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Library Milestones



June 19 - Library established in a small room in the Main Building.



Miss Martha M. Brown, a member of the first faculty, takes charge of the two room library.

1926 Mrs. Brown secured a grant from the Rosenwald Fund to assist in building a new library and acquired a degree in library science.

The Memorial Library was erected.

1930 The library book holdings totaled 15,000 volumes and circulation statistics totaled 80,923. The staff consisted of two full-time and six part-time workers, and practice workers of the Library Science Class. Library hours 7 :00 a. m.-9:30 p. m.

The Library Science Club was organized to develop an appreciation how the library may contribute to the students¨ cultural, recreational and professional development.


1940 The State Board of Education approved courses in Library Service training designed for librarians and part-time librarians in the high schools of Tennessee, as well as for junior and senior students who desired a minor in Library Service. The library book holdings totaled 25,000 volumes in addition to government documents-reference books, general and professional periodicals.

Library Science courses were approved by the State Board of Education to train  and retrain librarians and part-time librarians in high schools in Tennessee.


Miss Lois H. Daniel was appointed the second Library Director.


New library was built.


The T-shaped Georgian styled building was dedicated November 23 and named the Martha M. Brown Memorial Library. Staff at the time consisted of four librarians and five professional assistants.

November 23 - The new library was dedicated and named Martha M. Brown Memorial Library.


The Library offered a Noon Music Hour of classical and semi-classical music in the Music Room on the first floor. During the school year 3,569 listeners attended. Book volume count increased to 53,966.

1966 Library hours extended to 82 hours per week.

Dr. Evelyn P. Fancher was appointed the third Director of the Library.


A three-story new library building was erected.

1977 Library of Congress classification and Management by Objectives assessment. system are incorporated.
1978 The Tattle-Tape Security System (3M) was installed to curtail the loss of books. The new Library was dedicated April 21 and named the Martha M. Brown/Lois H. Daniel Library

The new library was dedicated and renamed Martha M. Brown and Lois H. Daniel Library.


The Martha M. Brown- Lois H. Daniel Library merged with the UT Nashville Library .

1982 The Dr. Thomas E. Poag papers were presented to the Library.

The first IBM Micro-Computer was acquired.


Microcomputers became an integral part of the Library.


Library purchased its first library system-SIRSI.

1990 SIRSI Online Acquisitions and Serials Modules were added to the system.
  The Library is awarded a three-year grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education (FIPSE), U.S. Department of Education, to establish the Computer Resource Equity of Access in Tennessee Education (CREATE) Network, a consortium of Tennessee HBCU libraries.

Dr. Yildiz B. Binkley was appointed the fourth Library Director/Dean of the Library.


Library was awarded a three-year grant from FIPSE  to establish a computer resource equity of access in Tennessee education, a consortium of Tennessee¨s HBCUs.

1993 The Library is awarded a two-year grant from the National Security Agency to establish a computer skills laboratory to serve inner-city children via Saturday training workshops.
Library MARC records were migrated to DEC ALPHA.

Library was awarded a two-year grant from national Security Agency to establish a computer skills lab and Saturday Academy for low income students.

1994 The Library's online catalog becomes available on the Internet. Library faculty and staff participate in Tennessee Board of Regents and State Department of Education project training School Librarians in the use of the Internet.

Library established an Art Cornet to exhibit the works of Tennessee artists.

Library created its first web page.


The Library creates Internet/World-Wide Web Homepage.

1996 INFOTRAC databases were offered on line for wider use.
Online access to journal information becomes available on the Library Homepage.
First library computer lab established in the Reference Department.
The Library installs a security system equipped with motion sensors, video cameras and alarms.

First smart classroom was established on the third floor of the Library.

1997 The library installs the Data Resource Associates (DRA) online system, which includes interfaces for circulation, acquisitions, cataloging, and other library service applications.

The Library begins digitizing archival and non-copyrighted materials.

The Library becomes a charter member of the Nashville Area Library Alliance (NALA), a consortium of college/university libraries, the Public Library of Nashville and Davidson County, and public school libraries. Tennessee State University is also an active participant in the consortium's Project ATHENA, which provides linkages among the institutions in the consortium's Project ATHENA, which provides linkages among the institutions' online catalogs and expedited document delivery via express courier ser

The second computer lab was established on the third floor.

Library installed DRA library system.

Library began digitizing  archival and non-copyrighted materials.

Library became the founding member of the Nashville Area Library Alliance (NALA).

Second smart classroom was established on the third floor of the Library.

1998 Renovation of the Brown-Daniel Library begins with total reconstruction of the first floor.

Library became the founding member of Tennessee Academic Library Collaborative (TALC).

