The Progress of Our Library

1912 A meager collection of sources constituted the library holdings in a small room of the old Administration Building.
1922 The library book holdings totaled 2,000 volumes.
1925 Mrs. Martha M. Brown, a member of the first faculty, was relieved of many of her duties to take charge of a two-room library.
1926 Mrs. Brown secured a grant from the Rosenwald Fund to assist in building a new library and acquired a degree in library science.
1927 The Memorial Library was erected at a cost of $66,000.00 with a shelf space for 25,000 volumes. The first floor housed the administrative offices, a large student activity room and conference rooms. The second floor was the library proper with a seating capacity for 150 persons.
1930 The library book holdings totaled 15,000 volumes and circulation statistics totaled 80,923. The staff consisted of two full-time and six part-time workers, and practice workers of the Library Science Class. Library hours 7 :00 a. m.-9:30 p. m.
1933 The Library established a branch practice school library on the second floor for the high school and elementary students of A. and I.
1936 The Library Science Club was organized by Miss Zelma L. Redmond to develop an appreciation of how a library may contribute to the student's cultural, recreational and professional background to gain some knowledge of basic reference materials and bibliographic aids to gain ability to select books for the school library or classroom which will fit reading needs of pupils and increase their enjoyment in reading.
1940 The State Board of Education approved courses in Library Service training designed for librarians and part-time librarians in the high schools of Tennessee, as well as for junior and senior students who desired a minor in Library Service. The library book holdings totaled 25,000 volumes in addition to government documents-reference books, general and professional periodicals.
1945 Miss Lois H. Daniel was appointed the second Library Director. Mrs. Martha M. Brown became Library Consultant. Staff consisted of seven workers. Library holdings totaled 34,000 books, 300 periodicals, 30 newspapers, and more than 5,000 government documents.
1947 The State Legislature appropriated funds for the construction of an annex and renovation of the existing library building.
1948 On August 16 construction for a new library costing $667,239.00 including equipment and renovations was begun. Seating capacity provided for 850 persons including 65 individual study carrels. Ten study rooms for graduate professors adjoin the graduate study room located on the third floor. Book stacks accommodated 120,000 volumes.
1949 The T-shaped Georgian styled building was dedicated November 23 and named the Martha M. Brown Memorial Library. Staff at the time consisted of four librarians and five professional assistants.
1956 The Library offered a Noon Music Hour of classical and semi-classical music in the Music Room on the first floor. During the school year 3,569 listeners attended. Book volume count increased to 53,966.
1958 In the year of accreditation by the Southern Association, the collection contained 61,381 volumes.
1966 Library hours extended to 82 hours per week.
1967 The Library holdings were 161,395 books, 1,129 magazines, 200 serials, 890 periodical subscriptions, 41 newspapers, 1,077 micro films, 2,600 pamphlets, 500 recordings and 1,500 art slides.
1975 The book volume count increased to 224,491.
1976 The Library moved into a new $2,400,000 building with 82,000 square feet of space with special study and research facilities for faculty and graduate students and a Special Collections Room to house University historical archives, theses, dissertations and other special materials.
1977 Library of Congress classification and Management by Objectives assessment system are incorporated.
1978 The Tattle-Tape Security System (3M) was installed to curtail the loss of books. The new Library was dedicated April 21 and named the Martha M. Brown/Lois H. Daniel Library.
1979 The Southeastern Library Network (SOLINET) membership was initiated and computer terminals were installed. The landmark merger between Tennessee State University and the University of Tennessee at Nashville became effective.
1981 The Libraries engaged in a system of marketing which led to such activities as displays, book talks, exhibits, individual faculty contacts and publishing of the newsletter, the Bibliophile. Friends of the Library held their first annual banquet. The Walter Robinson Papers were presented to the Library during an impressive ceremony. DIALOG, a computer-based information retrieval service was acquired.
1982 The Dr. Thomas E. Poag papers were presented to the Library.
1983 The Library and National Alumni Association presented Unveiling Ceremonies for four distinguished TSU faculty members: Laura M. Averitte, Dr. George W. Gore, Frances E. Thompson and Lois H. Daniel.
1985 The first IBM Micro-Computer was acquired.
1986 The Library staff welcomed home former TSU Librarians and Library staff members to its Homecoming '86 Celebration.
1987 The Library Technology Committee researched various computer systems for library automation. Specifications were written and UNISYS was chosen in 1988
1988 INFOTRAC (on CD-ROM), DISCLOSURE (on CD-ROM for business), CD- ROM (compact disc information storage/retrieval) and microcomputers became an integral part of the libraries.
1989 The Library continues conversion of the Dewey book holdings to the Library of Congress classification scheme. The online catalog was made available for students and faculty to search via the terminals. Book holdings totaled 490,212 including bound periodicals and microforms. Dr. Evelyn P. Fancher retired September 30 as Library Director. Dr. Yildiz B. Binkley appointed interim Library Director.
1990 SIRSI Online Acquisitions and Serials Modules were added to the system.
1991 Dr. Yildiz Binkley was appointed as the University's fourth Library Director.
CD-ROM Multiplatter system was installed which culminated in the Local Area Network.
1992 The Library is awarded a three-year grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE), U.S. Department of Education, to establish the Computer Resource Equity of Access in Tennessee Education (CREATE) Network, a consortium of Tennessee HBCU libraries.
1993 The Library is awarded a two-year grant from the National Security Agency to establish a computer skills laboratory to serve inner-city children via Saturday training workshops.
Library MARC records were migrated to DEC ALPHA.
1994 OCLC AMIGOS Collection Analyses System was purchased for collection development in addition to Carl/Uncover and concise Engineering index and Health Reference Center on CD-ROM.
The Library's online catalog becomes available on the Internet. Library faculty and staff participate in Tennessee Board of Regents and State Department of Education project training School Librarians in the use of the Internet.
1995 The library increases its CD-ROM database collection.
The Library Art Corner was established.
Government Publications Office Online Access became available.
The Library creates Internet/World-Wide Web Homepage.
1996 INFOTRAC databases were offered on line for wider use.
Online access to journal information becomes available on the Library Homepage.
First library computer lab established in the Reference Department.
The Library installs a security system equipped with motion sensors, video cameras and alarms.

