Hamersly Library News – Winter 2019

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In this Issue:

Library News at a Glance:

  • “A Brief History of WOU Library” offers a glimpse of the library’s past.
  • “Library Service for Salem” is now available.
  • “Happy Funeral” and “Dave Stuntzner: New Work” are new Winter
    exhibits to visit on the second and third floors.
  • “WOU Textbook Affordability Initiative” is a new effort by the university to help lessen the burden of high textbook costs on students.
Coming soon!  Feed Oregon’s hungry and get a chance to win some great prizes by participating in the library’s online auction in support of the 2019 Governor’s Food Drive. Some of the items will be on display in the library’s first floor lobby — be sure to look for them in February!

Front Matter

Winter in the Willamette Valley is often a time of gray skies and lots of rain, but that’s when we hope you will consider the library your second home. Buy a warm cup of coffee at The Press, visit one of our new exhibits, curl up with a good book (be sure to take a look at a few of our new acquisitions listed on page 2), and, if the drizzly days have really got you feeling the blues, think about checking out one of our new light therapy lamps (page 4).

For some extra reading while you’re enjoying that cup of coffee, be sure to see our lead article this issue, “A Brief History of WOU Library,” which will hopefully make you appreciate just how far our library has come. There’s lots more great news inside — check it out!

A Brief History of WOU Library

J.B.V. Butler is sitting at his desk in WOU’s first real library, a room in Campbell Hall in 1904.

How do you pinpoint the origin of a university library? For Western Oregon University, did it start with the founding of the school as Monmouth University in 1856, which, despite its lofty name, was a simple 20 x 30 wooden frame schoolhouse that probably contained very few books?

Or was it in 1872, when the school was now known as Christian College and a catalog at the time noted, “The want of a suitable place to keep the library hitherto has prevented any considerable effort to secure one. Bro. E. Bistow of Lane county, presented the College with a small library last summer, which forms a nucleus to which we hope soon to add other contributions from the patrons and friends of education.”

If a “suitable place to keep a library,” even one as meager as a few dozen books most likely religious in nature, is the defining characteristic of a library’s origin, then we have Thomas Franklin Campbell to thank, who after becoming president in 1869 raised funds to construct what is now known as Campbell Hall. The university’s first real library was on the first floor of the North Wing of Campbell Hall from 1899-1951.

J.B.V. Butler was the first known librarian of this library, serving from 1898 to 1909. Graduating himself in 1884 from Oregon State Normal School (a third name change), Butler had no training or education as a librarian. However, his position on campus was prominent. During Butler’s time as librarian, a new wing of Campbell Hall was built and the library took up an entire floor. The Board of Regents also funded a tremendous increase in the library budget. Butler was able, from his legendary roll-top desk, to oversee a rapidly-growing, carefully selected collection.

The library collection continued to grow with help from the literary societies on campus, The Board of Regents, and donations from the community, faculty, and students. It was decided in 1885 that control of all library business was to be conducted by the Literary Societies. Two people from each of the three student-led Literary Society groups would form to create the Library Association. It is from the Library Association that many of the new books came to the library. Many of these available books were fiction and included magazines, the Portland Newspaper, and weekly papers from the State were donated and received (1908/09). There was also a rental library (established in 1932) that had over one thousand textbooks available for students. The cost was 40 cents a term per book. This allowed students to rent out textbooks for classes at a low price.

Beginning in 1951, the library lived in what is now the Academic Programs and Support Center (APSC). This building cost about $280,000 to complete. On June 5th, 1951, the books from Campbell Hall were moved to the new library building across the street with the help of approximately 250 faculty, staff, and students. It took about 3 hours to move 30,000 volumes. Mrs. Dessa Hofstetter was the head librarian at the opening of the new library. This library was then renovated in 1968 to address problems of control, reading-stack relationship, and reader services. During this time, the library was given governmental depository status, which is still in effect today. By 1997, there were over 170,000 books and 450,000 microforms. The new building was also able to provide more room than Campbell Hall with five new areas: reading, browsing, circulation and index, stacks, and quiet study. By the 1990’s, the student population — doubling since the renovation — had access to a large collection of books, periodical titles, microfiche, and government documents.

The library’s growing collection eventually called for yet another larger building — the one where the library current resides. The Wayne and Lynn Hamersly Library’s construction began in August 1998 and the building was officially opened on September 20, 2000. The funds for this building came from donations by private sources, the State General Fund, and State XI-G Bonds to total $14,768,000. Wayne and Lynn Hamersly donated $1,000,000 for the construction of the library, significantly helping move the project toward its goal. The Hamersly’s later added another generous gift for library collections and to establish a library endowment. Both Wayne and Lynn were former graduates of Western.

It was primarily built to address new technology and the growing student population and collections. This building was significantly larger than the APSC building with 46,697 more square feet and twice the amount of space allotted for shelving, classrooms, conference rooms, study rooms, seating, and computer workstations. In recent years, the library added a learning commons space with more flexible seating options, The Press coffee shop, and a Digital Media Center on the second floor, complete with video and audio production rooms.

