Oxford, Ohio 45056
(513) 529-1950 fax
History of Miami Libraries Published
OXFORD, Ohio -- Even before the forest was cleared for Miami
University's first buildings, the job of creating its library had begun.
As the Rev. John Browne rode east in 1811 to solicit funds to establish a
college in the woods of Ohio, he was offered books to begin its library.
Today, the library's collection of almost 2 million volumes includes 1,600
of the books acquired by Browne before he drowned in the Little Miami River in
Longtime Miami librarian Elizabeth H. Baer's just-published book, "The
History of the Miami University Libraries," tells the story of nearly two
centuries of growth and evolution of the library.
"The publication of Miss Baer's book is a milestone for the Miami
University libraries," said Dean and University Librarian Judith Sessions.
Sessions noted that it was particularly appropriate that Baer write such a
history because of her long association with the libraries.
That association began in the spring of 1937 when as a high school senior
she received a call from librarian E.W. King offering her a job as a student
assistant in the cataloging department at 30 cents an hour.
"Though less than eager for the opportunity at this particular moment, I
began working the very next week, and, unbelievably, was away from the library
less than three years until my retirement in December of 1979," wrote Baer in
When Baer retired she was head catalog librarian and
associate professor of library administration.
Sessions noted that the book places the evolution of the library into the
context of both the university and librarianship, while telling the very human
story of the people who made the library work.
"Now as we are renovating library facilities and looking ahead to the
impact of information technologies on the profession, it is an especially
appropriate time for us to be reviewing our history and remembering those who
came before us," Sessions said.
The 334-page book costs $25 ($18 soft bound). It can be purchased at King
Library's Walter Havighurst Special Collections or at Miami's Panuska
Persons who contribute $100 to the university libraries will receive a
complimentary copy. Call 513-529-1230 for more information.