The library adapts the Data Resource Associates (DRA) online system, which includes interfaces for circulation, acquisitions, cataloging, and other library service applications.
The Library begins digitizing archival and non-copyrighted materials.
The Library becomes a charter member of the Nashville Area Library Alliance (NALA), a consortium of college/university libraries, the Public Library of Nashville and Davidson County, and public school libraries. Tennessee State University is also an active participant in the consortium's Project ATHENA, which provides linkages among the institutions in the consortium's Project ATHENA, which provides linkages among the institutions' online catalogs and expedited document delivery via express courier service.
Dr. Yildiz B. Binkley becomes President's elect of NALA.
The second computer lab was established on the third floor.

Library reached out to Shoney’s Company and assisted them in cataloging and automating their collection of training and self-development materials for easy access.

1998 The Library becomes a participant in the Tennessee Academic Library Collaborative (TALC), which is comprised of libraries in the State University and Community College System of Tennessee and the University of Tennessee System.
Dr. Murle Kenerson was appointed Assistant Director of Administrative & User Services.
Renovation of the Brown-Daniel Library begins with total reconstruction of the first floor.
Four online databases were added to the collection--Lexis-Nexis, PsycInfo, Edgar database of Corporate Information, and Columbia International Affairs on Line.
Dr. Yildiz B. Binkley and Barbara Vanhooser initiate the Internet training at the Kingston Springs and Ashland City Public Libraries
1999 The Library partners with Cheekwood, Nashville Institute for the Arts, The Parthenon, Tennessee State Museum and the Frist Center for the Visual Arts to provide in-service for the Art Specialists in Metro Nashville Schools. The Library Homepage is updated and expanded by Mrs. Estella Whitaker, Assistant to the Director of Libraries and Media Centers, and Web Master, to include TSU Building Programs, College Information, Black History Resources, Off-Campus Services, Library Policies and Procedures, Books in Print, New Online Databases, Online Forms, Virtual Reference Desk, African Americans in Tennessee, Media Center Homepage, Cataloging Department Homepage and C.B. Robinson Papers. First floor of the Main Campus Library and Williams Campus Library are renovated. Collections of C.B. Robinson and Coach Edward Temple are moved to separate rooms on the third floor of the Main Campus Library. Library Webmaster, Estella Whitaker provides online reserves for faculty to provide access to syllabi and study notes. The Library receives one recommendation from SACS concerning additional resources to build a comprehensive graduate collection.
2000 The Library adds ABI/Inform Global, EBSCOhost, BIOSIS, Tax Research Service, FIS Online, Sigma Theta Tau International, ABC-CLIO, EI Engineering Village, Gender Watch (Women's Studies), ISI Basic Science Index, Facts on File, African American Studies, International Index to Black Periodicals, International Index to Performing Acts, International Index Music Periodicals and Literature Online.
The Library creates an Online Art Gallery featuring artwork of local artists. The Library establishes electronic classroom with Title III funds on third floor of the Main Campus Library.
The Library provides access to electronic books (eBooks) in cooperation with SOLINET and net Library for over 10,000 books online.
The Library becomes a Founding Member of the OCLC Cooperative Online Resource Catalog (CORC) and participates in SOLINET's CORC to catalog selected internet sites and make them accessible through the Library's online catalog.
The Library Reference Department develops PowerPoint presentations for online access in disciplines that include Humanities, Psychology, Allied Health, Literature, Computer Science and Government Documents.
The Library (Yildiz Binkley, Estella Whitaker, Sharon Hull, and Fletcher Moon) receive Innovation Award from TBR Distance Education Committee for digital project.
2001 Technical Processing area is reorganized.
The new area, Collection Management, includes Acquisitions, Cataloging and Serials and is headed by Coordinator Glenda Alvin.
