Culture and Pride - Library Plays Key Role in Rich History
The staff of the C.G. O'Kelly Library at Winston-Salem State University recently celebrated National Library Week by hosting "From print to digital: A discourse on library services at Winston-Salem State University"
The library's event, part of the commemoration of WSSU's 120th anniversary, offered a unique opportunity for alumni, faculty, friends, and current and former employees to participate in further documenting the library's history. Participants were asked to share relevant photographs and personal reflections about their experiences. The program also included several videos about the library, which organizers hoped would spur further reflections.
The event was recorded and used to produce a comprehensive documentary about WSSU library services.
"A careful study of history opens the door to the past and often reveals some unknown facts. Researching the events and participants at WSSU confirms that there are many people and milestones that should be remembered and celebrated." said Dr. Mae Rodney, the university's director of library services. "Typically, however, the library is not discussed when university milestones are recognized, yet it was integral to the university’s transformation from just one building to a 110-acre campus. From the expansion of the library’s collection and services to facilitating the inclusion of computers throughout the campus, the library has played a vital role in helping the university develop multiple, accredited programs."
Rodney also pointed out that past WSSU librarians were trailblazers in their field. For example, Mollie Dunlap was an early member of the American Library Association, the professional organization for librarians. Albert Prince Marshall was an indexer who compiled two different titles: the Index to Negro Periodical Literature and the North Carolina Index. Leola M. Ross was his co-compiler for the North Carolina Index. Lucy H. Bradshaw introduced automation in the library when WSSU was a charter member in 1973 for SOLINET, Southeastern Library Network, which helped facilitate online cataloging processes within libraries. Rodney also is noted for forming the WSSU Friends of the Library, which continues to thrive after 27 years and for the library endowment she established.
"There are many other bits of library history waiting to be discovered," Rodney added. "Alumni and former staff members are encouraged to think about and share memories of their time at 'TC' or 'SU,' and that will prompt lively discussions."
For additional information, contact the library director’s office at 336-750-2442, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.