And the next stop on the mystery tour is…

brace yourself folks…the Houston Cole Library!

The Houston Cole Library was honored to be the latest stop on Anniston’s South Highland Community Center’s “mystery tour.” For some of the members, this was a trip down memory lane. Mr. Joe Hoffman, Director of the tours, and Ms. Lanier were former JSU Students. Ms. Lanier was a nursing student and Mr. Hoffman majored in physical education and recreation. Ms. Betty Hawkins enjoyed visiting JSU because her niece is currently enrolled as a freshman. In the Alabama Gallery, we were able to find the yearbook picture of one of Ms. Mason’s daughters (see photo). Two of her daughters formerly attended JSU.

Dean Graham welcomed the group and reminded them that this is their library, as well, and invited them to come back and enjoy the library’s coffee shop, resources, and events. One upcoming Friends of the Library event, he mentioned, is “Alabama’s Nat King Cole,” a presentation by Daphne Simpkins,  writer and instructor at Auburn University at Montgomery. Ms. Simkins will discuss the life and times of Nat King Cole who was born in Montgomery, Alabama. This event is free and open to the public. Visit the Friends of the Houston Cole Library Web site  for more information about this special presentation.

The group spent time looking through Mimosa & Teacola Yearbooks, as well as historical pictures of Jacksonville State University in the Alabama Gallery. When I showed the group an old cataloging book for keeping records for library books purchased, one of the group members recalled cataloging books in a similar method when she worked at one of the high schools in Calhoun County. I also told the group about our digital collection of freely acccessible resources online from the Library Web site. These resources include access to JSU’s student newspaper, The Chanticleer; The Jacksonville Republican (issues from 1837-1895); full text access to Effie White Sawyer’s The First Hundred Years: The History of Jacksonville State University, 1883-1983; the Harry Strange Collection; The Life and Times of Houston Cole; and an oral history collection.

The highlight of the library tour, naturally, was our spectacular panoramic view from the 12th floor balcony. Mr. Hoffman kind of took over as tour guide as he pointed out all the buildings and facilities on campus to group members. In his reminiscing, he told us that guys used to watch the girls sunbathing on the top of their dorms from the 12th floor back in the eighties. Those crazy eighties!

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting members of the Highlands Community Center group today and hope they come back and visit often.

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