29 year old from Vietnam, enrolls in January 1960 (2).
1. "MSU-O Has First Foreign Student," The Oakland Observer, 11 December 1959, p. 5.
2. "Vietnam Student Enrolls at MSUO," The Oakland Observer, 29 January 1960, p. 1.
Images: OU Kresge Library Archives
1960: Association of Women Students
The University forms an organization for women students on campus: the Association of Women Students (1). This association is briefly mentioned in the October 14, 1960 Academic Senate meeting minutes
1. Oakland Observer, Oct. 21, 1960, p.3, v.2: no.2.
Image: OU Kresge Library Archives
1963: First photocopier
The first photocopier was installed at Kresge Library. Copies cost 10 cents a page, but the price was predicted to decrease.
1965: IMB 357 computer
An IBM 357 data collection system (a punch-card based computer capable of sending and receiving material remotely) was installed in the technical processes department to facilitate the ordering and cataloguing of library materials.
1965: Isaac Jones
Isaac Jones is the first African American to graduate at OU. He receives a BA in Sociology.
In 1968, Jones was fatally shot. OU created a scholarship in his name (see Chancellor Varner's speech for dignity and justice for all
and 1968 Isaac Jones Memorial Scholarship entry below).
Image: Photo of Isaac Jones in Oakland Center. Photographer: Johnnie R. Blunt
1965: Library learning
A library information test was taken by 1,000 Oakland University students during orientation week. As a result, 230 students signed up for a short course to prepare them for learning at the library, which was taught two days a week for three weeks.
1966: Computerized circulation system
A computerized circulation system was implemented, the first of its kind in Michigan.
1966: Project Upward Bound
Project Upward Bound
is founded. A federally funded program, it serves underachieving high school students who have the potential for post high school training. Its mission is to provide academic, social, cultural, and career enrichment that prepares students to succeed in higher education.
1967: Project 20
In an effort to create a more ethnically diverse student population, OU admits 20 African American high school graduates under the Project 20 initiative. Funded by local businesses, Project 20 "aim[s] at dis-advantaged teen-agers whose high school grades [are] too low to admit them to college. Instead of past achievement they [are] selected on the basis of their potential and motivation". In June 1971, twelve Project 20 students graduate from OU (1).
1. The Sunday News-Detroit, June 13, 1971 p. 22A
1968: First OU Woman Engineer
Ann Auten, a native of Athens, Michigan, is the first female graduate from the OU School of Engineering (1).
1.Lakeland Tribune, August 8, 1968
1970: International Students and Scholars
In July, the International Students and Scholars Office is established. As noted on its website
, ISSO " is committed to building an international campus through service, support and advocacy to nurture global citizenship and multicultural appreciation."
Image: OU International Students and Scholars Office
1971: OU La Raza Day
Oakland University Latin-American staff and students, in conjunction with the Admissions Office, sponsors the university's first "La Raza Day". La Raza Day is a campus visitation program, culturally oriented to Latino high school students. The goal of the program is to "promote cultural awareness and to explore the opportunities and facilities available in higher education for...Latino student[s]". The second annual La Raza Day is briefly mentioned in the April 18, 1972 Oakland University Newsletter
Image: La Raza from Constitution Warrior
1972: Telephone hotline
A telephone information hotline service was established, for county-wide use. It provided "immediate reference, referral and photo-copy service when the resources of the local public libraries are unable to meet the needs of their patrons."
1974: Black Alumni Association
The OU Black Alumni Association is established in June.
1977: Bibliographic Retrieval System
The library began to offer computer-assisted literature searching using the Bibliographic Retrieval System. The databases which were available on BRS at that time provided bibliographic citations to the literature of medicine, agriculture, chemistry, physics, education, management and administration, electrical technology, electronics, computers and control engineering, environment and psychology. Three librarians were initially trained to perform searches in these databases for students and faculty, a complex process which could take several hours, and cost an average of $25 per search. In the first year, 41 such searches were performed.
The library purchased two hand-held calculators that students could borrow. The annual report stated that "students have had occasion to borrow these calculators frequently and that the calculators have withstood moderately heavy use."
1983: OCLC terminal
The library's first OCLC computer terminal for public use was installed.
1987: First online catalog
The online catalog LUIS (Library User Information System) was introduced to the public. It allowed users to search the catalogs of Oakland University, Wayne State, the Detroit Public Library, and other local institutions.
1990: Copy cards
Copy card service began to replace coin-operated photocopiers.
1992: Gopher network
The Library Menu became an option on the OU Gopher network (a predecessor to the World Wide Web). Within the Kresge Library main menu were such options as the Acquisitions List of New Books, CD-ROM Tutorials, and information about library services.
1994: Email reference service
Kresge Library began providing answers to reference questions via email.
1996: Computer labs
The first classes were taught in a new lab with state of the art instructional equipment, including 25 computer workstations, a CD tower and a file server. Total cost was $150,000, half being financed by a grant of the National Science Foundation. The room was named 'Statistics Classroom for Social Sciences and Business" as it was used to teach statistics as well as library research.
2006: Asian-American Celebration
From January 30 to February 3, OU holds its first Asian-American Celebration
to recognize the uniqueness of cultures that "fall within the boundaries of Asia," including Russia, Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan.
Image: OU Kresge Library Archives
2009: First credit library course
The library offered a 2-credit online course, 'Research in the Information Age'.
Photos courtesy of the Oakland University Archives.
/ Updated on
February 18, 2014