The University of Detroit established its library on the original Jefferson Campus in 1877. Upon the completion of the Engineering Building in 1927, the library was moved to the third floor of that building. In 1952, the McNichols Campus Library (McNCL) was opened with all resources and staff transferred to the new facility.
In 1961, the Educational Materials Center (EMC), established to support the teacher education program, was opened on the third floor of the McNCL. The focus of the EMC evolved in 1973 when its name was changed to the Library Media Center to include providing audiovisual equipment for classroom use and projection classrooms, in 1977 to include graphic design, framing, sign-making and laminating, and in 1999 when the name was changed to the Instructional Design Studio/McN to include helping faculty integrate technology into their classrooms. Due to the continual reduction in budgets IDS/MCN was closed in 1/2000 when staffing was reduced from two positions to zero.
Mercy College of Detroit established its library in 1941 on the thrid floor of the campus Administration Building. The library was renovated and expanded in 1976, to the ground and second floors of the Administration building. A tubular staircase constructed in the atrium outside the library became the access staircase for all the upper floors. In order to accommodate the move of the dental and media libraries' collections into the facility, the library was again renovated and expanded in 1997/1998 with an elevator replacing the tubular staircase to provide better access.
Opened in the late 1960's the Learning Resource Center located on the second floor of Marian Hall, housed all the non-print library resources for Mercy College. The collection remained in the location until 1975/76 when it was moved to the fourth floor of the Administration Building, moving again in 1987 to the basement of Marian Hall. From the beginning, the purpose and functions remained somewhat stable, housing the non-print library and delivery of audiovisual equipment to classrooms. In 1993, a satellite down link service was established.
In 1998, the non-print material library was merged into the ODCL at the same time as the dental collection was transferred. The move of the media centralized all information resource formats in one location to provide better access and longer service hours. In 1999 names of LRC and LMC were changed to Instructional Design Studios.
Prior to 1990, the ODCL and the LRC Directors reported to the Vice President of Academic Affairs at Mercy College. As part of the consolidation of Mercy College of Detroit with the University of Detroit Mercy in 1990, the two directors began reporting to the Dean of University Libraries (title changed in 1992 from Director of Libraries). The Dean has always reported to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.
Other libraries have come and gone from the University. The Architecture Library operated with a librarian and one support staff from 1975 until early 1981 when funding for both positions was eliminated. The Library, renamed the Architecture Resources Center, was then staffed by student volunteers. Due to the continual unauthorized borrowing and non-return of the resources housed in the Center, the Dean of Architecture and the Dean of Libraries agreed that the remaining resources should be returned to the McNCL in 1985.
The 1983/84 academic year was the inaugural year for both the Clarkston Campus and the Clarkston Campus Library. A librarian with the help of student assistants continued serving students until the campus was officially closed in 1989. Numerous hours were spent by librarians selecting the resources to serve the specific needs of the Clarkston students. When the library was closed resources were divided between the McNCL and the Evening Business Administration Library on the Renaissance Campus. The library reported to the Director of Libraries.
The date of the beginning of the EBA Library is unknown; the date of its closing was 1991 when the evening business program was moved to the Outer Drive Campus. The EBAL was staffed at different times by a full-time or part-time librarian and one part-time assistant. The Library reported to the Director of Libraries.
The exact date of the beginning of the Dental Library is also unknown, but it can be verified that the Library was in operation in the late 1950's. Prior to the mid-1960's the Library reported to the Director of Libraries, after the mid-1960's the Library reported to the Dean of the School of Dentistry. This reporting line remained until 1997 when it became apparent that the library was to be moved to the ODCL. At that point, the Dean of the School of Dentistry transferred the reporting line to the Dean of University Libraries.
From the very beginning each of the libraries maintained an author, title, subject card catalog as the official record of the respective library's holdings. In 1988, the University of Detroit Libraries (McNCL, LMC, EBAL) became a charter member of the Detroit Area Library Network (DALNET), a consortium of academic, public, and special libraries that purchased integrated software system for an online catalog, circulation, patron file, acquisitions, and cataloging. After years of planning and hard work in 1990 the card catalogs for these three libraries were discarded.
