The University Libraries at Bowling Green State University

Jerome Library

The Building

Created to support the University’s expanding educational role, construction of the Bowling Green State University Library began in 1965. Although the official opening did not occur until almost two years later, the building was named in honor of William Travers Jerome III, who served as the sixth president of Bowling Green State University.

The building, which was designed by state architect Carl E. Bentz, features unique non-objective murals on the east and west facades of the library designed by Donald Drumm. Drumm, an artist in residence during the 1960s, actively participated in the conceptualization and construction of the murals. Donning a hard-hat and overalls, Drumm outlined contemporary designs onto the concrete. Construction crews then sandblasted the designs into the concrete. Drumm added shadow pins to the west mural to capture light and create shadows to complete the mural. He also created the terrace entrances, which are furnished with sculptures, flowers, and lush landscaping symbolizing the growth and development of students.

In 1996, under the direction of then Dean, Dr. Linda Dobb, the murals and sculptures were refurbished to their original state. Funding for this project came from distinguished teaching professor, Dr. Janis Pallister, for whom the library’s Pallister Conference Room is named.

The nine-level, 156,895 sq. ft. structure, which is located between Memorial and East Halls, offers an attractive learning environment for students and faculty. The Wm. T. Jerome Library is also open to the community for special events.

Hours, Staff, and Directions


•Staff Directory

•Virtual Tour


Services and Programs

Circulation DeskFor information about borrowing materials, paying fines, and keeping your library account in good standing, visit the Circulation Desk or refer to the Circulation Survival Guides at:

Reserve Reading RoomFaculty and teaching assistants sometimes designate specific materials for use in courses. These items can be borrowed only for short time periods: 2 hours, 1 day, or 3 days. Photocopiers, typewriters, microform readers, and televisions are also available in the Reserve Reading Room.

Research and Information DeskReference librarians and student employees staff this first-floor desk during most of the library’s open hours. For questions on conducting a research strategy, selecting resources ( both print and electronic) help navigating the BGSU Libraries catalog, directional questions, and much more, visit this desk. It is staffed most of the hours the library is open. You may also call the Research and Information Desk at 419-372-6943.

Research GuidesThe library’s website provides a number of handouts prepared by library staff to aid your research. Similar to the tutorials, but often more in-depth, these guides offer assistance with navigating various research databases, how to best use specific research tools, style guides for MLA and APA citations, and more.

• Tutorials

• QuickQuest

Specialized Collections and Branches

Government Documents (1st floor)Bowling Green State University became a federal depository in 1933. Librarians select 51% of the offered items, receiving approximately 1,500 documents each month. This collection of 700,000 publications is rich in historical and current material including the following materials:

• Census of Population reports from 1790 to present,

• Foreign Relations of the United States,

• U.S. Treaties and International Agreements,

• U.S. Congressional Serial Set,

• and many other important historical primary research sets.

The collection emphasizes materials in agriculture, business, civil rights, economics, education, environment, foreign relations, geology, health, housing, justice, labor, law, presidential materials, small business, and social welfare. Additionally librarians select all congressional materials including hearings, reports, documents, floor debates, bills and public laws, and studies.

Bowling Green State University has traditionally served the Fifth Congressional District in Ohio. In 1990 changes in the congressional district boundaries incorporated the depository into the Ninth Congressional District. Due to our historic ties to the Fifth District and our legal obligations to the Ninth, we currently serve both districts. The department became an Ohio depository in 1953 and receives all agency publications distributed through the state depository program. Our state collection numbers about 20,000. The collection includes agency publications such as reports, directories, pamphlets, leaflets, posters, newsletters, and journals; Judicial Branch materials including administrative opinions and state Supreme Court opinions and decisions; and Ohio General Assembly materials, including the Laws of Ohio and the House and Senate Journals.

In the early 1980’s selected material from the City of Bowling Green were added to the collection including City Council Minutes, Mayor’s Reports, the Bowling Green City Code of Ordinances, and the Annual Report of the Bowling Green Police Division. This collection is located in the main documents stack area behind the Ohio Collection, and all call numbers begin with BG.

BGSU became a Canadian Government Documents Depository in October, 1999. This collection focuses on business, environment, Great Lakes, Native Peoples, and social issues. It includes journals, reports, and cd-roms. We also collect some of the important statistical reports produced by Statistics Canada. The growing collection is arranged by Canadian Documents Classification Number and is shelved in the main documents stack area.

Curriculum Resource Center (2nd floor)

The Curriculum Resource Center (CRC) supports the undergraduate and graduate teaching programs in the College of Education and Human Development and other BGSU education-related areas by maintaining a collection of high quality preschool through grade twelve materials reflecting innovation in teaching practices and standards-based instruction. Materials held by the CRC comprise the Francies F. Povsic Collection, so named on March 30, 2001, in honor of Professor Povsic's significant, enduring and distinctive contributions to the CRC, the University Libraries, and BGSU.

During her seventeen years as Head Librarian of the CRC, before her retirement in 1990, Professor Povsic consolidated and developed the CRC's collections and services, established an organizational

Music Library and Sound Recordings Archives (3rd floor)The Music Library and Sound Recordings Archives, located on the third floor of the Wm. T. Jerome Library, contains materials related to the study of music. Although the collection primarily supports the undergraduate and graduate programs in the College of Musical Arts, the Department of Popular Culture, and the Center for American Culture Studies, the resources of the library are available to all interested users.