1999 The Library partners with Cheekwood, Nashville Institute for the Arts, The Parthenon , Tennessee State Museum and the Frist Center for the Visual Arts to provide inservice for the Art Specialists in Metro Nashville Schools.

Library initiated online reserves (DOCUTEK).

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Dan Glickman, visited TSU.

Noted journalist Juan Williams was among the African-American History Month speakers at Tennessee State University.

Vocalist William Warfield performed at the University.

Mayor of Nashville, Phil Bradesen honored at the TSU fund-raising dinner.

Retired Teacher, former alumnus received Tennessee¨s Outstanding Achievement Award presented by Governor Don Sundquist.

Kweisi Mfume addresses the student body as part of the Student Development Symposium and Presentation Series.

The Tom Joyner Morning Show returned to campus.


Library began providing access to electronic books.

Library became the founding member of the OCLC Cooperative Online resource Catalog (CORC).

The Library-Dr. Yildiz B. Binkley, Mrs. Estella Whitaker, Miss Sharon Hull and Mr. Fletcher Moon- received Innovation Award from Tennessee Board of Regents Distance Education.

College of Education featured in national report in Black Issues in Higher Education.

2001 Technical Processing area is reorganized.
The new area, Collection Management, includes Acquisitions, Cataloging and Serials and is headed by Coordinator Glenda Alvin.
The Serials and Acquisitions Departments are merged.Glenda Alvin is the head of the newly merged department. The second floor of the Library is carpeted.
The Library provides access to 14,103 electronic books (e-books) in cooperation with SOLINET through the netLibrary system.

Computer labs (Information Commons)  was established on the first and second floors.

Consent Decree brings new opportunities to TSU.

2002 The Library receives $124,000 from technology access fees and a matching $124,000 from Title III to redesign the Reference/Information center/area on the second floor.

The Library installs antennas for wireless laptop use on all three floors.

Library began providing wireless environment on all three floors.

Administrative reorganization included:

The new Division of  Technology and Administrative Services which includes Communications and Information Technology, Purchasing and Business Services, Human Resources, and Institutional Effectiveness and Research. 

Dr. Dennis Gendron was appointed Vice President for Technology and Administrative Services. 

Gerald Washington was named Vice President for University relations and Development. 

The University launches Strategic E-Business certification initiative. 

Tennessee State University topped list of black colleges web sites. 

Home Economics Building renamed after Dr. Frederick S. Humphries, TSU¨s fourth president. 

TSU based project DIANE receives $1.1 million technology grant. 

TSU¨s Small Business Development Center opened a satellite office.

2003 The Library receives $235,000 from Technology Access Fee Fund to write a RFP and select a new integrated library system. Both campus libraries install antennas for wireless laptops and begin to circulate laptops for student use. The Avon Williams Campus Library receives a 14-pc computer lab. The Avon Williams Campus Media Center receives a 15-pc computer lab. The Library begins providing online access to periodical holdings via Serial Solutions.

The Library establishes a Book Club for faculty, students and staff. The Library establishes periodical and book browsing areas.

Tennessee State University opened $9 million Performing Arts Center

Master of Education Degree and other teacher training programs became available online.

TSU celebrated first Fall Commencement.

Olympic Plaza and Wellness Center opened.

TSU expanded its Associate Degree program in Nursing to Nashville State Community College.

Nobel Laureate lauded TSU researchers.


Presidential candidates, John Edwards and Wesley Clark campaigned at Tennessee State University.

2005 New Integrated Library System - Innovative Interfaces Implemented.

Retrospective Conversion Project from Dewey Decimal to Library of Congress classification system completed.

Main Campus Library Computer Labs PCs on the second floor upgraded. Library staff PCs upgraded.

Melvin N.  Johnson became the University¨s seventh president  in June 2005.

2006 Library participated in the HBCU Library Alliance Digital Project funded by Mellon Foundation and assisted by Cornell University.
Mrs. Sharon Hull Smith was trained in Atlanta. Other participants are Mrs. Loretta Divens and Mrs. Estella Whitaker. E-Research@ Tennessee State University, an institutional repository of research, was initiated.WebBridge, an online search engine, was introduced as part of the Innovative Interfaces Integrated Library System for in-depth searches.MetaFind, Innovative Interfaces web-based search tool that enables users to search multiple electronic resources, was introduced.Library's Online Catalog (OPAC) was redesigned.Library's second smart classroom was completed.

Library second floor computer lab was extended.

Library participated in the first HBCU Library Alliance Project on leadership.

Library participated in the third HBCU Library Alliance Project on Digitization.

E-research @ Tennessee State University, a repository of research, was initiated.

2007 The Library participated in the third HBCU Library Alliance Photograph Preservation project funded by the Melon Foundation and in cooperation with University of Delaware.
The Multimedia Studio that provides various software and hardware for presentations and research began service at the Main Campus Media Center in Fall 2007.