In 1991, following the signing of the consolidation document, the card catalog records for over 100,000 ODCL titles had to be automated, books bar-coded, and patron files created. At the same time collections in architecture, engineering, education, psychology, nursing, and health services were evaluated for retention and, if kept, were transferred from one campus library to the campus library where the majors or college offices were located. Simultaneously, the 43,479 books, 99 cases of periodicals, and the 12,240 pieces of microform in the EBAL were being checked for duplications and transfer to either the McNCL or ODCL, including changing all online records. As these projects were coming to an end, the creating of electronic records for the 14,000 pieces in the media collections was started but eventually brought to a halt due to the need to weed and automate the dental collections (10,926 books, 17,662 periodical volumes, 7,800 media pieces and 600 government documents and theses) prior to their transfer to ODCL.
Immediately following the merging of the ODCL, the media, the dental collections, and the libraries launched the new Horizon web-based integrating systems. As the first institution in DALNET and the first in the nation to migrate to a version of Horizon designed for a library consortium, UDM was placed in a major leadership position to solve many of the bugs in the system before the next institution was to migrate. UDM Libraries continue to play a leadership role in this consortium, e.g., the only member with an image database, the only member with a Re:Search portal.
In 1997, a new vision, mission, and technology plan was created for the LRC and the LMC. The new plan included a phased change in the focus of these departments moving from audiovisual equipment delivery or projection, graphics production, and video production to truly serving faculty as an information hub for media and technology related curricular issues. This refocusing of the two units into the Instructional Design Studios has precipitated the integration of technology into courses, has helped faculty develop or upgrade their technology skills, thus offering the impetus to improve teaching and learning through the use of new technologies.
In January 2002, as part of the prioritization process recommendations, the merging of the ODCL collections into the McNCL was mandated. With insufficient space available in the McNCL to house both collections, the prioritization decision necessitated a series of actions, including the weeding and disposal of over 107,000 volumes in the two libraries, removal of walls in the McNCL basement stacks to make room for the nursing, health science, and teaching/learning aids collections, the building of group study rooms, constructing offices for the reference personnel, etc. All resources except dental materials were moved by 9/2003. Space planning became more complicated when the decision to delay until 8/2004 the move of the nursing and health science resources was made.
Late in 2003, it was determined that the dental collections would be moved from the ODCL into the lower level of the Ward Conference Center from Summer '04 until being transferred to another location by Fall 2007. The move to the Ward Conference Center was completed during Summer '04, and the Dental Library opened in its new location at the beginning of the Fall Term. In Fall 2008 the dental collection was moved into a separate Dental Library on the second floor of the new School of Dentistry comples on Martin Luther King Blvd.
One half of the second floor mezzanine became the new location of the University Archives.
The Librarian status within the University was changed from administrators to Librarian-Faculty when the UDPU voted to unionize in 1975. At consolidation, the status of Outer Drive librarians was also changed.
Margaret E. Auer, Director of Libraries 1981-1992, Dean of Libraries/Instructional Design Studio, 1992-
Gary Denue, 1976-1981
Robert J. Kearns, S.J., 1961-1976
Homer Matlin, S.J., 1960-1961
Daniel J. Reed, 1954-1960
William H. Dehler, S.J., 1951-1954
Daniel M. O'Connell, S.J., 1947-1951
Marshall L. Lochbiler, S.J., 1939-1944
John A. Krance, S.J., 1937-1939
Edward S. Bergin, S.J., 1928-1937
School of Dentistry Library
Marilyn Dow, Interim Director 10/2009-6/2010, Director, 2010-
Marie-Lise Antoun, Interim Director 8/2008-8/2009, Director, 8/2009-10/2009
JoAnn Chalmers, 2004-2008
Dental collection merged with Outer Drive Campus Library 1997-2004
Agnes Shoup, 1986-1997
Victor DeSchryver, unknown-1986