Category Archives: ODL News

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.

Continue reading Susan McVey Announces Her Retirement from ODL

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.

Continue reading Oklahoma’s Reading Roundup Corrals Thousands of Participants

In Memoriam: Robert L. Clark, Jr.

Sad news. Former ODL Director Bob Clark died on May 26. He had been suffering from Post Polio Syndrome for the past several years, but his wife Audrey says he remained active despite his physical difficulties. In fact, he remained active until five days before his death.

Below is the brief paragraph we shared with the national library press, which has very limited space for such announcements. If we had had room, we would have also mentioned that he was instrumental in establishing the Oklahoma Center for the Book, the fourth such center established under the Library of Congress program. It’s always good when Oklahoma is not at the bottom of a list.

Memorial donations may be made to:
ACLU of Oklahoma
3000 Paseo
Oklahoma City, OK 73103
https://www.acluok.org/


Robert L. Clark, 72, director of the Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL) from 1976 until his retirement in 2000, died May 26. During his tenure as State Librarian he headed two Governor’s Conferences on libraries and led a strategic planning process that redefined Oklahoma’s state library and its role in the information age. He championed preservation programs, government openness laws, and library and information services for institutional populations.  A staunch supporter of Intellectual Freedom, he and the agency made news in 1997 when a federal judge granted ODL intervener plaintiff status in the strange obscenity case of the Academy Award winning film “The Tin Drum.” When an Oklahoma County judge ruled the film contained obscenity, VHS copies of the movie were confiscated from the Metropolitan Library System and area video rental stores. The Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) sued and ODL was granted standing in representing access and censorship concerns on the local level. The VSDA prevailed in the case and the film was ultimately returned to library and store shelves. Clark received the Oklahoma Library Legend Award from the Oklahoma Library Association in 2007.

Accountability and Advocacy on the Hill, and at 23rd and Lincoln

Oklahoma Librarians in Senator Tom Cole's Office
Oklahoma librarians and fellow library advocates presented U.S. Representative Tom Cole with an Oklahoma Library Association Resolution, thanking him for his support of the federal Library Services and Technology Act. The presentation was made in May during National Library Legislative Day. Left to right: Paul Gazzolo with the Corporate Committee for Library Investment; Kathryn Lewis, Director of Media Services and Instructional Technology at Norman Public Schools; Representative Cole; Lisa Wells, Director of the Pioneer Library System; Kim Johnson, Director of the Tulsa City-County Library System; Oklahoma Department of Libraries Director Susan McVey; Gavin Brooks, American Library Association Washington Office; and Tim Miller, Director of the Western Plains Library System.

Every January or February, ODL Director Susan McVey and Deputy Director Vicki Sullivan head to the State Capitol Building to meet with the Oklahoma Senate and House appropriations committees to report on past agency accomplishments and to answer questions about the ODL Budget Request, which was submitted the previous October.

During the hearing, we share our successes and expenditures in a way to demonstrate the agency’s accountability to our lawmakers and the state’s taxpayers. Some of the information we put together is used by Oklahoma Library Association members for advocacy purposes as they visit with their legislators.

Later in the spring (usually in May), Director McVey heads to Washington, DC with a group of Oklahoma librarians for National Library Legislative Day to talk about library funding and policies with our U.S. Reps and Senators.

Continue reading Accountability and Advocacy on the Hill, and at 23rd and Lincoln