Pollak Library History
The Library reference desk, 1960s. University Archives and Special Collections.
A Brief History and Timeline of the Pollak Library
Until 1998 when it became The Paulina June and George Pollak Library, the library name included the official college/university name:
- 1958 March 13: ORANGE COUNTY STATE COLLEGE was authorized with Dr. William B. Langsdorf appointed its first President in 1959.
- 1962 July: ORANGE STATE COLLEGE (OSC) 1964: CALIFORNIA STATE COLLEGE AT FULLERTON (CSCF)
- 1968: CALIFORNIA STATE COLLEGE FULLERTON (CSCF)
- 1972 June 1: CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FULLERTON (CSUF)
- 1998: PAULINA JUNE AND GEORGE POLLAK LIBRARY
- 1959-1983: Ernest Toy (retired)
- 1983-1984: Carolyn Kacena, (Acting) Associate Librarian
- 1984-1986: Alan Schorr
- 1986-1987: Robert Emery (Interim Library Director), Professor of Speech Communication
- 1987-2013: Richard C. Pollard (retired)
- 2013-2016: Scott Hewitt (Interim Library Director)
- 2017-Current: Clem Guthro
- 1959. The Library was first located in a Sunny Hills High School building along with four classrooms and Student Services. At this time, OCSC Administration was housed on the 2nd floor of a Fullerton High School building. Ernest W. Toy, Jr. was selected as College Librarian before the first classes were held. Already, the college was expected to attract workers needing late afternoon and evening classes. 500 volumes were collected and housed at Administration. Since there was no electricity, a Coleman lantern was sometimes used and the materials shared space with the bookstore.
- 1960. In August, the Library was the first academic unit to move into one of the new temporary units or barracks near the Mahr House (present day George G. Golleher Alumni House). By 1961 there were 10,000 volumes, 300 periodicals, and the beginning of the textbook collection (California K-12). Originally in Building 1100, it soon expanded into Building 1600.
- 1963. The Library moved into the basement of the Science Building (McCarthy Hall) in 1963. The Library had 30,000 square feet of space and held 53,000 volumes and 1,200 periodicals. In 1963 the Library was a depository for both selected U.S. government documents and for the California Curriculum Program. Librarians were included in the formation of a Faculty Council, the first of its kind in the Cal State Colleges.
- 1966. Library construction was delayed until an enrollment of 10,000 FTE’s justified a building (Koehler, p. 27). The Library was the 4th permanent building on campus (Science, 1963; Theater, 1965; Physical Education, 1966) and opened in June 1966 with the official dedication on November 30, 1966. The building was six stories, cost $4.1 million, and was designed by Risely, Gould & Van Heuklyn. The design provided room for 240,000 volumes and study seating for 1,580 patrons. o Basement: Instructional Media Services (IMS): audiovisual, auditioning rooms, television studios, production quarters, photo labs o 1st floor: card catalog, library administration offices, circulation services, reading room, reserve books, technical services o 2nd floor: Division of Education until 1976 o 3rd floor: Business Administration and Economics until 1974 o 4th floor: Periodicals, books, documents, microforms, Special Collections Center, Rare Book Room, music listening rooms, group study rooms.
- 1980. Approval was received to convert 2nd and 3rd floors into library facilities at a cost of $1,561,000.
- 1989. Electronic Catalog system installed in the Library, beginning the replacement of the card catalog. 1992. After years of postponements, $25 million in revenue bonds were approved for expansion, which began in 1994.
- 1996. Library North (new building) opened as an addition to Library South (original building). The main entrance to the library changed from the south side of the building to the east and west sides. Library North added four new floors with 130,000 square feet. It cost $30 million, plus $4.6 million for new computer technology and AV equipment. The library addition was designed by Albert C. Martin & Associates of Irvine.
Collections, Services, and Events
- 1965. The Freedom Center was opened. It is devoted to collection and supervision of pamphlets, tapes, and bibliographies covering a broad range of political opinion. There were 200 coin-operated lockers on the 5th and 6th floors. A copy machine charged 10 cents a page.
- 1965. Patrons of the Library formed to enrich library holdings by underwriting a host of materials and services. In addition to many other special items, the Patrons purchased for the Library a leaf from a Gutenberg Bible (1450), miniature pagodas c.770A.D, and books from the 15-20th centuries. The Patrons covered the insurance costs involved in allowing the library exhibits. 1966. The library collection reached 100,000 volumes (Koehler, p. 34) and included “The Experienc’d Angler” published in 1683 part of the fresh-water fishing collection. Please note that this title does not appear in the Library Catalog.
- 1968. The library collection reached 200,000 volumes and included Aulus Gellius’s “Noctes Atticae” published in 1489, the oldest work in the library (Koehler, p.34). This volume was donated to the Library.
1970-1976. The University offered the Master of Science in Library Science (MSLS) program. Its Director was Doris Banks.
- 1971. Veronica Chiang, librarian, presented the library’s first exhibits. Initially, there were about four a year. The first was of oriental art. Others have included orange-crate labels, antique hatpins, and pop art.
- 1974. Linda Herman was named Director of Special Collections. Many different small collections were added such as angling, maps, presidential campaign buttons, and special publishers.
- 1976, July 12. Seven library staff and patrons were killed and two were injured in the basement and on the 1st floor of the library by a custodian, Edward Allaway, who was later diagnosed with schizophrenia. This was the worst mass murder in Orange County history, until 2011. Stephen Becker, Frank Teplansky, Seth Fessenden (emeritus), Paul Herzberg, Bruce Jacobson, Donald Karges, and Debbie Paulsen died. Donald Keran and Maynard Hoffman were wounded. In 1977, Allaway was found not guilty by reason of insanity. In October 1978, the Dedication of The Memorial Grove was held in the area north of the library. A Stone Pine tree was planted for each of those who died.
- 1977. Interlibrary Loan (ILL) was first mentioned in the school catalog.
- October 21, 1998. Paulina June and George Pollak presented to the Library the largest gift ever received from a faculty member. Paulina June George (1961, English and Comparative Literature), donated $1 million. The building at this time was re-named The Paulina June and George Pollak Library. The donation was used to start a collection endowment. In a November 30, 1999, Los Angeles Times article, June Pollak said, “We have no children…so it was sort of a way for our names to continue.”
- Salz-Pollak Room. This room is named for June Salz-Pollak or Paulina Salz-Pollak, Patron of the Library and former President of the Patrons. 2002.
- Rotary Room. PLN-130 was named the Rotary Room in appreciation of a donation from the Rotary Club of Fullerton on July 3, 2002.
- Burroughs Bust on the 2nd floor north. CSUF Professor Robert McLaren was a fan of Tarzan and Edgar Rice Burroughs. Professor McLaren sponsored an exhibit during the centennial year of Burroughs’ birth, which included a bust made by his wife. This was then donated to the library.
- Koehler, Mary A. (1984). Kaleidoscope 1959-84: California State University Fullerton. Fullerton, CA: California State University, Fullerton.
- Toy, Ernest. Oral history. Not transcribed.
- California State University, Fullerton. University Archives and Special Collections provided dates and facts used in this report.
- Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register (previously the Register, previously the Santa Ana Register), and Daily Titan articles were researched for information from contemporary resources.
Note: This history has not been substantially updated since 2006.