Related Literature of the Time

  • 1944-1949 Daily Illini Articles Daily Illini Library Beginnings.
    • September 17, 1949.  Library plans improvement in service. (first scan on pdf)
    • May 11, 1944.  Library to ask million dollar appropriation for postwar building-expansion program, by Merrill Prichard. (2nd scan on pdf)
    • September 15, 1949.  Galesburg branch closes (3rd scan on pdf)
    • June 28, 1949.  More books for undergrads (4th scan on pdf).
  • 1955-1968 articles from the Daily Illini  UGL articles from 1955-1968
    • December 14, 1955.  Undergrad Library installs book slot (1st article in scan)
    • September 28, 1951.  Daily Illini. Library adds card catalog, abolishes frosh collection, by Marilyn Meyer (2nd article in scan)
    • October 24, 1951.  Daily Illini.Trustees approve dropping degree in undergraduate library science (3rd article in scan)
    • February 13, 1953.  Daily Illini.  Journ Librarian named (4th article in scan)
    • October 6, 1954. Daily Illini.  Library magazine honors Dunlap (5th article in scan)
    • May 3, 1956.  Daily Illini.  Library to stay open on weekend nights. (6th article in scan)
    • September 24, 1966.  Daily Illini.  Two coeds disappear: Campus fixtures last seen at library. (7th article in scan).
    • October 21, 1966.  Daily Illini.  To UI buildings receive awards. (8th article in scan)
    • October 21, 1966.  Daily Illini.  Study new late night policy, by elise Cassel. (9th article in scan).
    • April 23, 1968.  Daily Illini.  Study-in at Library. (10th article in scan).
  • 1953-1975 Daily Illini articles  Daily Illini articles 1953 to 1975
    • October 13, 1955..  “Free Day’ Here.  Describes attempt to retrieve 600 books missing from the Undergraduate Library (at that time located in the Main Library).   First article in Scan
    • February 24, 1953.  Library Initiates New System. Discusses new fine system and recall policy. (second scan in pdf)
    • November 24, 1971.  Libraries vary in lending policies, by Wendie Preuss.  Discusses lending policies, 3 weeks at the UGL. (3rd scan in the pdf).
    • January 8, 1072.  Increased circulation trend misses most UI libraries, by Hal Pratt.  Incrased circuation trend misses most UI libraries. Mentions how the Undergraduate Library leads oothers in total circualtion (4th scan in pdf).
    • August 11, 1972.  UI Library complex is nation’s 3rd largest, by Charles Epstein.  UI Library complex is nation’s 3rd largest. Mentions the 1900 seat Undergraduate Library as the most frequently used library, houses the second largest single collection of books (101,000 volumes). Mentions that 2/3 of the seating is in the individual carrels and a listening center upstairs with 105 carrels with earphones.(5th scan in pdf).
    • January 23, 1974.  Library book checkout to go automatic, by Tom Frisbie. Discusses implementation of the automated check-out system under consideration for 6 years. Describes the orange data cards students will use to check out books. The Undergraduate Library was the first library to go on an online automated system. (6th scan in pdf)
    • June 26, 1975.  Library has film display.  (7th scan in pdf)
    • October 12, 1973.  UI library grows by 150,000 books. Describes circulation and turnstile counts for patrons.  (8th article in scan).
    • December 6, 1975.  $200,000 gift helps library during fiscal crush, by Emie Koneck. Describes impact of inflation of material collection and the gift. (last article in scan).
  • Daily Illini (October 27, 1966), by Howard Wallman. Construction to begin soon on Undergrad Library. Daily Illini Construction 1966
  • Daily Illini, by Bruce Holecek (October 5, 1968).  Modern $4.2 million llibrary to open second semester. UGL Grand Opening 1968
  • Daily Illini, by Bruce Holecek (October 5, 1968).  Modern $4.2 million llibrary to open second semester. UGL Grand Opening 1968
  • Hoadley, Irene Braden (1970). “The Undergraduate Library – The First 20 Years.” ED042478.  Available at:  Provides background of the ten undergraduate libraries during this time period (including at the University of Illinois)
    • From the abstract:  The undergraduate library is defined as a library unit, separately housed with services geared at the lower division undergraduate student on a university campus….  Six basic ways the undergraduate library differs from the traditional university library are: (1) provides open access to the collection, (2) centralizes and simplifies services to the undergraduate, (3) provides selected books of value for liberal education as well as the reserved book collection, (4) attempts to make the library a tool for instruction in library use, (5) provides services additional to those given by the research collection and (6) constructs a building with the undergraduate’s habits of use in mind.
  • William Vernon Jackson (1954).  Librarian at the Undergraduate Library in the 1950’s.  See his article:  “The Interpretation of Public Services”   Library Trends:188-210.   Available at:

PreHistory – 1940s-1960s

Undergraduate Library History Timeline

1949 1960 1966
25,000 book collection at the discontinued Galesburg, IL branch of the University of Illinois is moved to the Urbana campus and placed on the first floor of the “General Library. The Third Annual Faculty conference at Allerton Park focused on the theme of “The Undergraduate Climate at the University”.  A resolution was passed to recommend the establishment of an undergraduate library with a separate space and collection. September 21, 1966.  Ground breaks on the building.

