John and Vicki Phillips
Oklahoma Library Legends
I began my library career at Oklahoma State University, in 1969, when I accepted a library shelving position. I was later transferred into the Government Documents Dept. to work for Marguerite Howland, one of the people responsible for the growth of the OSU depository collection. After graduation, I attended the University of Oklahoma and received my Masters of Library Science in May 1973. When an opening occurred at OSU in the Documents Dept., I applied and was hired to fill the position of Assistant Documents Cataloger. From June 1973 to present I have worked with government documents. One of the significant events during the past 33 years includes requesting, through the U.S. Senate, and receiving the designation as Oklahoma’s second Regional Depository in 1979. As the department was one of the original 26 patent depository libraries, OSU was instrumental in developing the first annual meeting of what was to grow into the Patent and Trademark Depository Library Program. This program has a current enrollment of 90 libraries around the United States. I was one of the founding members of the Patent Depository Library Association and held the position of chair within that association in its beginning years. In 1989, I was appointed to head the Regional Depository and in that capacity I represented OSU at meetings of the Federal Depository Library Program and the Depository Library Council. In 2002, I was appointed to a three year term on the Depository Library Council by the Public Printer of the United States. During my third year of my appointment, I served as chair of the Council. This was the second time in the Council’s 27 year history that a librarian from OSU was appointed to and served as chair of this group. My wife, Vicki Phillips also held this position in 1988/89. Within Oklahoma, I have been active with the Government Documents Roundtable of the Oklahoma Library Association. I have been fortunate in being asked to teach the Government Publications class at the state’s library school. Since 1982, I have taught the class 8 times in Norman and Tulsa. I have seen the department move from a paper collection to one that is moving quickly into the electronic environment. The need for staff to locate and interpret the publications of the Federal Government will continue to be of importance in our Nation’s libraries. The strong historical collection at OSU will be of lasting value to the state of Oklahoma.
Vicki (Withers) Phillips has been a faculty member in the Edmon Low Library at Oklahoma State University since 1969. She holds an endowed professorship, the W. P. Wood Professor of Library Service. In her nearly 40 years of service to the library profession she has established a reputation for excellence in service to the students, faculty, and the public in the fields of government documents and science and engineering. A native Oklahoman, she is recognized as a scholar of her state’s history, government publications and scientific work.
Phillips held membership and leadership positions in the American Library Association, the Government
Documents Roundtable and the Oklahoma Library Association (OLA). She has chaired or been a member
of almost every committee of the Oklahoma Library Association. She chaired the U. S. Government Printing
Office’s Depository Library Council in 1988-1989. She held a visiting faculty appointment at
the University of Oklahoma. John and Vicki co-taught the government documents class several semesters.
Librarians around the state of Oklahoma and the nation were students in these classes.