The Music Library contains more than 60,000 books and scores related to all aspects of the study of music. Studies ranging from biography to general histories of music, from theoretical treatises to studies of such diverse aspects as country music, opera, and band music are included in the collection. The score collection includes solos, orchestral studies, exercise books, and chamber music for ensembles from two to ten parts. The recordings collection, which circulates on a limited basis, contains more than 16,000 recordings of music from all periods of music history as well as ethnic music, musical theater, and jazz. Recital tapes from the College of Musical Arts dating from 1966 are maintained by the Music Library. All masters' theses and documents written by graduate students in the College of Musical Arts are housed in the collection.

The Music Library houses two special collections: The Sound Recordings Archives and the Archives of the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music. The Sound Recordings Archives, considered the nation's premier collection of popular music sound recordings, contains more than 700,000 recordings representing all styles of popular music and all recorded formats. Established in 1967 for the scholarly study of popular music, the Sound Recordings Archives serves not only campus patrons, but also researchers from around the world. Discographies, books, and periodicals related to popular music and the recording industry are also included in this collection. Established in 1987, the Archives of the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music contains music both submitted to and performed at the College of Musical Arts' New Music and Art Festival. At present, the collection contains more than 3800 scores of contemporary music, many in manuscript.

Browne Popular Culture Library (4th floor)

The Browne Popular Culture Library holds more than 190,000 cataloged books. Popular fiction predominates, particularly novels in the romance, mystery-detective, science fiction-fantasy, and western genres. This Library also contains extensive collections of late 19th- and 20th-century juvenile/young adult series fiction.

Other major strengths of the Browne Popular Culture Library includes materials documenting popular entertainment and the entertainment industry (e.g., television, film, radio, and the mass communications industry), graphic arts, recreation and leisure, and popular religion. Non-fiction holdings also include books on the occult and supernatural, parapsychology, manner and customs, etiquette and advice, arts and crafts, hobbies, games and amusements, sports, foodways and cookery, domestic arts, costume and dress, and humor. Users can also find popular reference and informational materials (self-help and how-to books, for example) in this Library's collections.

In addition to many rare hardcover and paperback books and magazines, the Browne Library Popular Culture Library houses archival and special collections, including literary manuscripts and movie and television scripts. Non-traditional library resources such as dime novels, storypapers and nickel weeklies, pulp magazines, fanzines and other amateur publications, comic books and graphic novels, and posters, postcards, greeting cards, mail-order catalogs, and travel brochures, comprise some of the Library's most unusual collections.

The Browne Popular Culture Library also collects manuscripts to support and complement existing print collections.

Books, magazines, and many other materials are fully cataloged and accessible through the BGSU Libraries Catalog <>. Many specialized in-house finding aids are also available. Please contact the Browne Popular Culture Library directly for information about uncataloged and special collections materials.For more information consult the list of special collections

Center for Archival Collections (5th floor)

The CAC is an archives and manuscripts repository within the University Libraries at Bowling Green State University. The primary mission of the CAC is to actively acquire, preserve, and make accessible to researchers historical materials in Northwest Ohio

• University Archives

• Historical Collections of the Great Lakes

• Rare Books & Special Collections and

• National Student Affairs Archives

The collection emphasize local history, Great Lakes maritime history, women's history, the Civil War, education, and all aspects of the social, cultural, economic, and industrial history of northwest Ohio. Visitors are welcome, including scholars, local residents, and students from throughout the University, the region, and the world.

Historical Collections of the Great Lakes (6th floor)

The Historical Collections of the Great Lakes (HCGL) is part of the Center for Archival Collections at Bowling Green State University. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and make available to scholars, students, and the public, historical materials documenting the Great Lakes region and connecting waterways. The HCGL's collections include materials related to commercial shipping, shipbuilding, navigation, maritime law, commercial fishing, shipwrecks, yachting, labor history, popular literature, freshwater ecology, recreation, and the history of Great Lakes ports.

Ogg Science Library (3rd and 4th floors of the Mathematical Sciences Building)

Ogg Science Library offers materials, that enhance instruction and research in the following departments, programs, and colleges:Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geology, Mathematics and Statistics, Medical Technology, Nursing, Nutritional Sciences, Physics and Astronomy, Psychology, and Technology.

Additional Resources


OhioLINK is a statewide library and information system that enables BGSU students, faculty and staff to borrow books from other Ohio libraries (mostly academic, some public) and to access more than 220 online research databases. More than 85 Ohio institutions are OhioLINK members.For more information about OhioLINK, visit:


RefWorks is an online service used to create a personal database of bibliographic citations by importing the citations from other online databases. Citations may be automatically formatted for bibliography and footnotes and may be searched within a user’s personal database.

History of Bowling Green State University Libraries

•See “Jerome Library Celebrates 40 Years” in the Archival Chronicle, March 2007: vol. 26, issue 1.•See “BGSU Library Services Through the Years” in the Archival Chronicle Gallery, March 2007: vol. 26, issue 1.

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