Friends Dinner

Celebrating Books by OSU Authors

Center for Oklahoma Studies Symposium

Constitution Day

Noon Concert Series

Oklahoma Ovation

Library-Botany Lecture

Susan Raybourn Honored with 2011 Phelps Award

Story by Emily Nielsen, OSU Library Communications Intern

Susan Raybourn was named the winner  of the 2011 Edna Mae Phelps Award. The award recognizes those who have performed exceptional work to increase the performance and effectiveness of the OSU Library.

The OSU Library has undergone major renovations both inside and out. Raybourn has played a leading role in both. After the plaza was renovated, Raybourn was the first donor to support efforts to improve the Edmon Low Library’s landscaping. These highly visible improvements inspired others to donate toward additional planters and outdoor seating.¬†

Next, Raybourn and her husband Steve underwrote the transformation of the reference and circulation desks on the first floor of the Edmon Low Library. The service points were merged to improve both functionality and aesthetics.

Raybourn has served on the Friends of the OSU Library Board of Directors since 2003.

The award was established in 1994 and is named for Edna Mae Phelps, who served as the first president of the Friends of the OSU Library. Phelps was a strong supporter of the OSU Library, and while she served on the OSU Board of Regents she worked tirelessly to improve the budget for the Library.

Susan Raybourn were presented with the award on Nov. 18, 2011 at the Friends of the OSU Library’s annual H. Louise & H.E. “Ed” Cobb Speaker’s Series.

Space Renovations & Service Transformations

A rendering of the future service area.

Story originally ran in the 2008 Legacy.

A dramatic makeover slated for the Edmon Low Library will ensure the building design reflects the open friendly service environment offered by the staff. The development is made possible through a gift of alum and Friends of the OSU Library Board Member Susan Raybourn and her husband Steve.

According to Susan, the couple chose to help the library with this improvement project because it has such an impact both aesthetically and functionally. “As a Board Member, I have enjoyed watching the library continue to improve. Students from every discipline on campus use the library, and I’ve seen that use increase over the years.”

There are two primary service points on the first floor of the Edmon Low Library. At the Circulation Desk, you check out books, laptops and course files. Around the corner at the Reference Desk, Librarians help students with everything from locating a call number to structuring in-depth searches in one of our many online databases.

After the remodel, the entire area will be one wraparound desk with reference service at one end and circulation check out at the other. The new service desk will open up the first floor and increase the visibility of staff who are there to help.

“We are removing walls that currently block the view of staff in some areas. With the new layout, you can see both desks as soon as you walk in, and you can see someone is always here to help,” said Sheila Grant Johnson, Dean of Libraries.

This project is part of an ongoing effort transform the library’s first floor. The primary goal is to consolidate services and offer students quick access to the resources they use most often: computers, study rooms and help from librarians.

Johnson said, “The new open layout is the perfect centerpiece for the first floor, and we are committed to continuing improvements like this. There are many opportunities for our friends to help. New furniture, electrical upgrades and extending service hours are just a few of the additions I see in our future.”


For more information on giving to the Library contact the Tylerr Ropp, Senior Director of Development, at or 405-385-5664.