Skip to Main Content

Guin Library Yesterday & Today

Guin Library Artwork    Guin Library Artwork    nature landscapes from Guin art gallery

Guin Library Building-Outside
Guin Library Minke Whale Skeleton in Walkway
Guin Library Students Studying
Guin Library Stacks and Fish Art Piece
Guin Library Whiteboard With Student Work
Guin Library Student Studying
Guin Library Microfilm and Microfiche Reader
Guin Library Seminar Meeting Room
Guin Library Whiteboards With Student Work
Guin Library Students Studying
Guin Library Seating Area
Guin Library Students Studying by Windows
Guin Library Student Studying
Guin Library Whiteboard With Student Work
Guin Library Janet Webster Room With Children's Book Display for Hatfield Marine Science Day
Guin Library Display Case

About the Marilyn Potts Guin Library

The Marilyn Potts Guin Library can be compared to an ecosystem. Like an ecosystem, this OSU branch library has evolved over its life, from barely a room with a file cabinet of article reprints and a shelf of books to a cozy room tucked into the second floor of HMSC’s Education Building to its current 20,000 square foot iteration as a hub for the Center. Its evolution has been shaped by the librarians who have managed it and the people who use it. 

The Guin Library houses the research and teaching collection of Oregon State University's Hatfield Marine Science Center. The collection covers a broad range of marine-related topics including fisheries, aquaculture, oceanography, geology, environmental studies and biology.

Particular attention is paid to collecting material on marine fisheries, marine mammals, and information specific to the Northeast Pacific Ocean.

Researchers, students and staff use traditional and electronic tools to access both the local and main campus collections as well as resources throughout the world. 

The Beginning of the Library: With Director Marilyn Potts Guin (1976-1989)

Marilyn Potts GuinThe Hatfield Marine Science Center Library was named as a memorial to Marilyn Potts Guin who served as the Marine Science Center's first Librarian from September 1976 until her death from breast cancer in December 1989.

She came to OSU with a library degree (M.L.S., University of Oklahoma, 1971) and then, after becoming fascinated with the marine world, she pursued a masters degree in Oceanography (M.S., Oceanography, Oregon State University, 1978).

With that accomplished, she convinced the director of the Hatfield Marine Science Center, Lavern Weber, that Hatfield needed a real library with a real librarian. 

The Education Building had space for a library and in 1976, Marilyn promptly started filling it with a well-crafted collection to support the scientists and students working and studying in Newport. 

The field station was evolving into a multi-agency research campus, and the library changed with it. She recognized what information people needed before they did.  

Under her exuberant guidance, the collection grew and the library is now an integral part of the Hatfield Marine Science Center.

The library was officially dedicated in her memory on July 4th, 1990.

 The Hatfield Marine Science Center Library Before the New Building

The Hatfield Marine Science Center Library Before the New Building

Marilyn Potts Guin Over the Years

Marilyn Potts Guin

Marilyn Potts Guin

Marilyn Potts Guin Beached Whale Expedition: June 1976

Beached Whale Expedition: June 1976

Marilyn Potts Guin Beached Whale Expedition: June 1976

Beached Whale Expedition: June 1976

Marilyn Potts Guin Beached Whale Expedition: June 1976

Beached Whale Expedition: June 1976

Marilyn Potts Guin Beached Whale Expedition: June 1976

Beached Whale Expedition: June 1976

Marilyn Potts Guin Holiday Party

Marilyn Potts Guin

Marilyn Potts Guin

Marilyn Potts Guin

Marilyn Potts Guin

Marilyn Potts Guin 1989

Building the Guin Library: With Director Janet Webster (1989-2015)

In 1988, funding came through the Environmental Protection Agency for a new saltwater lab AND a new library. Marilyn worked with Mel George, the University Librarian, and the Steering Committee for the Friends of the HMSC Library: John Chapman, Jim Lannan, Rick Starr, and Ted DeWittto to design a building that would be flexible to accommodate growth while intimate enough to fit into the culture of HMSC. 

Unfortunately, Marilyn lost her fight with cancer December 2, 1989 while the building was still under construction. Fortunately, she had hired Janet Webster as a part-time assistant earlier that year and so Janet took over running the library and figuring out how to configure the new space.

Janet Webster Guin Library Director 1990-2015Janet was new to science librarianship but not new to the coast. She was drawn to OSU because of its role as a land grant institution – one that worked for all Oregonians on the issues and ideas that challenged them. At the library’s dedication on July 4th 1990, she celebrated Marilyn’s legacy, freedom of speech and the people that make a library work. It was a full day as HMSC was celebrating its 25th anniversary and the Oregon Coast Aquarium was breaking ground next door.

