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History of the Library Collections

Ora Ann Sprague Circulating Collection

A Michigan native, Ora Sprague attended Spring Arbor Junior College and Greenville College, where she received her B.A. in Mathematics in 1932. In 1933, Chesbrough Junior College - the future Roberts Wesleyan College - hired her as Dean of Women and Instructor in Mathematics. Finding the library inadequate, she quickly took it over, weeding and reorganizing the collection. She took a leave of absence to pursue an M.A. in Mathematics from the University of Michigan (1938). She received a B.S. in Library Science from the University of Syracuse in 1941 and an M.S. from Columbia University in 1951.

At this time, Ora Sprague began living with fellow Roberts librarian and French instructor Martha Humelsine (1906-1983), whose contribution was almost equal to Ora's in building the library's collection. They purchased a house together on College Drive in 1951 and lived there for the next twenty years, neither marrying. Hardly ever seen apart, the two were dubbed the "Spraguelsines." Upon Sprague's retirement as head librarian in 1971, she and Humelsine moved to Florida and undertook various library projects, including cataloging the Billy Graham Library in Montreat, North Carolina; the Free Methodist Mission Library in the Dominican Republic; and the Evangelical Bible Seminary of Southern Africa in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

After the dedication of the B. Thomas Golisano Library in 2007, the library's circulating collection was named in memory of Ora Ann Sprague as a testament to her lifetime of dedication to Roberts Wesleyan College and its library.

"...to her ability to embrace change and live at peace with unanswered questions, to her keen mind, prayerful spirit, and tender heart, and from the echoes of her wise counsel, ongoing friendship, and love, Ora's voice continues to shape my life." - Elvera Buettner Berry, 1996

Alfred C. Krober Reference Collection

Born in Kansas and raised in Urbana, Illinois, Al Krober attended Greenville College and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he received a B.S. in Chemistry and a Master's in Library Science. His studies at Illinois were interrupted when his draft number came up in 1968, be he returned to work the following year. He was hired by Roberts Wesleyan College as a librarian and succeeded Ora Sprague as Head Librarian in 1971; his title was later changed to Director of Library Services.

He retired in 2015 after serving the College for over four decades as the director, overseeing the conversion of the library collection's conversion from a card to online catalog, the introduction of digital databases, and the move of the library's collection from the current Hastings Center into its current building. Al is a longtime resident of Orchard Street and occasionally plays the organ at Pearce Memorial Church.

On September 18, 2017, the Golisano Library and Roberts Advancement Office formally named the library's reference collection in honor of Alfred Krober. This special recognition calls attention to his many contributions to the library during his tenure as Director of Library Services and his ongoing contributions to the Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary community.

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