 Although for a number of years there had been considerable discussion of, and in increasing proposals for, special library facilities for undergraduates at the University of Illinois, it was not until the post-war period that an Undergraduate Library became a reality.  In order to provide for the large numbers of students who wished to attend the university after the war and who cound not all be accommodated on the Urbana campus, two undergraduate divisions for freshmen and sophomores were established, one in Chicago and the other in Galesburg.  For the latter a library of more than 15,000 volumes was assembled, including books in practically all subject fields, reference books and magazines of a general nature (e.g. those indexed in the Reader’s Guide).  After three years of operation this branch was closed in June, 1949, and its library transferred to the Urbana campus to form the nucleus of a new Undergraduate Library there.  To these volumes were added several thousand books already on reserve (chiefly for undergraduate courses), additional periodicals and the collection of books formerly housed separately in the Freshman Reading Room.

The volumes were placed in the Library’s first floor reading room. It took over Rooms 101 and 123 in the main library building (two connecting rooms, each with a reserve desk and work space, forming an ell-shaped area).  Wooden wall shelving in the former and steel cases in the latter provided space for the open shelf collection; reserves were kept behind the two reserve desks (those for courses in history and political science in Room 101; those for courses in rhetoric, speech, occupational therapy, home economics, English and general studies in Room 123), while bound periodicals were also placed behind the reserve counter in Room 123, there being no other place for them. With the opening of the school in the fall of 1949 the Undergraduate Library began operations.  Although it was popular from the outset, it faced a number of serious problems:  reserve books, an awkward physical arrangement, and a dual cataloguing system.  Over a period of years there had been little revision of reserve lists, which resulted in shelves crowded with little used and obsolete items.  Concerted efforts to secure the cooperation of faculty members were successful in reducing greatly the number of books on reserve; in four years the total decreased almost 50%.  Many instructors shifted from a policy of required reading of reserve books to collateral reading selected from a list of open shelf books.

The ell-shaped area occupied by the Undergraduate Library with its two reserve desks posed special problems in service and administration.  Maintenance of the books for freshman reading as a separate collection complicated the arrangement of books on the shelves.  In 1951 these titles were amalgamated into the general collection.  In the summer of 1953 further changes were made.  Books on reserve were consolidated in Room 101 and the work area for all several full time staff members relocated south of the reserves.  A periodical alcove in the southwest corner of 123 provided space for readers using periodicals, all then on open shelves.  A control desk enabled the attendant to charge books and accept returns, to keep the alcove tidy, and to answer users’ general and directional questions.  Reference questions were referred to the Reference and Information Desk.

From the outset it was difficult for patrons to find the material they were seeking, since two reserve catalogs, and one for freshman reading books plus the catalog for open shelf collection made a total of four places to check, two in each room.  This reflected the two cataloging systems used in the Undergraduate Library, which stemmed from the fact that some simplification was made in cataloging the Galesburg collection, resulting in differences in classification, subject headings, and minor points of descriptive catalog.  These books could not, therefore, be readily combined with others in the University Library, and they were not represented in the general catalog.  Catalogs in the Undergraduate Library were reduced by one in 1951 when the Freshman Reading books were integrated with the rest of the open shelf collection.  The dual cataloguing system remained, however, and continued to cause many problems, not only for the patrons and staff of the Undergraduate Library, but also for the Catalog Department.  Finally, in 1953 it was decided to recatalog the Undergraduate Library to conform with the rest of the University Library.  This step not only simplified the Undergraduate Library catalog (henceforth to include all books, whether on reserve or open shelves), but made transfers to and from the stacks practical.  It also represented the Undergraduate Library holdings in the general card catalog.

The Undergraduate Library continued to expand the services offered to its clientele.  In addition to reference work and advising readers, the staff conducted tours for students in Rhetoric 102, Verbal Communications, and other classes.  Indexes to the contents of miscellaneous collections of short stories, plays, speeches, and criticism were prepared, as well as to material on topics used for study in Verbal Communications.  A biography file was established to supplement the biographical dictionaries and the Biography Index.  The library issued a quarterly list of new accessions.

In 1960 the topic of the third President’s Faculty Conference was “The Undergraduate Climate at the University”, and the outcome of that retreat at Allerton Park was a resolution to construct an undergraduate library.