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STL Special Library Spotlight: American Association of Orthodontists Library July 20, 2009

Posted by Cynthia in Library Stuff.
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The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) headquarters is located in St. Louis on North Lindbergh Blvd. and houses the world’s largest orthodontic library. The association began in 1900 and its library officially started in 1951 with an AAO member as the librarian. The first librarian with an MLS, instead of a degree in orthodontics, was hired in 1984. In 1991, the association moved into its current location, which was originally a bank. The Charles R. Baker Memorial Reference Library is located in the entrance hall of the building, with a fountain in the middle of the collection and a large dome skylight above. The library holds orthodontic journal, books, and theses. Since beginning in 2004, the current solo-librarian, Jackie Hittner, has done a lot to organize the AAO’s library collection. One of her first projects was to inventory, create a holdings list, and box all of the journals. In 2006, the librarian began cataloging the book collection and, as of June 2009, has cataloged the collection’s 1,000th book with many more books to be cataloged in the collection. The AAO Library offers services to all AAO members across the country, including literature searches, interlibrary loan, and loaning of the library’s books by mail. Directly above the library, there are displays of orthodontic artifacts. Many of the artifacts are from around 1900 and include handcrafted appliances, instruments, and furniture that you would see in an orthodontist’s office in 1900. It was very interesting to tour this unique library.  JM

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