Wilmington College Library History:
The first library at Wilmington College was at the South end of the second floor of College Hall. The literary societies of the College, the Brownian, Dorian, etc., donated their individual collections to the library, and under President Unthank, the collection reached a total of 3500 volumes. At the time, the library served as a museum as well.
The next stage in the history of the Wilmington College Library was having a permanent library building. This was necessary in order to receive accreditation. The building was built in 1941, and Wilmington College was accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges in 1943.
Originally, the front steps ascended to what we now call the second floor. There were reading rooms on the North and South sides of the building with tables in the centers of the rooms and the library collection on shelves along the perimeter of the reading rooms. On the lower level were the restrooms, a seminar room, and the book processing area.
In 1965, the library received an addition on the West side of the 1941 structure. In addition, the orientation of the entrance was changed from steps going up to steps going down. What had been the lower level was changed to the main level. The reading rooms and the new addition now housed shelves of books with study tables and other seating interspersed upstairs. The main level now housed the current and back periodical collection, reference collection, juvenile and young adult collection, reference and circulation desks, student lounge, and a seminar room. The Wilmington College Library was renamed the Sheppard Arthur Watson Library in honor of our 11th president who saw to the building of the first free standing library and our accreditation.
Over the years, things have been rearranged to suit the needs of the library and student body. The Circulation area was once a magazine reading area. Computer Labs/classrooms now occupy what was once Circulation and Reference. Gone, but not forgotten (by everyone) is the Card Catalog which gave students access to the library collection.
Recent additions to the library have been mainly virtual. We are members of two consortia: Ohio Private Academic Libraries (OPAL) and OHIOLink, which make it possible to access thousands of full text periodical articles and borrow any of millions of books from Ohio College and University libraries.
Library Directors of Wilmington College:
When the college first started, faculty members took turns acting as Librarian. Ellen Wright was the first permanent librarian at Wilmington College from 1914-1920. Marguerite Mitchell followed her in 1921 and occupied the position until 1954. During her term of service, Library Science courses were taught in “Wilmington: 101 How to Use a Library” and in “301 Methods for Organizing and Carrying on the School Library Effectively”. Hans Fabian took over as Librarian in 1955 and was first referred to as Director of Libraries in 1960.
Library Directors Since 1960:
|1960 - 1962||James Nichols:||1985 - 1991||Lee Bowman & Patti Kinsinger
2015 - 2016
|Deckard Rittor:||1962 - 1963||Jennilou Grotevant:||1991 - 2000||Brian Hickam:||
2016 - 2017
|Willis Hall:||1963 - 1966||Patti Kinsinger &
2000 - 2001
2017 - 2022
1966 - 1977
2001 - 2005
2022 - Present
|Larry Kroah:||1977 - 1983||
Patti Kinsinger &
(Acting Library Director)
|1984 - 1985||Jean Mulhern:||
Noted and Appreciated Employees:
Lee Bowman: 2006 - Present
Kathern Hatfield: 1992 - Present
Patti Kinsinger: 1990 - 2019 (Present Library Volunteer)