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Odegaard 1972-1997 (25th Anniversary)



25th Anniversary Celebration


Odegaard Undergraduate Library Looks to the Future
on its 25th Anniversary



thOutsideOUGLThe Odegaard Undergraduate Library at the University of Washington celebrated its 25th anniversary on November 19, 1997 with the dedication of the UWired Commons, the largest drop-in computing center on campus, and a tribute to Dr. Charles E. Odegaard, former university president (1958-1973), and visionary for the library that bears his name. The presence of the 240-seat computing lab, located on the second floor of the library, was a perfect backdrop for ceremonies that celebrated the continually evolving nature of library service to undergraduates.

Former Odegaard director Paula Walker penned the occasion of the 25th Anniversary a history of the Odegaard Undergraduate Library.




Credit: Anita Lorene Smith


25th Anniversary Celebration


Jill3 As a tribute to how library and information service has changed over the past quarter of a century, it is only fitting that the occasion be a joint celebration with current students, who helped fund the new computers in the lab from the newly implemented Student Technology Fee, and the principal partners of UWired: the University Libraries, Computing & Communications, the office of Undergraduate Education, and UW Educational Outreach. Innovative programs like UWired, that enhance undergraduate education by bringing technology into the service of teaching and learning, are an integral part is at the heart of library service today.

As Paula Walker, former head of Odegaard Undergraduate Library, discovered in researching the history of the library, planners did think about technology and its role over thirty years ago:

"The Library Long-Range Development Plan," dated December 10, 1964, notes the section on the Undergraduate Library that space should be provided for a computational facility even though its functions are not immediately applicable to an undergraduate library. Use for such instruments is not distant; space adequately wired and insulated for such purposes does not now exist in the University Library and the opportunity of providing such space de novo will spare expensive remodeling later. "Unfortunately, the funding for the Undergraduate Library as it was built did not allow for this farsighted planning."

Computing functions are now as much an integral part of library service for students, faculty, and staff as providing a quiet place to study or read. Students and faculty now come to the library for access to online information resources, participate in online class discussions, consult class syllabi, and submit homework or projects electronically from the lab.

Since its inception in 1994, UWired has grown from a pilot project for a small number of incoming freshmen to a campus-wide initiative that serves thousands of students and hundreds of faculty. In addition to a 240-seat computing lab, UWired has hands-on teaching facilities, called "collaboratories" with two model configurations: one of collaborative 6 tables of four workstations each; or a more linear design with well- designed instructional tables and instructor station for a class of up to 24.

UWired also has an extensive training and workshop program for faculty, teaching assistants, and librarians housed in the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology, also located on the second floor of the library.

One of the many benefits of placing the lab within the libraries is the physical proximity. Everyday, over 5,600 students, faculty and staff come to the undergraduate library and most of them will head to this magnificent new lab at least once during the day.

Louis Fox, Vice Provost for Educational Partnerships, sees locating the Commons in the library as particularly advantageous. "An 'information commons' is more than just a computer lab where you can get help when you are having trouble with the software," he says. "Students can consult not only with computing professionals, but with librarians--the campus information experts--who can help them think of research strategies that include traditional print as well as online resources."

- Jill McKinstry
Head, Odegaard Undergraduate Library

Before OUGL

25th Anniversary Celebration

Before Odegaard Undergraduate Library

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The first Undergraduate Library opened as part of the 1963 addition to the Suzzallo Library. The new library would be a place undergraduates can call their own, stated Kenneth Allen, Associate Director of Libraries. The Library was located on the Ground floor of Suzzallo, in what is now the Suzzallo Reference area. Collecting for the new library started in 1962. Using the expertise of over 125 U.W. faculty, and a special appropriation from the University Administration of $137,920, 55,000 books, 300 serial titles, and a reference collection of 1500 books were purchased. These volumes, along with 20,000 volumes in a separate Reserve Book collection, were all in place when the Undergraduate Library opened. Three reference librarians, a head librarian, and six library assistants helped students to use the new library.