From a handful of dusty books donated by Bro. E. Bristow to a beautiful three-story brick building with coffee and Wi-Fi — our library has come a long way. If you’d like to know more, be sure to visit the History of the Library exhibit in the third floor lobby. For further reading, check out our online exhibit on Omeka (http://omeka.wou.edu:8080/exhibits/show/libhist) as well as the University Archives and History collection on Digital Commons (https://digitalcommons.wou.edu/archives/).

— Article written with contributions from Kalea Borling, Scott Carter, Brianna Robertson, and Jerrie Lee Parpart

New and Notable

Library Service for Salem

As you’ve probably heard, WOU is now offering classes in Salem! All WOU students are eligible to use the services the Hamersly Library provides, whether you’re taking classes in Monmouth, Salem, online or elsewhere.
Check out our new online guide to find out how to get your WOU and Summit books delivered to Salem, how to access books and other materials at Summit libraries in the Salem area, and more:

Recent Acquisitions

Winter Term Exhibits

Happy Funeral, by Sung Eun Park (Second floor gallery)
An installation by WOU Assistant Professor Sung Eun Park, this exhibit is an exploration of the scenes of funeral-carrying, death, and the uncertainty of an afterlife.David Stuntzner: New Work (Third floor gallery) Digital collages using abstract and realistic imagery from nature, industry and popular culture, Stuntzner’s masterful compositions evoke complex meanings, sometimes poignant and other times humorous.

David Stuntzner: New Work (Third floor gallery)
Digital collages using abstract and realistic imagery from nature, industry and popular culture, Stuntzner’s masterful compositions evoke complex meanings, sometimes poignant and other times humorous.

WOU Textbook Affordability Initiative

If you are worried about how expensive textbooks have gotten, you are right to be concerned.
The College Board estimates that the average undergraduate should budget $1,220 – $1,420 for textbooks and supplies in 2017–18. Seven out of 10 students don’t purchase a required textbook during their academic career because of cost, and 60% of students have delayed purchasing textbooks until they’ve received their financial aid. Moreover, the cost of textbooks is rising at a rate of 4 times inflation (see chart below).

To help alleviate the burden of textbook costs for students, WOU is launching a textbook affordability initiative, supported by the Provost’s Office, the College of Education, the College of Liberal Arts and Hamersly Library. Watch for more information in the coming months.

What Faculty Can Do Right Now
Attend the Open Textbook Workshop — a one-hour session where you can discover open textbooks in your field. Open textbooks are full, real textbooks, used by many faculty across the country, and licensed to be freely used, edited, and distributed. After the workshop, faculty who write a short review of an open textbook from the Open Textbook Library will receive a $200 stipend (provided by OpenOregon). Your review will benefit other faculty considering open textbooks.

Workshop Details (Faculty Only): Wednesday, January 23, 2019, 3-4 p.m. Hamersly Library, HL 107.
Register Here:
For more information contact Sue Kunda at kundas@wou or 838-8893.

WOU Reviews

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi

Emezi’s debut novel, Freshwater, is the story of Ada, a woman living with dissociative identity disorder, as told through the perspectives of her multiple personalities. Ada’s personalities believe they are ancient spirits trapped within Ada’s human body, and when Ada experiences trauma a stronger personality takes shape to protect her. The result is a painful but incredible work of storytelling about a woman trapped by her own mind. Emezi traces her Igbo and Tamil roots to enrich this new tale.
—Hannah, Hamersly Student Employee

Find this and hundreds of other popular books in Hamersly’s Recreational Collection on the first floor right next to The Press.

Items Now Available for Checkout

Light Therapy Lamps
Gray skies got you down? The library has four light therapy lamps available for checkout, thanks to a grant for suicide prevention and mental health promotion awarded to The Research Institute (TRI). They mimic the natural energizing power of daylight while filtering out harmful UV rays.

Portable Photo Studio
Our collapsible portable photo studio with high output built-in LED lights is great for handheld photography with a camera or smartphone. Measures 25’’ x 30’’ x 25’’ to fit a variety of products.

Photography Backdrop
Need a quick backdrop? Our 6’ x 9’ thick muslin cloth may do the trick. A choice of black or white, it also comes with four clamps.

More information about all our equipment, as well as checkout polices, can be found at


About Hamersly Library News

Hamersly Library News is published by Library and Media Services at Western Oregon University.
Editor: Scott Carter, Digital Production & Publishing Specialist

All content is produced by Library and Media Services faculty and staff unless otherwise noted. The newsletter is also available from the library’s website: library.wou.edu/news

Hamersly Library
Western Oregon University
345 Monmouth Ave. N.
Monmouth, OR 97361

Email: librarynews@wou.edu

Phone: 503-838-8418

Online: library.wou.edu

Would you like to donate to Hamersly Library?

Hamersly Library welcomes donations to support and enhance library collections, services and activities. Please visit library.wou.edu/giving to find out more.