IUSB Part of the Indiana University Regional Campus Libraries Family

In 1965, IU's newly created director of extension libraries assumed administrative responsibility for the IU South Bend Library as well as the other regional campuses, and Bloomington took over all ordering, processing, and cataloging of library materials of all regional campuses. Thus the Regional Campus Libraries (RCL) system was created. The rationale behind the RCL system is shown in the following quotation, taken from an IU South Bend Archives file, Regional Campus Library System, 1967:

In general, the system attempts to provide (for South Bend and for the other regional campuses) library materials available to faculty and students at Bloomington. The theory is, that we should be in no way be penalized as far as our research (and our students' research) is concerned because of our geographical location... Such a system, especially in the xeroxing of articles, is of course expensive. By maintaining a central office for the processing of book orders from all six campuses, the regional campus system frees each member campus from the necessity of paying for equipment and personnel to order and to process books. It is only because of such unique centralization that each campus library is able to develop to the extent that it is."
Library at Northside Hall
Library at Northside Hall

With the RCL system, IU South Bend as well as the other IU campuses throughout the state relied on the expertise of the RCL professionals and student workers for all technical processing as well as the Library holdings themselves. A 1975 memo from the Bloomington Libraries to the South Bend campus made the relationship clear:

The purpose of the Center is to purchase, receive, catalog, mark for circulation, distribute, and maintain holding and accounting records for all library materials added to the six regional campus collections. Each week the South Bend Library receives from the Center books ready for shelving, computer-printed catalog cards, and a funds summary. Each week data reflecting new activity for the South Bend Library is incorporated into the machine-readable Regional Campus Libraries Union Catalog.

Over the years the libraries of the regional campuses of the IU system have assumed more responsibility. The regional campuses have assumed more of their own duties on a practical level for the most part while remaining connected to the greater IU Library system.


Last Reviewed: 03/2014