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Seth Wilson Library

Library Home

Named for OCC’s founding academic dean Seth Wilson, OCC's library offers nearly 100,000 print and non-print items, as well as access to additional volumes in the nearby Joplin Public Library and Missouri Southern State University Library. Special collections include rare book archives and the Seth Wilson Bible collection. The library catalog is accessible online, and private study rooms are available by reservation at the circulation desk.

To learn more about library cards and donations or to phone in a renewal, call 417.626.1257.

Access the online library catalog

Library Hours

School Year Hours (August-May)


Mon-Wed 7:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. (closed 9:30-11 a.m. Tuesdays for chapel)
Thu 7:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. (closed 9:30-11 a.m. for life groups)
Fri 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sat 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sun 1:30-5 p.m.

(24-hour book drop located on library porch)

Online Catalog

Click here to access the online library catalog.

Library Handbook

Click here to download the OCC Library Handbook.

Library History

The Beginning Decades

Seth Wilson served as the first academic dean and first ex-officio librarian for Ozark Christian College (then Ozark Bible College). He also started the bookstore in 1948. Ethel Overman, a 1950 graduate, assisted Dean Wilson in the bookstore/library. Student Clara Blackwell became the librarian in 1950 and served until 1963, with Thelma Colestock as an assistant in 1952, and Mrs. Bertha Ayers helping between 1963 and 1964. In 1965, Mary Hobbs became librarian with Bertha Ayers and Mary Dickey assisting after the death of Clara in 1964.

The New Campus at North Main Street

In 1963, the library shared space with the cafeteria, print shop, mailing room, bookstore, and offices in the new Administration Building. Loren Dickey, a 1958 alumnus, served as librarian from 1965 until the spring of 1987.

Walter Messimer began working as reference librarian in 1965, and left the college in 1975. Librarians shared the duties of helping with reference questions in the interim. The current library structure was completed in 1976 and renamed the Seth Wilson Library in 1991.

Circulation Desk and Reference

Kathy Bowers succeeded Jackie Arwood as circulation supervisor and helped with reference queries from 1992 until 1998. Kathy restructured the position of reference assistant in 1998 and served in that position until 2004. Barbara Gardner (MLS) left a position with the Joplin Public Library to replace Kathy, when she became President Ken Idleman’s assistant. Kathy currently serves as executive administrative assistant to President Matt Proctor. Barbara Gardner served for three years until John Hunter took over as reference assistant in January 2007.

Connie White became circulation supervisor in 1999, holding the position until June 2002. Jason Fry took over in 2003 until April Carmichael became his successor in 2005. In 2007, Randa Reed transferred from Goodman Hall as residence director to be the circulation supervisor and served in that capacity until the end of 2013. In January 2014, Mindy Sloneker transferred from being the assistant to the registrar and served as circulation supervisor until 2017.

Audio-Visual and Technical Services

Mark Sloneker began working in the library in 1985, earned his MLIS, and served as assistant director and cataloger/acquisitions librarian until 2017. Dr. Bill Abernathy took the position of library director in the summer of 1987 and helped bring the library into the 21st century. When Dr. Abernathy retired, Tim Limkeman was director from 2002 until July 2008. Dr. Abernathy returned in the fall of 2008 as part-time interim director, with Mark Sloneker and John Hunter named as co-directors in spring 2009. John became library director upon completing his MLIS in December 2014, and Mark served as associate library director until 2017. In June 2018, John retired and Derek Moser became the library director.

Several have been library staff members between the late 1980s and late 1990s in circulation and audio-visual departments: among them are Darlene Barnes, Lydia Copenhaver, Sherry (Heister) Parrott, Misty McNally, Teresa Brewer, Suzanne House, Phil Mehrens, Andrea Francis, Merilyn Peters, and Keri (Rucker) Cochran.

Brady Gobin served in the A-V Department from 1993 to 1996. Ty McCarty took over from 1996-2001. Kyle Bellinger followed Ty in 2001, then Aaron Wheeler, and Kyna Green. Delberta Fluharty served as audio-visual supervisor from 2005-2018. Richard Lazarus served in the technical services position from 2000 till 2002. His father, Janus Lazarus, has served as technical services assistant since 2002.

