University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Departmental Library Services | University of Illinois Archives
Public services of the Campus Library are units that deal directly with the library user. Their chief functions are service and selection of material. Those responsibilities include circulation, reference, bibliographic aids, and inter-library loans. A major part of public services are the operations of the various departmental or branch libraries, which in 1975 totaled thirty-seven. Most of them are organized according to the departmental structure of the University, though many are combined with related fields of interest. Included with the libraries are those with specialized tasks, such as the undergraduate library, rare book room, archives, newspaper library, and the Illinois historical survey.1 The branch and departmental libraries have grown and contracted over the years, sometimes combining with or dividing from collections devoted to similar disciplines.2 Health sciences, the archives, music, map, and geology libraries are among the branches that perform processing activities, although technical services handles material for most libraries.3 The term public service departments has existed since 1944, and the office of assistant university librarian for public service originated in 1945.4 Public service units developed from the reference and loan departments, which were two of the five main divisions of the Campus Library in 1916.5
1. Graduate Course Catalog, 1974/76, pp. 9-11; Library Annual Report, 1974-75, pp. 5-6.
2. Board of Trustees Transactions, 28th Report, June 30, 1916, p. 25; Board of Trustees Transactions, 37th Report, June 15, 1934, pp. 355-56.
3. Library Annual Report, 1974-75, p. 8-9.
4. Board of Trustees Transactions, 43rd Report, June 27, 1946, and appendix, June 19, 1944, p. 794.
5. Board of Trustees Transactions, 28th Report, June 30, 1916, p. 25.