Bacone College expands Native American library
1/12/2012 8:33:43 AM
 
Dr. Clara Sue Kidwell stands in the area that houses Bacone College’s Native American library collection, a locked room in the basement of Samuel Richard Hall. The school is renovating the library and will move the collection upstairs for more accessibility for students and outside scholars. TESINA JACKSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Dr. Clara Sue Kidwell stands in the area that houses Bacone College’s Native American library collection, a locked room in the basement of Samuel Richard Hall. The school is renovating the library and will move the collection upstairs for more accessibility for students and outside scholars. TESINA JACKSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
By TESINA JACKSON Reporter MUSKOGEE, Okla. –This past fall, Bacone College started an expansion project consisting of adding a new library off campus so the current on-campus library can house its history and Native American collections. “We plan to create a research library in the existing library facility in Samuel Richard Hall,” Dr. Clara Sue Kidwell, associate dean for Program Development, said. “That’s not going to take place until sometime over the spring semester. The main thing that is staying is the Indian room collection, which contains some rare materials.” Bacone’s Native American collection is currently locked in the basement of Samuel Richard Hall. Once the renovation is finished, the collection will be moved upstairs and more accessible for students and outside scholars. “In terms of history, most of this stuff pertains to the field of history, but we also have our American Indian studies program, which relies strongly on historical, and what we called ethnographic or anthropological, sources,” Kidwell said. “But that is going to be the core of a research library, which will be open to outside scholars. And we do have occasional scholars coming in, to people that are interested in the history, specifically the history of Bacone, and then more to specific tribal history.” The current library’s renovation is expected to be done by the end of the spring semester and will include new shelving units, carpet, Wi-Fi access and an updated online research catalog. “I do think that it is going to be a great advantage to have those materials more accessible to researchers and to students,” Kidwell said. In order to make room for the Native American collection, more than 48,000 volumes of books and other items from Samuel Richard Hall were moved to the off-campus facility, which occupies half of the former Boy Howdy store at the Northpointe Shopping Center. “Basically Bacone has owned the land down the hill where this old shopping center, Walmart, grocery store, etc., was located and those were leased by outside vendors,” Kidwell said. “The college has now gotten title to the facilities down there and so we now own the shopping center as well as the land.” The off-campus library was funded by a legacy donation of more than $600,000 from the Betts family through the Daughters of the American Revolution. The facility is expected to be twice as large and include at least 60,000 volumes. Plans also include making the book collection and electronic resources more modern. “Much of what we have on the shelves now, the newer books were from back in the 1980s,” Kidwell said. “We also need to update our library system to include, much more directly, things that support the curriculum here.” The off-campus library, which is expected to be available for students by the end of January, will have new book shelves, an art display and lounge area, study cubicles with Wi-Fi access and small meeting rooms. It is expected to be open to the public by the end of the semester. “We really want to create an environment where students feel comfortable working independently and individually on their research papers,” Kidwell said. The other half of the former Boy Howdy store will be a welcome center with registrar, admission, financial aid and other offices. Those offices in their current spots will become dorm rooms. The old Walmart building in the shopping center will become athletic offices, while the old Warrior Gym, where the athletic offices are currently will become the Center for American Indians.
tesina-jackson@cherokee.org 918-453-5000, ext. 6139
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