The Serials and Acquisitions Departments are merged. Glenda Alvin is the head of the newly merged department. The second floor of the Library is carpeted.
The Library provides access to 14,103 electronic books (e-books) in cooperation with SOLINET through the netLibrary system.
2002 The Library receives $124,000 from technology access fees and a matching $124,000 from Title III to redesign the Reference/Information center/area on the second floor.
These funds also support the upgrading of computer hardware used by students and other users, new carpeting for the third floor, installation of blinds and painting of walls and columns.
The Library installs antennas for wireless laptop use on all three floors.
The Library participates in Freedom Trek III, a collaborative celebration of Booker T. Washington involving HBCU's and tourism agencies in TN, AL, KY, VA and W. VA Docutek Electronic Reserve system added to the Library's services.
Ask A Librarian, an online and e-mail virtual reference service, made available to users for real-time computer transactions.
2003 The Library receives $235,000 from Technology Access Fee Fund to write a RFP and select a new integrated library system. Both campus libraries install antennas for wireless laptops and begin to circulate laptops for student use. The Avon Williams Campus Library receives a 14-pc computer lab. The Avon Williams Campus Media Center receives a 15-pc computer lab. The Library begins providing online access to periodical holdings via Serial Solutions. The Library establishes a Book Club for faculty, students and staff. The Library establishes periodical and book browsing areas.
2004 The Main Campus Library receives new lights as part of a State of Tennessee project.
Glenda Alvin was appointed Assistant Director of Collection Management and Administration.
Main Campus Library receives new furniture for users and staff on the second and third floors. (December)
2005 New Integrated Library System - Innovative Interfaces Implemented.
Retrospective Conversion Project from Dewey Decimal to Library of Congress classification system completed.
Main Campus Library Computer Labs PCs on the second floor upgraded. Library staff PCs upgraded.
New furniture for public areas and staff purchased.
Avon Williams Campus Library renovation began.
Library's web page migrated to the University's new SQL based system.
Library's electronic resources collection increased by 24 databases, 4 newspapers and 12 electronic book collections.
Xuemei Ge and Vandy Owen received their Master of Information Sciences degrees from University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
Dr. Murle Kenerson, assistant director of Public Services, took a leave of absence for two years to work at American University in Cairo, Egypt as head of reference.
2006 Library second floor Computer Lab was extended from 38 PCs to 66 PCs.
New computer furniture was purchased. Library participated in the HBCU Library Alliance Leadership Project with nine other libraries, represented by Dr. Yildiz B. Binkley and Ms. Glenda Alvin.
Library participated in the HBCU Library Alliance Digital Project funded by Mellon Foundation and assisted by Cornell University.
Mrs. Sharon Hull Smith was trained in Atlanta. Other participants are Mrs. Loretta Divens and Mrs. Estella Whitaker. E-Research@ Tennessee State University, an institutional repository of research, was initiated. WebBridge, an online search engine, was introduced as part of the Innovative Interfaces Integrated Library System for in-depth searches. MetaFind, Innovative Interfaces web-based search tool that enables users to search multiple electronic resources, was introduced.Library's Online Catalog (OPAC) was redesigned. Library's second smart classroom was completed.
2007 Renovation of the Conference Room at the Main Campus including electronic presentation system.
Virtual Tour of the Library. Embedded Librarian Program initiated.
The Library participated in the HBCU Library Alliance Photograph Preservation project funded by the Melon Foundation and in cooperation with University of Delaware.
The Multimedia Studio that provides various software and hardware for presentations and research began service at the Main Campus Media Center in Fall 2007.
The title Director of Libraries and Media Centers was changed to Dean of Libraries and Media Centers.

