"To build up the future, you have to know the past." — Otto Frank
Over the next few months as Purdue University Libraries relocates six libraries into the Wilmeth Active Learning Center (WALC), INSIDe will feature a brief history about each library.
A LOOK BACK AT THE PHARMACY, NURSING and HEALTH SCIENCES LIBRARY
Excerpted from Inside Scoop, March 15, 1997
During the early years of the University, most of the schools and departments maintained their own collections even though the Main Library was established in 1874. The School of Pharmacy (established in 1884) was no exception; for several years the newer and most important books were loaned to the pharmacy faculty and kept by them in their offices or laboratories. Students who wanted to borrow books could do so at the discretion of a particular professor. In 1904, expenditures for books, periodicals, and binding totaled $2120.00, of which the School of Pharmacy received $25.00. By 1911, most of the books once kept by the pharmacy faculty were moved to the Main Library and “properly cataloged.” A duplicate shelf-list of the “best books on the subject” was kept for the pharmacy faculty in the School’s main office. In 1927, the “unrecognized” departmental libraries’ collections totaled 6,607. The collection supporting the School of Pharmacy was estimated at 498 volumes, roughly 8% of the total book collection.
In 1930, the School of Pharmacy moved into its own building. That building is still in use; the section of Schleman Hall on Stadium Mall that faces Forney Hall of Chemical Engineering is the old Pharmacy Building. A large number of books was transferred from the General (Main) Library to the new Pharmacy Library on the first floor of the building across the hall from the Apothecary. These books, plus volumes from the pharmacy labs and offices, made up a collection of about 1,500 volumes. If you read Purdue Pharmacy: The First Century by Robert B. Eckles, he states the collection was about 3,000 volumes, probably including a lot of books the professors never gave back to the General Library in 1922.
The building currently used by most of the departments within the School of Pharmacy was dedicated on November 13-14, 1970. (The building was named the Robert Heine Pharmacy Building in 1985 for a Purdue Alumnus.) The 145,000 square foot building cost $6.8 million to build and included space for dozens of laboratories and offices, as well as two lecture halls, special purpose rooms and a library. At the time it opened, the Pharmacy Library had 21,000 volumes with an estimated capacity of 38,000 volumes. There were seats for 102 patrons, thirty-two study carrels, several large tables, a separate area reserved for the indexes, and a reading room for current periodicals. The library was carpeted, a first at Purdue. “Beauty, as well as utility, was considered in the library design,” reads a statement in one of the commemorative pamphlets. Visitors were asked to note the teak finish of the custom-built bookcases and the attractive staircase and chandeliers. Of course, the predominant color scheme was indicative of the era … orange and acid green!
Most visitors over the years probably never noticed the ceiling, but it was also a creation of the pre-EPA or pre-OSHA era … asbestos fibers embedded in plaster, a practical fire-retardant, but major health hazard twenty-five years later as the plaster and asbestos began drifting down. During the summer of 1996, the entire contents of the library were boxed up and placed in storage while the library received a new ceiling, upgraded lighting, new wall covering and paint and new carpet. During a phonathon the first week in May, while library staff were filling up 1,563 boxes, the alumni pledged over $46,000 that was used for the purchase of new study carrels, computer tables, chairs, old chairs refurbished and computer workstations. The renovation resulted in seating for about seventy-five users. The collection size was approximately 26,000 volumes with growth space for the first time in years.
Although there has been a library in the School of Pharmacy since 1930, there have only been three, actually “three-and-a-half”, head librarians during that time period. Miss Bernice Dunton was the first librarian, beginning her career at Purdue in 1930 and retiring in 1956. Ms. Theodora (“Teddy”) Andrews began her Purdue career as a clerical in 1945. After completing her MLS in 1955, she was appointed the Pharmacy Assistant Reference Librarian in January 1956, and eventually named Pharmacy Librarian later that year. In 1979, Teddy became the Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Sciences Librarian when the newly formed School of Nursing (formerly a department in the School of Technology) and the School of Health Sciences were brought under the administration of the Dean of the School of Pharmacy and the library collections supporting those programs were moved to the Pharmacy Building. She resigned her position as head of the library in December 1990, but remained on the faculty as bibliographer to Varro E. Tyler, former dean of the School of Pharmacy, until her retirement in June 1992. Sherry Martino was the professional librarian during the last few years when Ms. Andrews was head. The “half” head librarian was Nancy Hewison who was Interim Pharmacy, Nursing, and Health Sciences Librarian from January 1991 to September 1991.
Vicki Killion, the third Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Sciences librarian, came to Purdue in September 1991 from the University of Cincinnati Health Sciences Library. She remained the PNHS Librarian when in 2004, she also became head of the Life Sciences Library. In 2005, the Veterinary Medical Library was added to her responsibilities and the Health and Life Sciences Division was formed under her direction. When she arrived in 1991, Cheryl Oliver, circulation/reserves clerk, and Cindy Clinton, serials/binding clerk, had been working with Ms. Andrews and Nancy Hewison for over two years. Dan Rotello was a student assistant at that time. Although Cindy was followed by Kelly Stingle, Allen Bol, Tiffany Eakin and now Liz Lukens, Cheryl remained in the PNHS Library until February 2017.
What is happening to the space occupied by the PNHS Library? The College of Pharmacy is planning to maintain the entry level as student space with renovations scheduled for the summer of 2018. The balcony will be converted to office space for the college development group and a conference room. While it is the end of an era, as one of the pharmacy emeritus professors recently said, it is gratifying to know that student space is the main focus.