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Highlights April 8, 2004

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Glenda Thorton has "dream job"

Most people would never move to Ohio for its libraries, but Glenda Thornton did. Her love of research as an academic librarian brought her to Cleveland State.

Thorton has been director of the Cleveland State University Library for the past five years.

“Ohio is one of the best library states that there is. I heard about its libraries before I knew about any happenings in Cleveland or Ohio,” said Thornton.

Thornton was born and raised in a very small town in Oklahoma called Chickasha.

Thornton has a master’s of library science and a bachelor’s of arts from the University of Oklahoma in Norman. She also has a doctorate from the University of North Texas at Denton.

“I have always wanted to be an academic librarian ever since I finished college in the 70’s,” said Thornton. “I love urban institutions, and Ohio has the huge Ohio Link program that attracted me to Cleveland.”

Ohio Link is the Ohio Library and Information Network. It is a consortium of Ohio’s university libraries and the state library of Ohio.

The CSU system is linked with other library systems such as the Cleveland Public Library, the Shaker Heights Public Library and the Cuyahoga County Public Library.

Cleveland State’s library is a member of OCLC, an online computer library center that links most university and college libraries. Through the system, libraries can determine what books other universities have, and exchange them accordingly.

The library does 90 percent of its book loans and research with other academic libraries and does only 10 percent of its transactions with other public libraries like the Cleveland Public Library.

“Our main service is research, said Thornton. “That’s what we’re about. We don’t have the extensive collection like larger libraries because we focus on research and our students.”

The library system is now part of the Cleveland Area Metropolitan Library System. The program works as an interlibrary loan agency that also offers workshops, technical support and training facilities for area libraries.

“Cleveland State’s library is very much involved with the Cleveland community. Anyone can walk in and use the library’s resources,” said Thorton. “We also have a $35 a year plan that allows the public access to our references and research materials.”

“We don’t extend full service to the community with our materials like the larger library systems, but we are rich in research material because we are a research institution.” “The library was very shabby and drab looking, but the new carpeting raised everyone’s spirits and inspired new ideas to help improve the library’s appearance,” she said.

Another change was moving current periodicals to the first floor from the fourth floor. “Now the students have better access to the magazines. It is not a large selection like the ones found at other libraries, but it does offer current periodicals.”

“The library has been here for a long time and will continue to serve the students, faculty, staff and the greater Cleveland area,” she said.

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