OU Libraries Timeline: services


1959: Temporary library

First library at North Foundation Hall Temporary library quarters were set up at North Foundation Hall.  Books were available with 'complete freedom' (no restrictions on number that could be borrowed, no due dates, no fines, and, initially, 24 hour library access). Material was shelved alphabetically to make it available before it was catalogued. 

1962: Curriculum Materials Center

The Curriculum Materials Center opened in an unfinished area of the basement of Kresge Library, providing resources for education students to use in teaching.

1964: New security measures

A door check security system, due dates and fines for overdue books were introduced.

1971: Performing Arts Library

The Performing Arts Library opened in Varner Hall.

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."

1978: Calculators

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." Students studying in Kresge Library

1983: OCLC terminal

The library's first OCLC computer terminal for public use was installed.

1985: Term paper clinic

The library offered a 'Term Paper Clinic' (half-hour one-on-one meetings with a librarian) to assist undergraduates with their research and writing.

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. Librarian using computer terminal

1987: Library innovations recognized

The U.S. Education Department honored Oakland University for its innovative efforts in library services, particularly its reference hotline. Reference service by phone

1988: Remote access to online catalog

November 30, 1988: A demonstration of remote access to LUIS (Library User Information System) was held for OU faculty, showing how they could access the library's catalog from their offices or homes.

1990: Copy cards

Copy card service began to replace coin-operated photocopiers.

1992: CALL System

The CALL online ordering system was introduced, allowing patrons to request books and articles to be inter-library loaned from Wayne State University without having to fill out paper forms.

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.

1998: Voyager

The library's new online public access catalog, Voyager, was opened to the public.

2002: Snack cart

A coffee and snack cart offered refreshments for sale in the library lobby, but closed after a year.

2004: Ask A Librarian

Kresge Library instituted its popular 'Ask A Librarian' online reference service.  Wireless network access becomes available throughout the library building.

2009: Grand Opening of the Information Commons

On October 22, 2009, Kresge Library hosted the grand opening of the Technology Learning Center. The TLC features a  brand new, state of the art Information Commons on the second floor of the library, the relocation of e-Learning and Instructional Support to the 4th floor of the library, and the UTS Help Desk's move to KL202. information commons

2010: Cafe opens

The Frankie Cafe (named after former University Librarian Suzanne Frankie) opens in the library's 'fishbowl' area. Cafe naming

2011: 24-hour Access

Kresge Library began offering 24-hour access five days a week.  Eventually, due to the popularity of this service, it was expanded to 24/7 access.

Photos courtesy of the Oakland University Archives.