The Embedded Librarian Program that provides collaboration with faculty in teaching Information literacy skills via online, on ground and/or hybrid courses began in January 2008.
The first Embedded Librarian is Mrs. Barbara Van Hooser and the first course utilizing this service is English 1020 taught by Dr. Samantha Morgan-Curtis.
Mrs. Estelle Whitaker, Assistant to the Library Dean and Web Master, retired in December 2008 after more than thirty years of service to the University.
An online course on 1001 Library Literacy was developed by Dr. Murle Kenerson, Assistant Director of Public Services, and the Reference librarians. This course is available via library's web site.
The Library participated in the Big Read, an initiative of the national Endowment for the Arts designed to revitalize the role of literary reading in American popular culture.
Ray Bradbury's book Fahrenheit 451 was chosen for the project.
The Tennessee State University Library was among the first ten institutions to participate in the Photographic Preservation Grant. This is a $60,000 grant where funds are used for training and preservation activities.
Two library staff members were trained in the preservation techniques and in turn they trained students in the Special Collections Area.
Through this grant two large historical pictures: Coach Temple and the Tigerbelles, and 1949 graduating class are being preserved in Philadelphia Historical Conservation.
Ms. Ronda Hunter, Library Assistant III in the Reference Department resigned to accept another position in Spring 2008. Ronda's successor is Mr. Michael Doster and he was hired in September 2008.
The Library began spotlighting Tennessee State University faculty and staff, and their published books on its Web page under Spotlight on TSU Authors.


