History

Hallie Quinn Brown (1850?-1949) was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to former slaves. She and her family moved to Wilberforce, Ohio in 1870, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree from Wilberforce University in 1873. Brown taught school in the South until her appointment as professor of elocution at Wilberforce University in 1893. A gifted elocutionist and author, Brown received national and international acclaim not only for her recitals and written works, but also for her passionate belief in civil rights and African American culture. A founder of the National Association of Colored Women, she served as president of the NACW from 1920 to 1924. In a well-publicized address in May of 1925 before the International Council of Women in Washington, D.C., Brown delivered a powerful, scathing speech against discrimination. She is the author of several books, including Bits and Odds: A Choice Selection of Recitations.

Historian Dr. Charles H. Wesley, the first president of Central State University, chose to name the first library for Miss Hallie Q. Brown. The Central State University library has retained that designation ever since.

The present 3-story, handicapped-accessible library was erected in 1980, following a 1974 devastating tornado that destroyed much of the campus. It is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including public-access computer terminals with internet access, a computer lab for writing papers, and a media production lab for teachers in training. The library's special Black Collection of books by and about African Americans - indeed, books by and about Africans throughout the diaspora - stands head and shoulders above similar collections within the state of Ohio.

In addition to the library's collections, students attending Central State University have on-line access to the library collections of all OhioLINK colleges and universities throughout the state of Ohio. Numerous research databases, both citation and full-text, are available at any public terminal.

The Library is administered by the Library Director and the Assistant Library Director who are advised by the Senate Committee on Library Information. The two major organizational units are Public Services, including Reference, Circulation, Instructional Services, and the Curriculum Library and Technical Services, including Acquisitions, Cataloging, and Serials.

We hope that you would take advantage of the many services which the library offers. We hope, too, that you would join "Miss Hallie's Friends," an energetic group of volunteers who help support the Hallie Q. Brown Memorial Library and its programs.