Library¨s Embedded Librarian program was initiated.

Title of the  Director of Libraries and Media Centers  was changed to Dean of Libraries and media Centers.

Library participated in the Big Read project.

2008 The Embedded Librarian Program that provides collaboration with faculty in teaching Information literacy skills via online, on ground and/or hybrid courses began in January 2008.

The first Embedded Librarian is Mrs. Barbara Van Hooser and the first course utilizing this service is English 1020 taught by Dr. Samantha Morgan-Curtis.

Library began marketing the faculty of the institution via Spotlight on TSU Authors on its web page.


An online course on 1001 Library Literacy was developed by Dr. Murle Kenerson, Assistant Director of Public Services, and the Reference librarians. This course is available via library's web site.

The Library participated in the Big Read, an initiative of the national Endowment for the Arts designed to revitalize the role of literary reading in American popular culture.

Ray Bradbury's book Fahrenheit 451 was chosen for the project.
The Tennessee State University Library was among the first ten institutions to participate in the Photographic Preservation Grant. This is a $60,000 grant where funds are used for training and preservation activities.
Two library staff members were trained in the preservation techniques and in turn they trained students in the Special Collections Area.

Through this grant two large historical pictures: Coach Temple and the Tigerbelles, and 1949 graduating class are being preserved in Philadelphia Historical Conservation.

2009 Acquisitions Department added the system's EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) feature to its module. This feature allows the Library to pay its entire journal subscriptions via invoice data transmitted directly from the vendor.  In addition, EDI was used for the first time with Midwest Library Services to expedite receiving and paying book invoices. Both trials were so successful that the department is planning to use EDI with all of its book vendors. The current print periodicals located in the Main Campus Library were reorganized for improved accessibility by call number order.

Library initiated Twitter and Facebook  presence on the web.

Fall - Tennessee State University honored Freedom Riders with a Symposium.


Tennessee State University received the 2010 President¨s Higher Education Community Service Honor Role Award. 

January - Tennessee State University Astronomer George Henry detected an extrasolar planet that id four times the mass of earth.

April 2010 - College of Health Sciences established a Master of Public Health degree program.

April 14 - Grace M. Eaton Childcare Center was renovated.

April - Dr. Cornel West gave a lecture at Tennessee State University.

October - Tennessee State University Power Plant was named  for Mr. Alexander Murray.

Tennessee State University astronomers discovered a planet with two suns.

College of Education was reaccredited by NCATE

December - The Tennessee State University Choir performed for Oprah Winfrey Tribute at the Kennedy center Honors Gala. 

December - Tennessee State University received classification as a Carnegie Community Engaged University.


Library introduced ENCORE-a one-stop search portal on it web page.

Library introduced Mobile access to its resources.

January - Tennessee State University Alumnus, Daniel Brown, was sworn as Knoxville¨s first Black mayor. 

April - Tennessee State University¨s AFROTC Detachment celebrated sixty-years with Alumnus Fig Newton. 

April - Tennessee State University¨s Catana Starks¨ story was captured in a feature film ^ From the Rough ̄. 

May - Dr. Dennis Gendron was named Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. 

May - A new chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) was established. 

May - Name changes, realignments and eliminated academic units.

Name Changes

  • Change name of Department of Urban Studies to Department of Sociology, Social Work and Urban Professions in the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs.

  • Change name of School of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences to College of

  • Agricultural, Human and Natural Sciences.

  • Change name of the College of Arts and Sciences to the College of Liberal Arts.

Re-alignment of Academic Units.

Move Department of Biology from College of Arts and Sciences to the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Sciences.

Move Department of Chemistry from College of Arts and Sciences to the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Sciences.

Move Department of Physics and Mathematics from College of Arts and Sciences to the College of Engineering, Technology and Computer Sciences.

Merge the Department of Civil Engineering and Department of Architectural Engineering into a new Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering in the College of Engineering, Technology and Computer Science.

Move School of Nursing into the College of Health Sciences.

Rename the School of Nursing the Division of Nursing in the College of Health Sciences.

Close Department of Sociology and Social Work.

Move BS Sociology, BS Social Work and MS Social Work from the College of Arts and Sciences to the renamed Department of Sociology, Social Work and Urban Professions in the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs.

Move Department of Human Performance and Sport Science to the College of Health Sciences.

Academic Units eliminated (name/title change forms attached)

Department of Africana Studies eliminated with faculty moved to Department of History, Geography and Political Science.

Department of Civil Engineering eliminated and merged into Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering.

Department of Architectural Engineering eliminated and  merged into Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering.

Tennessee State University received Department of Homeland Security Leadership Award.