Mrs. Annette Pilcher, Head of Circulation Department and Mr. Kirk Kirkwood Library Assistant III in Circulation Department took the Buy-Out and retired in August 2009.
Acquisitions Department added the system's EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) feature to its module. This feature allows the Library to pay its entire journal subscriptions via invoice data transmitted directly from the vendor. In addition, EDI was used for the first time with Midwest Library Services to expedite receiving and paying book invoices. Both trials were so successful that the department is planning to use EDI with all of its book vendors. The current print periodicals located in the Main Campus Library were reorganized for improved accessibility by call number order.
A by-product of this arrangement is that related subject are within the same subject field using the Library of Congress Classification.
The access is via the Library's online catalog, TIGRIS. For the first time the library began to inventory the book collection via scanners. The process not only inventories the collection but it also matches the books to the records in the online catalog. Thus, the online catalog has accurate holdings information.
Dr. Yildiz B. Binkley, Dean of the Libraries worked with her co-chair Mrs. Inga Fillipo, Austin Peay State University, to process the archival materials of Tennessee Library Association. These materials will be microfilmed and then digitized. The Library begins using Twitter to communicate with students, faculty, staff and library friends.
Library has a presence in Twitter and Facebook. Library initiated a news blog.(11/09/2009)
Mr. Phil Yan joined the Library staff as the Library Web Master。
Three Library faculty members, Dr. Yildiz B. Binkley, Xuemei Ge, and Barbara Van Hooser, were named TBR Mobilists by TBR E-Learning and Mobilization to evaluate apps for various disciplines.


Reaffirmation of Accreditation visit by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools took place in March 23-25. Library had no recommendations.
Dr. Yildiz B. Binkley was elected chairperson of NALA (Nashville Area Library Alliance)
Mr. Anthony Prince joined the Library as the cataloger。
Library created its Centennial web site by Mr. Phil Yan, Library Web Master.


Library introduced Encore- enhanced access to information; AirPac- mobile access to the online catalog; and Express lane- for self check-out of library materials.
Multi-media learning Commons established to provide students with a space for collaborative work via DELLs, Apples, a variety of software and equipment.
Library began providing Mobile Access to its resources and service
Learning Commons for collaborative work  established on the 2nd floor of the Main Campus Library
Library’s Innovative Interfaces server was updated
Library signed up for Sierra, an update of the Millennium via Innovative Interfaces
Dr. Helen Chen retired from the Avon Williams Campus after 32 years of service
The Library celebrates 100 years of service.
The theme of the University’s 100th birthday, Sustaining the Legacy through
Excellence, Resilience and Unity" was penned by Dr. Murle Kenerson, Assistant Director of Public Services and Administration.


Library celebrated its 100th anniversary along with the University on April 17, 2012 with a program from 11:00am-1:00pm.
Mrs. Gloria Turner, custodian, passed away in Spring 2012 Semester.
Research Guides were developed by library faculty with assistance from Ms. Glenda Alvin and Dr. Murle Kenerson.
Library began providing mobile access to online databases and research guides.
Digital Repository, Digital Scholarship @ Tennessee State University, reinstated.
Library became member of Firefly, statewide resource sharing program.
Dr. Yildiz B. Binkley became member of the Tennessee Board of Regents Executive Mobilization Committee and Tennessee State University Mobilization Committee.
Dr. Janet Walsh was named the Coordinator of Avon Williams Campus Library during 2012 Fall semester.
Library was invited to be Beta Partner for Encore 5.0 by Innovative Interfaces, library’s integrated library system.


Created an app to access the Library resources and services using the D2L software. This app will be used as an example of a library app by D2L.
Installed Air Server to selected laptops in the Library’s smart classrooms and the conference room to accommodate teaching Information Literacy courses via iPads.
Finalized the plans with Facilities and CIT for the expansion of the Multimedia Learning Commons at the Main Campus Library. Construction will begin in May 2013.
Provided access to selected databases and research guides along with online catalog, and pertinent information via mobile devices.
Library was chosen by Innovative Interfaces to be one of the Beta sites for its integrated library system to evaluate their new update for Encore module. The assessment of the software has begun.
Library upgraded its integrated library system from Innovative Interfaces’ Millennium software to its new software, Sierra.
Library participated in the International Student Exchange program with Turkish Republic. Library participated in the TSU Technology Showcase to demonstrate information technologies used in the TSU Libraries. The Media center created a digital poster for the Library.
Library began providing chargers for student mobile devices.
Main Campus Library installed two stand-alone chargers with eight plugs for student mobile devices on the first and second floors.
Chargers for mobile devices are installed on the first and second floors of the Main Campus Library.


