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Records of the Ezra Lehman Memorial Library

 Record Group
Identifier: RG-013

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the activities of the Ezra Lehman Memorial Library from the time the first official library was built in 1932. The records of the library date from 1938-2020 with the bulk of materials dated 1963-2010. The records consist of minutes, correspondence, reports, architectural plans, budgets, self-studies, and statistics. They include materials from departments within the library including those that no longer exist. Each of those departments are described in detail in each series description. The record group is divided into 16 series that include Series 1 (Administration), Series 2 (Strategic Planning), Series 3 (Library Assessment), Series 4 (Reports), Series 5 (Systems), Series 6 (General Business), Series 7 (Faculty), Series 8 (Personnel), Series 9 (Archives and Special Collections), Series 10 (Technical Services), Series 11 (Access Services), Series 12 (Media Services), Series 13 (Events), Series 14 (Committees), Series 15 (Associations), and Series 16 (New Library). The contents of each series are organized alphabetically. Most records of the library are now created and stored electronically on the library S-drive.


  • 1938-2022, bulk 1963-2010

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research. Folders that are restricted are noted at the file level.

Biographical / Historical

The library of Shippensburg University is central to the learning environment across campus. It serves as a place for study and research to enhance the education experience. Members of the campus community have access to a variety of services that include access to print books, journals, DVDs, CDs, newspapers, maps, and reference materials in addition to electronic journals, ebooks, and digital audio and video resources online. Other services include research assistance, library classroom instruction, interlibrary loan, printing and scanning services, access to study and meeting rooms equipped with smartboards and other technology, accessible computer labs, a one-touch studio for presentation practice, exhibit space, various programming including presentations by faculty and community members, and many organized events to celebrate special occasions, relieve stress, and to help support student needs in a wholistic way. Services will change to suit the needs of the campus community.

The library was first established in 1873 and was located in a room of the chapel in Old Main. Initial holdings consisted of reference books, a few periodicals, and some literature that was all donated. A list of these collections can be found in the 1873-1874 Catalogue on pages 32-34. Principal, Ezra Lehman (1913-1928) pushed hard to move the growing library to its own building. His initial proposal was in 1927 shortly after the school went from a 2-year degree program to a 4-year degree program. The new library was constructed and named the Ezra Lehman Memorial Library and began operation in 1932. The library was housed in the new building, known now as the Huber Art Center, until 1968 when the current Ezra Lehman Memorial Building was dedicated and opened for business. The Lehman family continued to be active participants in the support of the library for many years and are still highly esteemed. This new library enabled expanded library collections and services. It was placed in the center of campus where it would be easily accessible to all members of the campus community.

Technological changes resulted in a continued growth of services in the library. The first automated system was built into the 1968 new building construction. This was the Dial Access Retrieval System (DAIRS) that was installed in 1967 and was used until late 1977. DAIRS used taped programs and video recording to assist with instruction. In 1974 a computerized Circulation Control System was installed for automation of circulation services. The card catalog was also eventually automated when printed records were no longer needed because the use of OCLC (Online Computer Library System) computerized them. It was OCLC that led to the systemized process of cataloging and circulation functions. OCLC is a leading worldwide cooperative today. The library incorporated the use of an integrated library system for the first time in the late 1980s. This made it possible to perform all library functions within one system, which was named PALS. PALS was replaced in 1997 with a more comprehensive integrated system called Voyager. Voyager was replaced in 2017 with Alma. Alma revolutionized the process for software updates to the library system, it was the first cloud-based system implemented by the library. This enabled automatic monthly updates by the vendor without any action needed from library staff. Alma is accessible through the web with no individual client installations needed on staff or faculty computers, this allows library employees to access Alma from any computer with an internet connection. Alma also changed the way that electronic resources are cataloged and included tools for archives/digitized records and worked with several different cataloging languages in anticipation of changes to cataloging including Dublin Core and linked data.

The library began as a singular entity on campus answering only to the principal or president of the college. During the early 21st century, it was integrated into the Vice President Information Technologies and Services division, which no longer exists. In 2019 it was moved under the auspices of the Provost and Executive Vice President division, who has authority over all functions of the library. The records of the library were constructed into a record group separate from that of the Provost because it is a large collection that will continue to grow. The organizational structure within the library has changed a few times since it first began. Initially, the library had a librarian who managed all the business of the library and was the only employee. When the new library was built in 1932, two-three employees were added to assist the librarian. Alma Winton, was named the head librarian at that time was chiefly responsible for all operations. Miss Winton was highly valued in her role and was instrumental in the successful transition to the new building. As collections and services increased so did the need for additional librarians and paraprofessionals. Around 1978 the title of Head Librarian was changed to Director whose duties increased beyond library work to include administrative duties. The title of Director changed to Dean in 1989. Librarians and library workers were all referred to as library personnel/staff until librarians received faculty status in the 1970s. Paraprofessional workers in the library were then designed as staff separate from faculty (librarians).


18.4 Linear Feet (53 archives boxes, 2 oversize archives boxes)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

This record group was received by Archives & Special Collections as a records transfer from the offices and departments within the library from the offices and departments within the library.


Further accruals are expected.


Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from Shippensburg University Archives and Sepcial Collections. Contact the archivist for more information.

Processing Information

The library records are housed in their own record group because the library did not join under a division until early in the 21st century. The collection remains as its own record group following original provanance. The organizational structure of the library is noted in the Administrative History note.
Ezra Lehman Memorial Library
Melanie Reed
February 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Shippensburg University Archives & Special Collections Repository

Ezra Lehman Memorial Library room 207
Shippensburg University of PA
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg PA 17257
717-477-1123 x3357