OCC Information Literacy Plan

Cross-curricular Integration of Information Literacy (IL) at OCC

Information Literacy Statement in the Syllabus Template: OCC is committed to the ongoing education of its students and graduates. Therefore information literacy will be intentional, incremental, and missional. Students will learn to access, evaluate, and utilize pertinent information in their studies for ministry preparation.

1. What do we want to accomplish in IL at OCC? We want to students to be able to:
a. Access pertinent information.
b. Evaluate (sort/discern) that information.
c. Appropriate that information in their studies.
d. Measure (analyze) the use of that information in their studies.
e. Utilize that information toward greater maturity in kingdom work.

2. What does IL look like across the curriculum at OCC? We want our IL program to be:
a. Intentional—not just assumed; designated in certain classes.
b. Incremental—taking place throughout the student’s academic career (not just loaded up on the front end).
c. Missional—fitting of OCC in producing a lifelong learning vocational Christian worker.

3. What short-range steps can we take now?
a. Introduce students and faculty to “Information Literacy” in their first year and in faculty meetings.
b. Reinforce OCC’s historical tradition of equipping information-literate graduates through announcements and printed materials (e.g., the Academic Resource Commons, flyers, The Ambassador, mailings, signage, games/contests, surveys). This responsibility would be delegated to the faculty library committee.
c. Encourage group and individual viewing of the video by Dr. Michael Wesch, “Information R/evolution” from Kansas State University for Bibliographic Instruction.
d. Add a brief note to the syllabus template concerning IL, as we have done for ADA Accommodations. Faculty helped word the IL statement.
e. Designate certain core classes in the curriculum to be IL specific. Make sure each part of the three branches of our curriculum is designated.

4. What long-range steps can we take?
a. Update portions of the OCC Catalog (printed or electronic) to reflect IL terminology/approaches.
b. Develop assessment/evaluation tools and determine how and when to use them (e.g., enrollment and exit testing similar to the Bible knowledge test, and IL questions in the senior exit interview).
c. Create and assess surveys to measure IL success.
d. Document IL progress and chart ways of improvement through the institutional office.

5. What classes might be designated for emphasizing IL? (Each professor will customize his/her syllabi to ensure that this is accomplished in the respective courses.)
a. Freshmen (100 level): Book of Acts, English Comp. 1 (or English Comp. 2, Practical Applications for English Grammar), Speech, and Foundations for CE.
b. Sophomore (200 level): Principles of Interpretation, Psychology, and Introduction to Library and Information.
c. Junior (300 level): Timothy and Titus and Christian Apologetics and Worldview.
d. Senior (400 and 500 levels): Leadership in Ministry, Philosophy, and Romans.

Main resources:
American Library Association Website.

Association of Christian Librarians ListServ and periodical, The Christian Librarian, Continuing education and conferences.

Kaplowitz, Joan R. (2012). Transforming Information Literacy Instruction Using Learner-Centered Teaching. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc.

Kvenild, Cassandra, and Kaijsa Calkins. (2011). Embedded Librarians: Moving beyond one-shot instruction. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries.

MOBIUS Consortium and SWAN Cluster help.

Primary Research Group Staff (2016). Information Literacy Efforts Benchmarks. Primary Research Group.

Radcliff, Carolyn J., et al. (2007). A Practical Guide to Information Literacy Assessment for Academic Librarians. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

Tensen, Bonnie L. (2013). Research Strategies for a Digital Age. Boston, Mass: Thomson Wadsworth.

Young, Rosemary M. (1999). Working with Faculty to Design Undergraduate Information Literacy Programs. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers.


On Campus

Your time at OCC will be marked by excellent Bible teaching, practical ministry training and a caring community.

On Campus


Online learning delivers the same quality, biblical education and ministry training in flexible eight-week classes.

Online Learning

Dual Degree Program

Our cooperative, dual degree program with Missouri Southern State University lets students earn bachelor's degrees from each school.

Co-Op Program


The Seth Wilson Library holds nearly 100,000 books and audio-visual materials.

Seth Wilson Library

Academic Resource Center

The ARC offers extra academic assistance and special needs accommodations.

OCC Learning Center

Registrar's Office

Transcript request? Contact our registrar, who maintains all academic records.

Contact the Registrar
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