FLORENCE – It is 1975.
The Watergate verdict is guilty.
President Ford escapes two assassination attempts.
The city of Saigon is surrendered and remaining Americans are evacuated, ending the Vietnam War.
The song of the year is, "The Way We Were," written by Marilyn and Alan Bergman and Marvin Hamlisch.
The year 1975 also sees Paul Dove, dean of Francis Marion University’s James A. Rogers Library, named assistant acquisitions librarian at FMU.
The Winnsboro native, who is set to retire on June 30, said one book constituted the entire holdings of FMU’s Rogers Library when it was dedicated in 1971, the first new building on campus. Thirty-three years later, the library, named for the first chairman of the State College Board of Trustees, houses a collection of nearly 400,000 volumes and provides access to a variety of electronic databases. Rogers Library is the sixth largest academic library in South Carolina. It seats 600 and is open 88 hours per week.
The staff of 24 attributes much of the success of the library to Dove who they credit with making the library’s resources more accessible to the public through technological innovations and other improvements.
To name a few, in 1996, Rogers Library became the first library in South Carolina to offer a web-based catalog. The catalog currently contains more than 304,000 bibliographic records. The library currently provides access to 40 databases, including many full-text services. The library also has access to more than 5,000 journals and adds new titles almost daily. Rogers Library is a member of DISCUS, Digital Information for South Carolina Users, SOLINET, the Southeastern Library Network, and PASCAL, Partnerships Among South Carolina Academic Libraries.
The staff, half of which have been employed for more than 20 years, also boasted about Dove’s leadership abilities. They said the following:
- Linda D. Becote, technical services librarian and associate professor (1978), said, “I have worked with Mr. Dove for more than 20 years. He has not only been my boss, but he is my friend. He has listened to me many times when I know he needed to be doing something else, and not just about work related issues, but personal things as well. He gives great advice, he's patient, he's encouraging and he is kind and caring. Paul Dove has been a great mentor and I have learned so much from him.”
- Joyce M. Durant, interim dean (1973), said, “He has been like a rock. He is extremely dependable and knowledgeable and he shares that knowledge with others. He will go the extra mile for his employees, always offering encouragement.”
- Cindy A. Price, media cataloging librarian and assistant professor (1988), said, “Paul has always been fair. He does what he can for everyone. He is easy to work with. I left for two years but came back primarily because of Paul.”
- Pamela B. Radcliffe, systems librarian and associate professor (1985), said, “He has always taken the time to not only understand technology but he backs and supports efforts to implement technology initiatives… He is a great leader.”
- Yvonne Davis, senior library technical assistant and acquisitions coordinator (1981), said, “He is an optimist who taught me that if you do what you’re supposed to do, you won’t have to do what you’ve got to do. Paul taught me to take a proactive approach to handling situations.”
- Janet S. McLeod, administrative assistant to the dean of the library (1980), said, “He is a very compassionate and capable employer. Because he was a laborer in the library, I think it is easier for him to understand and relate to his employees.”
Dove’s life at a glance:
The dean earned his undergraduate degree in French from Erskine College, and was pursuing a master’s degree in French at the University of South Carolina when he got his first taste of working in a library. He was a graduate library intern in USC’s McKissick Library, at a time when librarians were in demand.
He was offered the head librarian’s position at Erskine, and the school offered to send him for a master’s degree in library science. So Dove shelved his French graduate studies to earn an
M.S. in L.S. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He later returned to USC and finished his master’s degree in French.
After serving as head librarian at Erskine for five years, Dove held the same post at Coastal Carolina University for a year, before coming to FMU in 1975 as assistant acquisitions librarian.
When Frances C. Means retired in 1980 as acquisitions librarian, Dove assumed that post. In 1983, Mitchell Reames, the only library director FMU had ever known, retired and Dove was tapped for the post. In 1994, the position title was changed to dean of the library.
A founding co-chair of PASCAL, he also served terms as treasurer, vice president and president of the South Carolina Library Association. He served throughout the southern United States on 32 Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) accreditation visiting committees and taught University Life 100 courses at FMU. Dove has two children and six grandchildren.
His retirement plans include traveling from the saddle of his Harley-Davidson motorcycle.