Over the next 25 years, Janet saw students come and go, research programs flourish and others fade, and the information world change. HMSC people focus on research and management of the marine environment. They are there because they needed running seawater for their work, had to be close to the marine environment for experiments or worked with people in the coastal communities. The library’s collection expanded into new areas, particularly around policy and management. Some disciplines such as toxicology and pharmacy became less important as genetics and climate change increased visibility. This meant working with the Valley Library librarians to reshape collections as needed. The Guin Library could respond to new demands in part because the Valley Library retained archival and core collections. We also built on our relationships with OSU departments, state and federal agencies and international colleagues to partner in the preservation of obscure and valuable information.

The switch to digital information came quickly for the libraries, but scientists were a little reluctant to let go of print. Now students and scientists are hard pressed to imagine going back to print journals. That switch allowed Janet and her dedicated staff to consider removing long physical runs of journals and open space up for different uses. In 2014, the Guin Library was remodeled to increase meeting room space and to take advantage of the wonderful natural light for better study areas.

The 2014 remodel was possible due to Marilyn Guin’s legacy. She left her house to HMSC and when it was decided that it would be better to sell it, the proceeds were dedicated to library needs. These funds helped reconfigure the spaces to meet current needs.

Building the Guin Library: Gallery

Building the New Guin Library
Construction site of Guin Library
Another shot of Guin Library Construction site
Construction area of the Guin Library
exterior of the New Guin Library construction
exterior of the New Guin Library construction
exterior of the New Guin Library construction
Exterior of almost-finished Guin Library

Guin Library Dedication Ceremony: Photos

Guin Library Dedication Ceremony Program July 4, 1990
Guin Library Dedication Ceremony Program: order of events
Janet Webster, New Library Director Marilyn Potts Guin Library Dedication Ceremony July 4, 1990
Oregon Library News' September 1990 Article
Two Newspaper Articles on the New Guin Library
Photo from Marilyn Potts Guin Library Dedication Ceremony July 4, 1990
Marilyn Potts Guin Library Dedication Ceremony

Guin Library Dedication Ceremony: Video

Guin Library Over the Years: With Director Mary Markland (2015-2023)

Mary Markland Guin Library Director 2015-PresentIn January 2015, Janet retired just as the Marine Studies Initiative was gaining momentum. Mary Markland took over leadership of the Guin Library.  Mary came to Guin Library with an extensive background in science librarianship and a long-held interest in the marine sciences. She had always dreamed of working at a marine research facility and was familiar with the HMSC as a tourist to the Oregon coast. She focused on envisioning the library in light of the new OSU Marine Studies Initiative which is projected to bring hundreds of new undergraduate students to HMSC to study and experience the coast across disciplines. Consequently, she looked at how undergraduate students study and research and focused on their needs for intellectual encouragement and relaxation. New furniture was purchased to accommodate their needs for small group study areas and relaxed conversation.

The library ecosystem has evolved from a place for books and journals to a place for people to meet, study and talk. Its services have changed from accommodating circulation of print material to facilitating access to digital information. 

Through all of this, the librarians and library staff of the Guin Library have emphasized that the library is a visible and vital part of HMSC and beyond. It’s important to emphasize that while the professional librarians have guided the development of the library ecosystem, the small but mighty staff have been instrumental in keeping the system moving forward. 

Graduate students rely on the library for quiet space while undergraduates look for collaborative experiences. The scientists use it as a gateway to find the information needed to foster their research. International colleagues in the network of marine libraries use us a resource just as we count on them for obscure resources. People at the Corvallis campus know that the Guin Library is the place for marine information. The Library will continue to evolve as the people who use it and the community around it change.

Guin Articles in The Messenger

Oral Histories

HMSC Library History Pre-1990:

Range Bayer came to the Marine Science Center (as it was known then) in 1974 as a graduate student and worked as a library assistant before the Guin Library was built.

He speaks primarily of his association with the HMSC library, initially as a student worker and later as a custodian. In this, he reflects on the impact made by Marilyn Potts Guin, HMSC's first professional librarian, noting in particular her forward-thinking vision for the role of computers within libraries.

Full transcript here 


Guin Library Director 1990-2015

Janet Webster: Memories of the Guin Library, November 14, 2014

Full transcript here


Guin Library Student Thank You Message Written on Guin Whiteboard