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Roscoe and Charlie Lou Rouse

Oklahoma Library Legends

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Roscoe Rouse Image

Roscoe Rouse, Jr.

Roscoe Rouse, Jr., opened his career in librarianship at Northeastern State College and closed it at Oklahoma State University. He earned the B.A. and M.A. degrees from OU and another M.A. and the Ph. D. from the University of Michigan (UM). He taught summers at North Texas State University and at OU. He was University Librarian at Baylor University for ten years until invited by SUNY Stony Brook, Long Island, to be the first Library Director at the new institution.

OU called him to be the library school’s director, but Rouse wanted to remain in academic libraries. His former professor at UM, Edmon Low, prevailed upon Rouse to follow him at OSU when Low retired. In discussing the assignment with the OSU president Rouse asked if the president would support him in beginning mechanization in the library. The president agreed.

At the time, no other library in the state had begun operating with computers. The first undertaking was a union listing of serials, or periodicals. When it was complete, other state libraries asked if they could input their serials and the result was the Oklahoma Union List of Serials. It eventually was “dumped” into a national data bank and is now a part of a national union list.

Rouse was president of the Oklahoma Library Association and an early editor of the Oklahoma Librarian. He was elected to ALA Council four times, one of which was as Oklahoma’s representative. He served on ALA’s Constitution and Bylaws committee and numerous other committees. He presided at conferences, read papers and published in professional journals, two volumes, and chapters in three volumes of The Best in Library Literature. Rouse served on the joint ALA/AIA judging team for new library buildings. For the Association of Research Libraries, he testified before a U.S. Senate committee chaired by David Boren.

Honors that came to Rouse include OLA’s Distinguished Service Award, its Special Merit Award and Michigan Library School Alumni Association Outstanding Alumnus Award. He was a consultant to other libraries, including the OU Medical School library, OBU, and St. Gregory libraries. Rouse and First Lady Anne Bartlett were national winners in National Library Week for Oklahoma library publicity efforts. He was inducted into Beta Phi Mu library honor society. Upon his retirement, the Oklahoma Senate presented him with a framed citation of appreciation. In retirement he was named by the Oklahoma Governor to the State Library Board of which he became chairman.

Charile Lou Rouse Image

Charlie Lou Rouse

Since the fourth grade when I was a library assistant, I have known I wanted to be a librarian. Work continued through high school and college. I earned a bachelor’s degree from East Central State University and master’s degree from University of Oklahoma. I had the opportunity to work in Oklahoma libraries for twenty six years, twenty two of them with the Stillwater Public Schools.

With membership in OLA and ALA for twenty two years, I held numerous assignments. As a school librarian I worked in the Oklahoma Association of School Library Media Specialists serving as chair of that organization and delegate to first Affiliate Assembly. I was on the OLA Awards Committee, Constitution and Bylaws Committee, Co-chair of an Oklahoma Legislative Network. I testified before the Oklahoma Joint Legislative Committee to define the need to establish libraries in Oklahoma elementary school and to hire certified librarians.

I was named a delegate to the Oklahoma Governor’s Conference on Libraries and Information Services and was elected a delegate to the White House Conference on Libraries and Information Services.

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) elected me a member of their executive board. I was one of five members of the board named to a search committee for a new AASL Executive Director. I was also elected to ALA Council and later named a member on ALA Nominating Committee.

The ALA Executive Board named me to an assignment in the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) to represent U.S. school libraries on the IFLA School Libraries Section. I attended seven conferences abroad and later, the ALA President named me Chair of the ALA- IFLA Nominating Committee.

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