By Mallory Schlabach, Editor in Chief
Dr. Callie Faye Milliken (’38), former director of the Brown Library, died Saturday in a Longview nursing home at age 87. She had recently suffered a stroke.
For more than 30 years, Milliken served the university as director of the library, director of special collections and part-time volunteer. In 1997, she moved to Longview to be close to her sister Nelda Jean Stewart.
Milliken joined the ACU staff in 1953 as an assistant professor and director of the library. In 1956 she was promoted to associate professor and received full professorship in 1977. While working on campus, Milliken helped to create many new programs to benefit the library.
“She was an interesting woman with a lot of personality,” said Dr. Marsha Harper, former director of Brown Library until 2003. “She had strong opinions and good ideas; she was very visionary.”
Harper, who worked with Milliken for more than 15 years, said Milliken helped the university create its audio-visual and microforms collections while she was here.
“Very few academic institutions buy audio visual collections,” Harper said. “Dr. Milliken collected long-play records, audio cassettes and video cassettes for the university, which were heavily used by faculty and students in the 1970s.
“She didn’t share the academic librarian’s disdain for anything not in print,” she said. “She saw the importance of these collections and brought them into the library.”
Besides improving what the university’s library offered, Milliken was also instrumental in the planning and directing of the Brown Library, said Erma Jean Loveland, a librarian who interned with Milliken before she retired.
“She was a very dedicated librarian,” Loveland said. “When she first started working here, the library was only on one floor in Chambers, and the cafeteria was on the third floor. She helped move it to all three floors and then into its own building, the Brown Library.”
Loveland said Milliken wanted the best for the students and wanted to be able to provide them with the resources they needed to excel.
While at ACU, Milliken founded Friends of ACU Library, an organization that still exists today that honors students, faculty and those who support the library through special projects and funding. Milliken received the first Friend for a Day award.
Harper said Milliken realized before most people that computers could do a better job indexing and cataloging books than typewriters and copy machines could. Milliken also convinced the administration to fund ACU’s membership into OCLC, a computer-based service that finds books and research in the collections of libraries worldwide, which students can find on the library’s Web site at FirstSearch, Harper said.
Milliken, who never married, was not gregarious, Harper said, but she loved to entertain. She said most people will not know Milliken for her personality, but for the great works she left behind.
In 1986, Milliken retired after 33 years of working at the library and volunteered part-time for several more years. After her retirement, the special collections section of the library was named after her, Loveland said. She was the first director of special collections.
“After 33 years, we owe a great debt of gratitude to her for the library we have now. She laid the foundation,” Loveland said.
Milliken’s funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Rader Funeral Home in Longview.