Pasadena City College, Home of the PCC Lancers

History of the Library

Six Trying Years

Since the collection would have to be divided between the junior college and high school libraries when the high school ultimately moved to its new quarters, the long, tedious and expensive process of separation of the collections into two parts commenced in 1954-55, but proceeded very slowly as a result of a reduction in staff from six to four professionals in 1952.

photo of library staff. row one, Mabel Kennedy, Margaret McMaughna. Row two, Herman Smith head librarian, Eleanor Hidden, George McCauley.

alt="photo of library staff. row one, Mabel Kennedy, Margaret McMaughna. Row two, Herman Smith head librarian,  George McCauley.

In particular, the necessity of devoting considerable time to inventory preparatory to transferring books to the high school resulted in cataloging arrears mounting yearly until the Library was a full year behind in processing new material by June, 1958.

Mr. Smith resigned at the end of 1957-58 to accept an administrative position in the College. Mrs. Margaret B. McCaughna, an Assistant Librarian for many years, was appointed Acting Head Librarian for 1958-59.

Photo of library staff.  Seated Felicia Smith, Mabel Kennedy. Standing, Margaret McCaughna, Herman Smith, Helen Damron, Gerge McCauley.

photo of library staff. Row one, Margaret McCaughna, acting librarian. Row two, William Weitzel, George McCauley, Helen Eikenbery.

During July, 1958, the division of books to the high school library was completed, books were boxed and card records cleared, so that the actual moving of the high school would not greatly affect the College Library book collection.

Mr. William K. Grainger was appointed Librarian of Pasadena City College Library in 1959. In his first report, 1959-60, he includes a wide variety of information not covered in previous annual reports, and records his initial assessment of the personnel, physical facilities and activities of the Library. Among the disturbing items noted were:

  1. The rapidly increasing number of missing books
  2. Substandard clerical and student staffs
  3. Unsatisfactory physical condition of the building in many respects, e.g., cracked and peeling plaster, leaking roof, lobby floor in dire need of renovation, termite and cockroach infestations, and very inadequate ventilation in some areas

Progress was made in reducing the cataloging backlog by employment of Miss Eleanor Homer, an Assistant Librarian, for an extra month in the summers of 1959 and 1960. The construction of the Subject Authority File, a ten-year project, was completed with the generous assistance of Mr. L. Herman Smith, who also helped with cataloging.