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University Libraries

Welcome to Roesch Library: Nifty at 50

By Diane Osman, Kristina Schulz, Katy Kelly

During the week of April 4–10, 2021, the University of Dayton Libraries are celebrating National Library Week along with the 50th birthday of the Roesch Library building. Libraries faculty and staff are inspired by the American Library Association (ALA)’s theme this year, “Welcome to Your Library.” 

During the pandemic, employees of the Libraries have been working hard to adapt and expand ways for patrons to use library resources in these challenging times. They continually search for ways to provide services beyond the walls of the building. Whether you visit virtually or in person, University Libraries faculty and staff want all to feel welcome.

The building now known as Roesch Library opened in January of 1971, nearly two years after ground was broken for the eight-story building. Father Raymond A. Roesch, S.M., was president at the time. During his tenure as UD’s 16th president from 1959 to 1979, Roesch oversaw the construction of 20 new campus buildings. Academic departments grew along with the number of bachelor’s and master’s degrees offered; he also facilitated the launch of three new doctoral programs, and he was instrumental in the reopen­ing of the School of Law. In recognition of Roesch’s transformative leadership, the UD Board of Trustees named the library in his honor in 1979.

While 50th birthdays typically call for a big party and a cake with candles, we’re celebrating on a smaller and safer scale this year:

  • We’ve placed 50 party favor bags around the library study spaces for students to find. They include candy and a limited-edition “Club Roesch — since 1971” button with a groovy logo (above) designed by University Libraries communication and creative coordinator Ann Zlotnik. 
  • People taking the stairs will overhear a playlist of songs inspired by the year 1971, birthdays, Dayton and libraries. 
  • A portrait and biography of Father Raymond A. Roesch, S.M., the namesake of our library, will be placed on the first floor by the front windows. 
  • Libraries faculty and staff are meeting for a quick Zoom party on April 7, one day after National Library Workers Day, for “The Li-Berries,” a fun awards ceremony. We look forward to celebrating our colleagues with trophies such as “Best Office Decor” and “Best Resource for Food News.”

How will you celebrate National Library Week? Check out the ALA’s website for ways to show your love for libraries — and be sure to wish Roesch a happy 50th birthday on UD’s campus.

For more background on the University Libraries (plus some far-out photos), read this brief history by Kathleen Tiller.

— Diane Osman works in the dean’s office of the University Libraries. Kristina Schulz is the University archivist. Katy Kelly is an associate professor and coordinator of marketing and engagement. 

A Birthday Salute

In five decades since opening Roesch
It’s been students’ most favored address
For research, for study
Or coffee with a buddy
At the library, you’re bound for success

(This limerick by Maureen Schlangen was on the gift tag for each 50th birthday bag.)

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