Brice Gordon Hobrock

Brice Gordon Hobrock

Hall of Fame Class of 2005

Brice G. Hobrock is recognized for his leadership in advancing library systems development and administration with more than 31 years of work in the field. His work with the development of digital libraries has greatly enhanced adult education as students are now able to access scholarly information resources of libraries from anywhere in the world. Dr. Hobrock served as dean of libraries at Kansas State University from 1982 through 2004. He provided leadership in the evolution of an Association of Big 8 Universities Library consortium to the Big12 Plus Library Consortium to its current configuration today as a 13-state, 30-library cooperative known as the Greater Western Library Alliance.

While employed with Virginia Polytechnic University and State University and later with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Dr. Hobrock developed library computer access systems that improved access to library holdings from local and remote locations. He administered four generations of electronic access systems for Kansas State University, leading to their Digital Library, known as CatNet, the signature definition of digital libraries as “discovery systems” where all databases, catalogs, local unique documents, and commercial full-text holdings are searched as a single action. The prototype discovery system was developed at Kansas State University under his leadership. 

Fund-raising has been an important focus of Dr. Hobrock's position, and the library completed a $1 million National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant fundraising effort and a 30-month, $30 million expansion and renovation of the main library in April 1997. He founded the Friends of K-State Libraries. Dr. Hobrock has been responsible for all library operations in the main complex and four branches. He served on boards of directors of the Bibliographic Center for Research, Denver, where he was president of the board, and on the board of directors of the Center of Research Libraries in Chicago.

Dr. Hobrock has been active in international library projects, working with libraries in Paraguay and Brazil. Most recently, K-State Libraries has developed cooperative agreements with the Chinese Agricultural University, and the Chinese National Agricultural Library, both in Beijing. He traveled to China on several occasions to participate in international conferences on information systems in agriculture and to work with librarians in Beijing, Hangzhou and Guangzhou.