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2009 Pewter Holiday Ornament

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2009 Pewter Holiday Ornament


This pewter ornament celebrates Alden Library's 40th anniversary!

In his presidential inauguration speech in 1962, Vernon R. Alden announced plans for a new university library, which was completed in 1969 and named for the then-retiring president.

The issue of where to build a library big enough to meet the needs of a rapidly growing campus posed a problem.  Originally slated to take the place of old Ewing Hall (atop the hill behind Carnegie Library), the new library eventually took over most of the Park Place side of College Green.  The Women’s Gymnasium, the original Boyd Hall, a women’s dormitory, and the original Tupper Hall were all razed to make room for its construction.

Despite its 250,000-volume capacity, Chubb Library relinquished nearly double that number of volumes during the “great move” of February 1969.

Alden Library opened its doors and became a thriving academic center in 1969, but construction continued to add the east and west wings, which were completed in 1972 and which doubled the storage capacity of the new seven-floor library.

Alden Library received its first computers in 1972.  Dubbed “George” and “Georgette,” these two cathode ray terminals were little more than television sets with keyboard units.  Although seemingly primitive from a modern viewpoint, they revolutionized how students did research by looking up catalog cards in a database through the Ohio College Library Center, a predecessor of OhioLINK.

Alden Library celebrated the reception of its one millionth volume, a 13th-century illuminated Bible manuscript, donated by alum Carr Liggett, in April 1979.

ALICE, the university’s online search database, was purchased in 1982 with grants from the 1804 Endowment Fund and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  In addition to the usual card catalog information, searching for a book through ALICE would also show whether the book had been checked out, and if so, the due date and the name, address, and phone number of the person who had the book.
Under the guidance of Dean of Libraries Hwa Wei Lee, Alden Library formed many international connections, and became an official depository for the governments of Swaziland, Botswana, Guatemala, and Malaysia.
Alden Library recently received its three millionth item, a large color print photograph of the library’s exterior, donated by alum and photographer Thomas Schiff.

Today’s library provides a multitude of academic amenities for students and faculty alike, including a vast reference collection, multimedia center, café, group study rooms, student writing center, media library, archives, computer workstations on every floor, and of course, books!

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