The Chemistry Library serves the chemical research needs for the students, faculty, and staff of the Deptartments of Chemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry.
By Gary Wiggins
The core collection of the original Chemistry Library was donated by Dr. Robert Edward Lyons around 1895. Most of those early works are still in the book collection with his book plates on them. From 1895-1931, the Chemistry Library was housed in a room in Wylie Hall. It was moved to the ground floor of the new Chemistry Building in the early 1930s. The library was extensively remodeled and enlarged around 1965, and the present quarters were occupied during the remodeling and expansion of the Chemistry Building in the early 1990s.
The Chemistry Library has long been an early adopter of new information technology. It was the first unit on campus to have a photocopy machine and the first to have a CD-ROM player. An innovative current awareness service based on the Chemical Abstracts tapes was offered for a number of years during the 1970s, initially through ARAC (the Aerospace Research Applications Center), then through the Chemical Information Center (CIC). Housed in the library, the CIC was the first unit on campus, and indeed in the entire state of Indiana, to offer online searching of remote databases through the Dialog and Orbit systems. Miriam Bonham, wife of Emeritus Professor Russell A. Bonham, was the expert searcher who initially provided the service. A complete microfilming unit was part of the CIC operations for many years, providing compact archival storage for laboratory notebooks and Molecular Structure Center reports.
In 1985, the Chemistry Library was one of the first in the world to offer the Chemical Abstracts Service Academic Program that permits low-cost searching of the CAS ONLINE files. For 10 years, this service was offered at no cost to the user. CAS ONLINE was replaced at IUB by SciFinder Scholar in the mid-1990s. Since July 2000, SciFinder Scholar has been available at all IU campuses 24 hours/day with full substructure searching. In combination with current subscriptions to all of the American Chemical Society journal Web editions and electronic versions of other chemistry journals (including backfiles of most of them), the SciFinder Scholar databases provide unparalleled access to the major primary and secondary sources in chemistry. Another resource that has been available to IU researchers at all campuses since its inception is the CrossFire system that includes both the Beilstein Handbook of Organic Chemistry and the Gmelin Handbook of Inorganic and Organometallic Chemistry. The Cambridge Structural Database is also provided by the Chemistry Library.
Librarians in the Chemistry Library
Chemistry Department secretaries oversaw the collection until the first librarian was hired in 1941. Since that date, there have been 13 heads of the Chemistry Library. Three of those served ten years or more.
Heads of the Library
1941-42 Mary Olive Ballou
1942-43 Ruby L. Reavis
1943-44 Norma J. Johnson
1944-46 Jewell Maurice
1946-50 Carl H. Kretzschmar
1950-58 Albrecht M. Kronenberger
1959-62 Charles C. Waddington
1962-65 Frances Zamnik
1965 Victor Basile
1966-75 John M. Knego
1976-2003 Gary D. Wiggins
2004-2014 Roger Beckman
2014- Jennifer Laherty
Full-time assistant heads of the Chemistry Library were employed from 1974 to 2004. In order of their service they were: Margaret (Green) Ryken, Leonard A. Neubert, Miriam Dye Bonham, JoAnn Keys, and Roger Beckman.
The success of the Chemistry Library in providing high-quality service to the faculty and students at IU and the citizens of the state of Indiana over the years is due to the dedication of the librarians and staff. The reputation of the IU Chemistry Library has spread far beyond the borders of Indiana and even those of the United States. It is a great tribute to the staff of the Chemistry Library that this is so.
IUB Chemistry faculty, research scientists, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students may obtain a personal key to the Chemistry Library. Please visit the Chemistry Busines Office in room C115 to obtain a key. If you fall outside of these categories, please contact Jennifer Laherty, Librarian at 812-855-5609 or email@example.com to discuss options for key access. A faculty member may also sponsor a staff member or PA to receive a key or may sign for a group key that can then be used by anyone in the research group. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to maintain the security of a group key and to support the Chemistry Library in the enforcement of the expected standards of behavior of all key holders when they are in the library after hours.
Requirements for Key holders:
- The library key is for your use only. Do not lend it to anyone or allow anyone to follow you into the library. Each person who enters the library after hours must use his or her own key or a group key.
- When the library closes each evening you must leave and re-enter the library with your personal or group key after the door is locked. It is not acceptable to show a key to the student worker who is closing the library and insist on being allowed to remain in the library. You must leave when requested and let yourself back into the library with your own or your research group’s key.
- When you enter the library after hours, turn the key to the right so the door will remain locked. Make sure the door is still locked before closing it.
- The light switches for all areas of the library are on the wall to your left after enterin.
- Nothing may be checked out after hours, so please put a note on any books you would like to take from the library stating that you will be back for them the next day. When you return, take the books to the circulation desk, and we will check them out to you. If they are left without a note, the student worker will re-shelve them.
- If you bring food or covered beverages into the library after hours, be sure to put any refuse into the garbage can before leaving the library.
Requirements for returning your key, upon graduation or departure from IU:
- If you are IUB Chemistry faculty, research scientists, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students, please return your Chemistry Library key directly to the Chemistry Business Office. All other key holders should make arrangements before you leave with Jen Laherty (see contact information above and below).
If you have any questions about these requirements, please contact Jennifer Laherty at 812-855-5609 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.