History of Midlands Technical College Library
History of Midlands Technical College

The first fulltime librarian and one library assistant were hired in the fall of 1966 at Richland Tec located on Beltline Boulevard. Prior to this time, a group or faculty members handled book orders based on the requests of faculty. Procedures were established for ordering books and part-time professional help was obtained for cataloging materials. There were approximately 1,800 books in the collection.

The library collection grew from 1, 800 books in June 1966 to 14,274 books in June 1968. The books were selected to support the curriculum and some recreational titles were included. The reference collection was expanded and updated. Periodicals, periodical indexes, microfilm and a microfilm reader/printer were purchased during these years.

On October 15, 1967 the library was moved from the administration building to the Library Building. There were approximately 100 seats for library users and the book stacks held about 22,000 volumes. The periodical shelves held about 130 titles and office space and a workroom were part of the library.

The first SACS team visited the library in April 1968. The library was found to be adequate given the short period of existence. There were recommendations for more staff, a plan for expansion and continued development of the collection.

The Airport Campus Library was created in 1974 when Richland Tec merged with Columbia Technical Education Center and Palmer College. There was a third library at the Palmer College location on Laurel Street for a short period of time. The library collection was approximately 44,500 books at this time. The College acquired the Harbison Campus in the early eighties and there was a library located in the Harbison House for about two years. When the library was dissolved in 1983 the collection was divided between the Airport and Beltline libraries.

The Airport Library was renovated in 1977 and the Beltline Library was renovated in 1978. A new library was opened on the Airport Campus in 1989. In 1992-1993 the Beltline Library’ furniture was reupholstered and the carpet was replaced. The Airport Library was named for Albin S. Johnson in October 1997. Mr. Johnson served the College as an Area Commissioner and the library was named in his honor after his untimely death. New furniture was purchased for the Beltline Library in 1997-1998. With the renovations and the construction of the new Airport Library, the libraries have approximately 20,000 square feet of space and over 80,000 volumes in the collection.

The library added weekend hours in the late 1980’s and the library staff has doubled since 1994. The library automated circulation and created an online catalog in 1988-1989. Acquisitions and serials were automated in the early ‘90’s. Digital indexes were introduced and cdroms were added to the collection from 1989 through 1994.

Internet and Web access became available and fulltext databases were added to the library’s resources. The library serves well over 100,00 users per year and circulation of materials is over 40,000 items per year.

Marilyn Hook
Julie Roberson
Fall 2000

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