LIBRARY VISION, MISSION, AND HISTORY
The James A. Rogers Library serves as a gateway to knowledge and information; support excellence in learning and research; and strives to make information literacy a lifelong endeavor for all patrons.
The Library serves the pursuit of excellence in teaching and learning by providing Francis Marion's students, faculty, staff and regional citizens with access to scholarly information and other resources. By providing this access, the Library is able to uniquely contribute to that portion of the mission of the University that stresses the University's support of scholarly pursuits in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina.
The James A. Rogers Library, named in honor of Mr. James A. Rogers, Editor Emeritus of the Florence Morning News and first chairman of the State College Board of Trustees, was the first new building on the campus of Francis Marion University (then known as Francis Marion College). The facility was planned and ground broken in 1970. The building was dedicated in 1971 and included a floor for library services and a floor for classrooms and faculty offices.
In 1975, upon the completion of Founders Hall and other facilities, all classrooms and faculty offices were relocated to other academic buildings, and the second level became library space. Circulating materials, the Arundel Collection, Bound Periodicals, and Microforms were moved to the second floor.
Named in honor of Mr. J. Mitchell Reames, the founding Director of the library, the J. Mitchell Reames Wing was added in 1988 and dedicated in 1989. The Reames Wing added 23,000 square feet to the existing 54,000 square foot Rogers facility. Bound Periodicals were shifted to the first floor of the Reames Wing, and Microforms were moved to the first floor of the Rogers building and housed immediately beyond the Reference Collection. Government Documents, the Oversize Collection and the Juvenile Collection were moved to the second level of the Rogers Library.
In 1998, Microform Services was relocated to the first floor of the Reames Wing, and a Microforms/Periodicals Service Desk was established. The E. Lorraine de MontLuzin Research Room, honoring retired history Professor Emeritus Emily Lorraine de Montluzin, was dedicated in May, 2005 and a Collaborative Learning Lab for group generated projects was established in 2008. In 2010, space on the first floor in Rogers Library was designated for the creation of an African American Collection, spotlighting titles by and about African Americans in the Pee Dee region as well as the state. The scope of the collection was later expanded to include contributions of African Americans in general.
The Library began building an electronic catalog in 1976 and first made that online catalog available to the public in 1989. Dial-in capability allowed remote access to the online catalog. In 1996, Francis Marion University was the first South Carolina institution to offer a web-based catalog. The University's web catalog currently contains over 400,000 bibliographic records. In 2007 the Library began providing access to books in electronic format and today, offers access to over 150,000 e-books.
University Academic Computing Services built a CD-ROM system for the Library in 1994. At the height of its popularity, the CD-ROM system housed more than a dozen databases and operated twenty-seven CD-ROM drives. The Library began phasing out this system in 1998 with the advent of web-based databases and totally phased out the CD towers in 1999. At present the Library provides access to over 100 databases, including numerous full-text services. Rogers Library is a member of DISCUS, Digital Information for South Carolina Users, Lyrasis, the Southeastern Library Network, the Carolinas Consortium, and PASCAL (Partnership Among South Carolina Academic Libraries.) The Library has access to millions of articles from thousands of electronic research publications, and new titles continue to be added. In addition, patrons have access to millions of volumes and can have books not currently owned by the library delivered rapidly from any academic library in the state using PASCAL Delivers.
Three librarians have served as leaders of the Library since its inception. Mr. J. Mitchell Reames, envisioned the library as a “Pivot of Excellence” and served with distinction from 1970 until his retirement in 1983. Mr. H. Paul Dove, Jr. continued the “Pivot” with distinguished service as the Director, then, Dean of the Library from 1983 until his retirement in 2008. Currently the torch continues under the leadership of 1973 alumna, Mrs. Joyce M. Durant.
Updated March 26, 2014