National Archives Month, Week 3 – History of the Library

October 21, 2016

Did you know that when Central Piedmont Community College opened in July of 1963, the library was located in the basement of the Central High building? Although this building was used for storage by some departments of CPCC in its beginning years, the growing concern of where to house student resources (library materials in particular) was one of the main drivers of the 10-year master plan initiated by Dr. Hagemeyer and the Board of Trustees in 1964.

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AR.0035, Student News Publications Collection: The Prospector – Vol. III, Number III, 1968

Construction of the library began in 1966 and was completed by J.N. Pease and Associates. By 1968, after great coordination efforts put forth by the library director, Miss Phoebe Oplinger, the Learning Resource Center had a new four-story building to call home in the center of campus. Here, students finally had a dedicated space where they could browse the card catalogs or the floors of stacks while searching for the perfect book. Students could even visit the School of Nursing which was located on the fourth floor (this was long before the English department moved in). One thing was for certain, from the very beginning the library was where students and staff alike went to gain knowledge; where their knowledge became power.

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                      AR.0036, Photographs and Negatives Collection.

As the years have passed and technology has evolved, the Learning Resource Center has progressed as well. In the 1970s and 1980s, the use of the card catalog was still very important, but access to technologies such as audio and video players, and eventually computers, prompted the creation of media centers and computer labs.

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                       AR.0036, Photographs and Negatives Collection.

By 1993, under the leadership of Dr. Zeiss, CPCC began its 10-year master plan which would grow CPCC from one campus into six campuses, as well as satellite campuses. To fulfill the ever-growing student population, the inclusion of library buildings was involved in every step of planning, so as to continuously provide students with the support and resources they need.

Today, all CPCC campus libraries provide resources to over 200,000* patrons each year; an astounding number compared to more than 30 years ago! As student needs continue to evolve in the coming years, the library and CPCC will continuously adapt to fulfill these ever-changing needs. For more information on services and assistance that any campus library can offer, please visit www.cpcc.edu/library.

 

*this information is taken from the annual gate count compiled by library staff each year.

Filed under: CPCC History


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