The 1980s

By February 1980, the Central Recorder was able to report that normal Saturday hours had been restored. This restoration was possible because no snow fell during January and February, snow removal savings allowed for the rehiring of student workers.

After thirty-two years, Robert Massmann announced his retirement.

Bob Massman came to the college in the summer of 1951 to accept a new position as assistant librarian. For a variety of reasons, including his work on the new library building, Bob was appointed as the first Director of Library Services in 1957. Katherine M. Strong was reassigned as head of reference. During his tenure he had the unique opportunity of planning two library buildings on the campus.

In 1962, Bob was approached by President Welte to produce an annual report in an "interesting" format. Dr. Welte planned to share the report with Supporters of the Institution.

Bob had been collecting miniatures for about five years. He approached Archie St Onge, a publisher of miniatures about producing a miniature book about Elihu Burritt. St Onge decided that such a subject would not be commercially viable. Bob then undertook the project on his own, producing his first miniature book. The text was the address given by Haddon E. Klingberg on December 8, 1960, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Elihu Burritt. This miniature would be the first of four miniatures to accompany the annual reports of the library.

Miniatures Books (actual size)
Illustration on Title Page of a miniature book titled
ELIHU BURRITT, AS MUCH A BROTHER, 1962 Illustration of a miniature book titled HOW THE ART OF

Bob also produced a variety of annual reports using unusual formats.
Annual report of the library for 1965, showing 
illustration of Burritt's Dove of Peace This report contained a miniature book called How the Art of Printing was Invented (see above). To date, Mr. Massmann has produced 114 numbered miniature publications.

With the support of the Central Office of the State College System, Central and the other three college libraries were able to join OCLC in 1980, allowing materials to be cataloged via computer. This move also resulted in the creation of digital records, a necessary step for future automation. Since 1980, the System Office has been a strong advocate and supporter of library automation on the four campuses.

Photograph of Dr. William Aguilar, the
seventh library director Dr. William Aguilar became the seventh head of the library in 1983. He became the first and highest ranking Hispanic administrator in the institution's history. During his five-year tenure, Dr. Aguilar was selected to be a Wilson Fellow. He was the first library administrator to be appointed a member of the President's Cabinet.

With Dr. Aguilar's arrival, funding for library materials were increased. For example, the library was able to add 224 new periodical subscriptions.

Dr. Aguilar began a reorganization that resulted in the creation of two positions: a collection development coordinator, and a bibliographic instructor. In 1985, the library joined CircCessb a regional consortium of thirty-seven area public and academic libraries. With a $10,000 grant from the Stanley Works, the library switched to the CircCess on-line circulation system in January 1987.

Left to Right, Dr. Aguilar, Director, student Chris Farkus, Frank Gagliardi, Associate Director, Eleanore Zavez, Head of Circulation, and Priya Rai, Head of Technical Processing.
Photograph of, from left to right, Dr. Aguilar, 
student Chris Farkus, Associate Director Frank Gagliardi, Head of Circulation Eleanore Zavez and Head of Technical 
Processing Priya Rai watching demonstration of the new automated Circulation System

In 1985, the library was the recipient of two major donations. Mrs. Elizabeth Wick, the widow of Professor Walter O. Wick, donated a large collection of materials relating to the Civil War and American Art. Messrs. Harry and John Ward donated 3,466 new books on a variety of subjects. Over the next thirteen years the Ward Brothers would donate thousands of additional books.

During 1984, the Friends of the Library were authorized to sell duplicate materials. The first sale netted $1,500 dollars.

In 1984 Interlibrary Loan services were extended to undergraduate students and the department began using OCLC for on-line ILL transactions. In addition on-line search services were offered for the first time. Named EdSearch, this computerized information service was jointly sponsored by the University and the Capitol Region Council. By 1986, the library acquisition department was automated by using a subsystem offered by OCLC. By 1987, CD-ROM databases were made available in the Reference Department.

Dr. Aguilar resigned in November, 1988 to become the director of the library at the San Bernadino campus of California State University System. Mrs. Jeanne Sohn from the University of New Mexico was selected as the new Director of Library Services and began serving in 1989.

Color photograph of, left, Mrs. Angie Lam, retired library
department secretary, with Mrs. Jeanne Sohn, Director of Library Services, November 1995
Left, Mrs. Angie Lam, retired library department secretary, with Mrs. Jeanne Sohn, Director of Library Services, November 1995

Earlier it was mentioned how the System Office has supported the library staff in its quest to automate its various functions. One would be remiss for not mentioning the unstinting support for the library's computerization by the staff of campus data center over the past twenty-seven years.

Before Mrs. Sohn's arrival in 1989, the director of the campus computer center, Mr. James Malone, was encouraging the four campus libraries to take the next step in automation, that is, acquiring a full integrated system. For a variety of reasons there was reluctance on the part of the other campuses to get involved. After reviewing the proposal, Mrs. Sohn decided to proceed. Central began the task of writing an RFP, visiting various libraries, and collecting as much documentation as possible. The other campuses came on board and by March, 1992 the Central Recorder would report that the library was awaiting bids for the new system. Funding was provided by the Connecticut State University System and a grant from a Connecticut bond issue. By 1993, the new system named CONSULS was in operation. This computer system links the four libraries of the CSU system and allows for the sharing of over 1,500,000 volumes as well as automated circulation and technical services functions.

Photograph of student at computer of the new
CONSULS system, 1993
Central Courier, September 1993

Several improvements were instituted by 1993. A library mission statement was created, Government Documents and serial indexes were relocated to the reference floor in order to provide better service, a collection development librarian was appointed, the Curriculum Lab classroom was designated as the library's Bibliographic Instruction classroom and library hours were increased from 4pm to 5pm on Fridays. 1993-1994 witnessed an increase in the materials budget to $900,000. Budget problems forced a $100,000 reduction in mid-year. With the arrival of a Bibliographic Instruction Librarian during the 1994-95 reporting period, the number of students receiving bibliographic instruction increased to 4,269. During this same period new carpeting was installed in the Serials Department and eventually throughout the entire library.

The Reference staff, during 1995-96 inaugurated a library newsletter to inform the campus community about the library's new automation products and services.

Illustration of Title Page of Vol 1 No 1 of the 
CCSU Library Newsletter, Fall 1995

With a grant from the General Assembly, the Connecticut State Library became the fifth member of the CONSUL'S system during the 1996-97 fiscal year. The loading of the State Library's holdings into the CONSULS database added in-depth resources in the areas of federal documents, Connecticut history, and legislative materials. With continuing support from the central office, the library has been able to acquire thousands of full text periodicals on-line.

In April 1998, the classroom and the curriculum lab was converted to a fully electronic classroom, with hands-on computer instruction, in order to better serve those enrolled in the library resources course, LSC150.

With the support of the CSU central office, CCSU as well as the other three CSU libraries were able to acquire digital scanners with ARIEL software. This new technology now makes it possible to transmit our materials to each other electronically.

In a little more than a generation, the library has moved from a manual environment to a highly sophisticated computer system linking Central with the world. One can only imagine what the next 150 years will bring.

Dove of Peace used by Burritt on correspondence
Engraving of Dove of Peace used by Burritt on 
on correspondence

The dove symbol of peace was used by Burritt on some of his letterhead. Burritt's symbol was used on the library letterhead in the 1960s and 1970s.

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