Library Turns 50!

Posted Mar 10, 2022

2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Courtright Memorial Library. Many events, programs, and activities are planned through 2022 to celebrate this milestone.

50thbadge Red Library

In the late 1960s, it was becoming evident that the Centennial Library, attached to the back of Towers Hall, was no longer large enough to serve the growing needs of Otterbein’s students, staff, and faculty. Under the careful guidance of Head Librarian John Becker, ‘50, a state-of-the-art facility was designed. It would house not only the books, magazines, film and fiche, vinyl records, and filmstrips used in everyday research and study, it would also be home to the university archives, the WOCC-TV studios, and the Learning Resource Center, which created audio-visual content as well as maintained the devices used to playback that content. The ground was broken for the new building on February 27, 1970, and the cornerstone was laid on October 17, 1970, at Homecoming. The new library was opened for use in January 1972 and was officially dedicated on May 6th, 1972.
Until 1979, the Courtright Memorial Library was just the Library. However, shortly before his passing in 1977, A. Monroe Courtright ‘40 made provisions to have the building christened “Courtright Memorial Library,” in honor of his parents, Robert and Ada Courtright.

Monroe Courtright was the owner and publisher of the Westerville newspaper, The Public Opinion. His contributions to Otterbein included serving as president of the Otterbein Alumni Association, the Westerville Chairman of the Special Gifts Committee of the Venture Into Opportunity program, the chairman of the Development Board, and the chairman of a campaign to raise funds for Memorial Stadium.

There are a number of plans throughout 2022 to recognize and celebrate this milestone. Keep an eye out for more information about the following events!

Courtright Birthday Party (April 5th, 4 pm-6 pm)
BLISS – History of the Otterbein Library (July 13th, 12 pm-1 pm)
Homecoming Courtright Celebration (October 1st, 11:30am-1:30pm)

As part of our 50th anniversary, we are collecting memories and stories from your time in the library. If you have a moment to share, please consider filling out the form. Stories will be shared in the Digital Commons at Otterbein.

The library is excited to share this monumental moment with all of you, valued members of our community!

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