The library provide exhibits items which included photographs, histories and/or chronologies of events for the 1890’s 125th Anniversary Celebration in Washington D.C.

Information Technology updated and replaced computers with touchscreen monitors. Also the latest software Microsoft Office, IBM SPSS, Lock down Browsers, etc.

The library transition to the University’s new electronic Events Management System for booking and scheduling library classrooms and conference rooms.

Circulation began the inventory of the circulating collection using Circa.

EBSCO Usage Consolidation was implanted to maintain statistics on all journals via A-Z.

Dr. Janet Walsh and Mrs. Joyce Radcliff hosted several art exhibits, authors and informal teas in the library at Avon Williams.

On June 19, 2014 Barbara Taylor Head, Cataloging Librarian retired after 28 years of service.

On June 19, 2014 Shirley Ann Wallace Library Assistant II retired after 12 years of service.


The library received TSU alumnus and former professor Dr. Bobby Jones memorabilia for his library display.

Dr. Damion Thomas, sport curator of the Smithsonian Institution research memorabilia to be displayed in the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Displayed would be memorabilia on TSU sports legends such as Wilma Rudolph, Ed Temple, Catana Starks, John McClendon, and other for inclusion into the museum.

The Library provided extensive use of the Avon Williams Collection to Dr. Ansley T. Erickson of Columbia University to complete and publish her book Making the Unequal Metropolis: School Desegregation and Its Limits.

The Library migrated from EBSCO A-Z to its new product Full Text Finder.

The Library implemented BrowZine (, a new service to read and follow library’s scholarly journals from an Android and iOS mobile device.

Lisa Parrish transferred from Cataloging Department to Special Collections.

Jarvis Sheffield started work as a Library Assistant III staff member on April 18, 2015.

August 28, 2015, the Edward S. Temple Statue was dedicated at the First Tennessee Baseball Park.

Loretta Divens retired after 15 years of services in Special Collections.


On July 1, 2016 Ms. Glenda Alvin became the incoming 2017 Convener for the African American Studies Librarian Interest Group.

The main campus library experienced a flood incident in September 2016.

The Library maintains permanent displays for our beloved Coach Edward S. Temple who passed away on September 22, 2016.

Mrs. Anita M. Etheridge, Reference/Government Documents Librarian retired with over 30 years of service.


January 2017 the library received official notification from the Government Publishing Office. It marks 45 years that Tennessee State University became a part of the Federal Depository Libraries Program (FDLP).

February 2017 we welcomed Angel Sloss as Assistant Professor and Reference/Government Documents Librarian.

Ms. Lynetta Alexander, Reference Librarian retired on July 5, 2017 with over 21 years of service.

Dr. Janet Walsh, Avon Williams Library Coordinator resigned on July 31, 2017 with nearly 5 years of service.

The Library welcomed to Reference Librarians Conrad Pegues and Toccara Porter.

Mr. Jarvis Sheffield proposal of a Makerspace, became an addition to the library. 

October 11, 2017 Ms. Vance-Cooks attended the library to commemorate this milestone.

  The Library welcomes Rodney Freeman as the Library Coordinator for Avon Williams Campus.


The Library bids farewell to retirees Paulette Calhoun-Covington with 25 years of service and Nancy Henthorne with 22 years of services

  Mrs. Barbara Vanhooser, Reference Librarian/Embedded Librarian retired June 21, 2018 with over 26 years of service.

Dr. Karen Gupton, Media Coordinator retired August 2, 2018 with 29 years of service.

Mr. Jarvis B. Sheffield became the Coordinator for the Media Center.

  The Library Catalog department welcomed Anna Presley Dryer, Catalog Librarian. 


Ms. Elaine Brown retired after her 27 years of service.

  Dr. Murle E. Kenerson, Interim Dean of Libraries and Media Centers retired with over 35 years of service.

Ms. Glenda M. Alvin became Interim Executive Director of Libraries and Media Centers on August 1, 2019.

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