25th Anniversary Celebration

1969--Construction Begins...and Continues

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From the beginning of the undergraduate library plans included eventually erecting a separate building to house the collection and to offer services tailored to undergraduates. In December, 1965 the University Administration confirmed this commitment, and estimated the cost of a new building at $4.5 million. The building, part of a large complex of three buildings, was started in 1969. The Seattle architectural firm of Kirk, Wallace, McKinley and Associates designed the new library.  The Undergraduate Library was established to provide the bulk of materials needed by most undergraduate students in one location.  Undergraduate librarians, through reference service and library instruction, would aid students in seeking more specialized books and journals in other campus libraries.  The Media Center provided access to course-related audio-visual materials in all subject areas. The Center immediately proved popular with undergraduates.  The final cost of the building, including the interior finishing, the furnishings, and the food services floor, totaled $6.3 million.


click.gif (pdf file) for more information about the new building:



25th Anniversary Celebration

1972--Undergraduate Library Opens


News of the new library



The move to the new building took place December 16-31, 1971, so the library would be open for the beginning of winter quarter, January 2, 1972. As shown in the Daily article from January 18, not all of the furnishings arrived by opening day. Some of the reactions to the new library included:

--The carpeting is great!! Don’t put any chairs in; it’s great to sit on the carpet. It’s so easy to find books here.

--Never felt like I could study in the old place, but I really think I can here. All my life Ihave tried to figure out how to get out of a library as fast as possible; now I try to stay longer. Doesn’t even look like a library.

--The Media Center makes me want to go back to college again (from a University official visiting the library).

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A brand new library


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At the time of the move, the building was called the Undergraduate Library. In May, 1973, the University Regents renamed the building the Odegaard Undergraduate Library to honor President Charles Odegaard in a tribute to him for his service at the University of Washington. During the last 25 years the resources, collections, staff, and technologies of the library have changed. One constant remains: a dedication to assist the undergraduate students at the University of Washington.




25th Anniversary Celebration

The Early 1970s Signs of the times

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The UW in the early seventies was, in the words of the Tyee, a time of "construction and destruction". While common place buildings nowadays were being constructed, such as Kane, Odegaard, Schmitz, Meany and Red Square, there was a strong feeling of unrest on campus. In 1969 the entrance to the Administration Building (now Gerberding Hall) was blasted open with explosives (believed to contain nitroglycerine). Demonstrations were held to protest "discriminatory hiring practices" by the contractors. The Vietnam war was slowly coming to a close and anti-war sentiment was running high, coupled with recent layoffs by Boeing. Clark Hall was made the target of a couple attacks, arson in 1968 and a bomb in 1970 from a group calling itself the "Quarter Moon Tribe of the Woodstock Nation".

What was happening

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25th Anniversary Celebration

1997--Anniversary Celebration



The Twenty-Fifth anniversary celebration was held on November 19th, 1997 at 10:00 a.m.    Celebration Photos

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View the invitation to OUGL's 25th anniversary celebration and some memories


"The Odegaard Undergraduate Library stands as the embodiment of the University of Washington's commitment to undergraduate education. The teaching of undergraduates has always been an important part of the mission of the University of Washington, and library service to undergraduate students reflects these University concerns. Many of the past UW Presidents have taken a personal and active interest in supporting the expansion of the collections and the facilities of the University libraries. But it was Charles E. Odegaard (President from 1958-1973), whose vision, leadership, and continual support for an undergraduate library resulted in the construction of the library building later named in his honor."*

Paula Walker
Assistant Director of Libraries

President McCormick attended and cut the ribbon for the opening of the commons.gif
Charles Odegaard was also in attendance. Popular music from the seventies was played through the PA system and guests enjoyed coffee and bagels generously donated by Housing & Food Services at the reception following the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

*Walker, Paula. History of the Undergraduate Library at the University of Washington: Written on the Occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the Construction of the Odegaard Undergraduate Library. .University of Washington Libraries, November 1997.
Available in Special Collections at the University of Washington. Z675.U5 W341 1997.





25th Anniversary Celebration

Memories of the Early Days at Odegaard Undergraduate Library