Category Archives: ODL News

Honors for a Lover of Country, History, and Libraries

Major Helen Freudenberger Holmes, the first WAAC from Oklahoma, pursued a love of history and libraries following her service during World War II. She was also a local political leader who served as Mayor of Guthrie, Oklahoma from 1979 to 1981.

Twenty-two years after leaving this life, Helen Loretta Freudenberger Holmes is being remembered and honored with two posthumous hall of fame inductions this year.

On March 6, she was inducted into the U.S. Army Women’s Foundation Hall of Fame in Washington, D.C. On April 26, she’ll be inducted into the Oklahoma Historians Hall of Fame.

Many in Oklahoma’s library community celebrate her for another reason. Holmes was a founder and first president of the Friends of the Guthrie Public Library. She also served as a delegate from Guthrie to the 1978 Oklahoma Governor’s Conference on Libraries (which led to creation of the statewide friends group, Friends of Libraries in Oklahoma) and a delegate from Oklahoma to the 1979 White House Conference on Library and Information Services.

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New State Librarian Brings 30 Years of Public Service Experience to ODL

Melody Kellogg, new director of the Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL), brings with her a three-decade long portfolio of public service in libraries, state government, local government, and the non-profit sector.

Kellogg was hired by the ODL Board in December to succeed Susan McVey, who retired January 31 after 17 years as director. As the agency’s chief officer, Kellogg will work with ODL staff and Oklahoma’s library community to continue to build and improve library and information services for all Oklahomans. 

She is Oklahoma’s fifth State Librarian and State Archivist since ODL was created in 1967 when the State Library merged with the Oklahoma Libraries Commission.

ODL Board Chair Phil Moss said Kellogg’s extensive experience in a variety of public service settings was instrumental in setting her apart during the interviewing process.

“Melody brings a unique combination of backgrounds and skills to ODL,” Moss said. “I think her work as a public servant at both the state and municipal levels will benefit the agency, and her various experiences in libraries are also noteworthy. Plus, she has a passion for libraries and the important services they provide to the state and its communities.”

Kellogg’s public service path began in 1985 when she began a 13-year tenure with the Main Street Program at the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. She was promoted to assistant director in 1988 and later led the program as its director.

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Susan McVey Announces Her Retirement from ODL

Photo of Susan McVey outside the Allen Wright Memorial Library, headquarters for the Oklahoma Department of Libraries.
Susan McVey is retiring after 32 years of service to the State of Oklahoma and more than 40 years as a professional librarian.

(This press release may be downloaded in Word of PDF format)

January 14, 2019

Contact:Bill Young
405-522-3562 or 405-370-3750
bill.young@libraries.ok.gov

Department of Libraries Director Announces Retirement

Susan McVey has announced her retirement from the Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL), effective February 1, after 17 years as State Librarian and State Archivist. 

McVey has served as the agency’s fourth director since ODL was created in 1967 when the State Library merged with the Oklahoma Libraries Commission. Prior to appointment as director in 2001, she served six years as deputy director. She also headed the agency’s law and legislative reference division from 1991 to 1995. 

A native of Duncan, Oklahoma, McVey received her masters in library science from the University of Texas at Austin, and a masters in public administration from the University of Oklahoma. She was reference librarian and later director at Oklahoma City University’s Dulaney-Browne Library before joining ODL as a legislative reference librarian in 1986.

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An Oklahoma Center for the Book Fall Roundup

Oklahoma Center for the Book Logo

Happy New Year! With all of the holidays behind us—and the snow day behind us, and all of the entries in the 2019 Oklahoma Book Awards here or on their way—it’s time to give you that fall roundup of Center for the Book activities that we’ve been intending to do for the past two months.

Our Four-Year DoubleR Author Tour project closed out this fall. Read about the 2018 tour and find out how many have attended the programs since the Reading Roundup launched in 2015. (Hint: It’s a bunch!)

Yeah! We had that Oklahoma Book Festival. It was a blast and we learned a lot. Check out the important stats from this inaugural festival. (Plus, browse photos from the festival.)

In case you missed our salute to Ida Sutton Williams at the Book Festival, here it is. Ida’s daughter Laurie Williams was a major sponsor of the festival, and it was her desire to honor her mother, who dreamed that Oklahoma would have its very own book festival someday. Dreams come true.

Both The Center and its Friends support group—which makes so many of our programs possible—wish you all the best in 2019.


Oklahoma’s Reading Roundup Corrals Thousands of Participants

Artist and book illustrator Christopher Nick entertains students in Okeene.


More than 16,000 children, teens, teachers, librarians, parents, and library friends participated during the state’s four-year Reading Roundup Author Tour, which held its finale in Hennessey on September 25.
Almost 3,700 people attended this fall’s tours featuring author Lutricia Clifton (Seeking Cassandra) and illustrator Christopher Nick (Dust Storm).

Conceived in 2015, the “DoubleR” tour was inspired by a grant from the Reading Trust that helped place recent Oklahoma Book Award-winning children’s and young adult titles in all of the state’s public libraries.

The Oklahoma Department of Libraries and its Oklahoma Center for the Book (OCB) approached the Friends of the Center, Friends of Libraries in Oklahoma (FOLIO), and other sponsors to fund tours of the authors and illustrators of those books each fall from 2015 to 2018.

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