New Exhibit in Special Collections: "Looking Back at the Boise Junior College Library of the 1930s and 1940s"

 In conjunction with the library building's 50th anniversary this year, a rotating exhibit on its history will be featured in Special Collections. The first exhibit focuses on the early years of the library, with its start in 1932 when Boise Junior College was created in the depth of the Depression. The college was initially located in downtown Boise in buildings previously occupied by St. Margaret's School, a day school for girls.

The first annual report of the library, written by librarian Elizabeth R. Buehler and presented to BJC president Middleton Barnwell in June 1933, stated that the total number of volumes in the library was 2,146. The total library expenses for the year was $1384.90. The average time a student spent in the library was 3.5 hours per week. Library hours were 8am-12pm, 1pm-6pm, and 7:30pm-9pm Monday through Friday and 9am-12:30pm on Saturday. The library was staffed by one librarian and one student assistant.

With the college's purchase of the property formerly occupied by the Boise Municipal Airport in 1939, the library moved from its downtown building to the East wing of the Administration building when it was completed in 1940. It remained there until a separate library building was erected in 1964.

In preparing for the move to the Administration building, librarian Mary Bedford wrote to President Eugene Chaffee in January 1940 and requested the new facility be an "environment necessary for, and conducive to reading, study, and research."

Bedford, who served as librarian from 1937 until 1953, oversaw two significant acquisitions to the library collection. The first occurred in 1944 when former Idaho Senator Irvin E. Rockwell gifted his glass-encased private library to Boise Junior College in memory of his wife Lallah Rookh Rockwell. The dedication ceremony for the gift took place (program cover displayed here) on November 16, 1944. The volumes included in this gift are still in the library today.
The same is true of the second significant acquisition that occurred in the late 1940s. This came from the return of a Boise Junior College English professor, J. Roy Schwartz, after being in London on sabbatical leave for six months. Schwartz conducted research at several libraries in England and also purchased about 40 volumes of rare books to bring back for the library's collection. The gift included a 1669 edition of Fables of Aesop and Other Eminent Mythologists with Morals and Reflexions which is housed in Special Collections today. 
The exhibit, which includes photographs, correspondence, and annual reports from the 1930s and 1940s, will be up through October.

This blog post is the fourth in a series, produced in coordination with the celebration of Albertsons Library’s 50th Anniversary.

Julia Stringfellow
Special Collections and Archives



Eddie Vedder, Sandra Bullock, Rob Lowe, Stephen Colbert, Courtney Love, Bobby Flay, Sarah Palin, Michelle Obama… Albertsons Library? We were all born in 1964! Well, construction on the new building started in 1963, but the library held its first open house for the public in August, 1964. The library was not named Albertsons until 1995, after Albertsons Inc. donated six million dollars toward the library expansion and renovation. Still, we’ve decided to celebrate our Golden Anniversary this year, and you can expect a number of opportunities to join in the festivities.

To commemorate the event we’re producing a publication that will be hosted on ScholarWorks, and we welcome your contributions to that publication. If you have an anecdote, fact or photo about the library in the past fifty years, please send it to the library’s Outreach Coordinator, Elizabeth Ramsey at elizabethramsey@boisestate.edu. As part of the celebration we currently have a great photo exhibit up on the 2nd floor of the library from Special Collections, Broncos Through the Decades, and Special Collections will also be creating new exhibits monthly from the University archives.

We’ll be keeping you up-to-date on all the groovy anniversary happenings throughout our social media outlets. You can join the conversation on Twitter, where we’re using the hashtag #BoiseStLibraryat50. We’ll also be posting regularly on:

and this blog, so stay tuned! Here’s to fifty years of knowledge, growth and innovation!

This blog post is the third in a series, produced in coordination with the celebration of Albertsons Library’s 50th Anniversary.


Introducing LibChat!

You probably already know how much we love to help people here at Albertsons Library, so it won’t come as a surprise that we’ve introduced a new way for you to get in touch called Chat with us! 


Use Chat with us! to chat live with an Albertsons Library expert anytime we’re open (see the library calendar for hours).

You can find Chat with us! on the library website (shown below) as well as on our subject and topic guides.

library homepage.png

We look forward to chatting with you!


Do you have my textbook?

You're probably wondering if we have your textbook. You may have ordered it online... and it's not here yet!

The Textbook Project was initiated by the Albertsons Library to provide a library reserve copy of textbooks used in entry level classes taught at Boise State University. 

The library purchases one copy of each textbook assigned to a 100 level or University Foundations class where the enrollment is at least 100, or where several sections of a 100 level or University Foundations courses are using the same textbook and the combined enrollment exceeds 100 students. 

The textbooks for these classes are placed on two hour in library reserve at the Circulation Desk so students can access them.

Find out if we have your textbook by searching the Reserves tab and searching the course number. We have a list at the Circulation desk and the Reference desk, so if you need help, just come in and ask or call (208) 426 1204!

Don't know the title? Consult the Boise State bookstore by searching here: http://bsu.verbacompare.com/

Don't know the class? Log in to my.BoiseState and check Broncoweb! Let us know if you have any questions.

Terry Madden & Amy Vecchione


Library resources for faculty

Did you know the Albertsons Library has a page for faculty resources & services? Well, you do now! Go to http://library.boisestate.edu/facultyservices/index.php and let us know how we can help.


Long Live the King!

Some rights reserved by pagedooley through Flickr CC

Elvis Week is an annual 10-day celebration of the “King of Rock-n-Roll” in Memphis, TN. According to the official Elvis page, Elvis Presley went from a two room shack in Tupelo, MS to become a cultural phenomenon, starring in 33 films, selling a billion records(?!), and breaking records with his sold out live performances regularly. Although he died August 16, 1977, Elvis has remained a global pop icon to this day.

How about checking out a DVD to see the King in action: 
Elvis ‘56  http://boisestate.worldcat.org/oclc/45761422

Or some CDs to hear his music:
Elvis Up Close  (includes booklet with some awesome Elvis photos) http://boisestate.worldcat.org/oclc/52607109

Albertsons Library also has Elvis’ music in streaming format:

Here’s one of several Elvis books available in the library.
Elvis Presley: The man. The life. The legend. Photos too. http://boisestate.worldcat.org/oclc/55044675

And you can take a virtual tour of Elvis’ home with the app, Hidden Mysteries: Gates of Graceland. Go through Graceland room by room and discover trivia about Elvis while looking for parts of an unrecorded song by him. Enjoy Elvis music and film clips along the way.  

Finally, in a little piece of Boise State University history related to Elvis; Dr. Sandra Schackel, who taught History at Boise State University, dressed up as Elvis for her classes. You can see Dr. Schackel with the King and learn more about her in the story Women Making Herstory in a publication from the Women’s History Center available through ScholarWorks: http://scholarworks.boisestate.edu/wmh/5/

Audrey Williams, Elizabeth Ramsey