In 1956, ODTÜ Library began to serve with 50 books donated by the United Nations, in a 6m² room of a building belonging to the General Directorate Pension Fund, on the Milli Müdafaa Street. In October 1957, The Library Staff was composed of Furuzan Olşen and Solmaz İzdemir who had received their post-graduate education in the field of librarianship in the USA. ODTÜ moved to its temporary campus behind the Turkish Grand National Assembly in 1957, and the Library was moved there in December of the same year.
On 4 January 1958, Natelle Isley, who is an UNESCO expert, was appointed as the director of the Library to ensure that the Library is organized in a contemporary sense. The main principles related to the organization of the Library have been determined and transferred into practice. In March 1958, the Library of Congress Classification System was decided to be implemented. With this application, ODTÜ Library has become the first library to use the system which is utilised by many universities and research libraries in our country today.
On 25 July 1959, UNESCO expert Donald A. Redmond was appointed as the director of the Library. In this period, the organization of library services was carried out. UNESCO Specialist D. R. Kalia, who was appointed as the third director of the Library in 1961, worked until 1962. Kalia, visited the university libraries in Turkey, and prepared a report on the status of the libraries. The idea that the university should have a central library in the campus was raised in the time of Kalia and was accepted on October 1961.
On 9 July 1962, the fourth and last UNESCO expert, William W. Bennett, appointed as the library director. In this period the Library grew rapidly. Paul Wasserman, Library Director of Cornell University, came to Turkey in September 1962, and prepared a report examining the development of ODTÜ Library. In this way, a financial support of 30,500 USD was provided to the Library under the AID/Cornell project.
The Library was moved to its present settlement on September 15, 1963 and continued its activities in a building of the Faculty of Architecture until the library building was constructed.
Under the leadership of Behruz Çinici, the architectural studies of the central library building were started in 1964, foundation of the building were laid on 03.01.1966 and completed on 30.06.1967. The library was moved from its location in the Faculty of Architecture to the present new building. Thus, the first campus library that serves according to the standarts of contemporary library science was established in our country.
The donations made in the Library’s foundation years played a very important role. In 1958, the British Government, and in 1959 the US Government donated books to the Library. In these years some special tools and equipment were provided to the Library through UNESCO. The first important financial support of the Library was received from the United Nations on 26 October 1960. This support lasted four years as 25,000 USD per year. On 19 March 1962, CENTO provided a cash grant of 1.564 GBP for the purchase of books and journals. On 9 July 1963, the German Government, on 26 April 1964 the United States of America, and on 30 June 1965 the British Government donated books and magazines to the Library. From the donations made in these years; J. F. The Kennedy Memorial Collection (220 volumes) and the Winston Churchill Collection (1000 volumes) are the most important.
Between July 1965 and October 1967, Furuzan Olşen was appointed as the deputy director of the library. From 1 October 1967 to August 1981, she worked as the Library Manager. At the time of Furuzan Olşen, the collection of Library developed rapidly, great importance was attached to the training of the Library Staff, and some were sent abroad for training.
The library was planned to accommodate 250,000 volumes of books and 2000 people. However, the building began to be inadequate in the 1970s due to the rapidly growing collection. For this reason, the construction of the second part of the building was designed in 1973, the foundation was laid and completed in 1975.
From 1981 to 1988, Prof. Dr. Tekin Aybaş administrated the Library. In 1981, the organization of the Library was changed; the Library Staff and their operations were divided into four main departments, and a deputy director was assigned to each department. According to the new arrangement, these sections were; reader services, information, technical and administrative affairs and technical transactions.
In 1982, Library Directorate was changed to Head Office of Library and Documentation.
In 1988, Filiz Çermen was appointed as the Head of Library and Documentation and remained in this position until 1993. In the time of Çermen, library automation was started. In this context, automation programs used in university libraries were examined, a compliance report was prepared, and bibliographic records of books were started to be transferred to digital media.
In 1993, Dr. Bülent Karasözen, ODTÜ Faculty Member of Mathematics, was appointed as the Director of the Library and Documentation, and remained in this position until 2007. During his administration, the library was automated, the collection of electronic books and journals was developed, and the establishment and development studies of Anatolian University Libraries Consortium (ANKOS) were carried out.
In September 1994, Department of Information Technologies and the Library worked together and decided on using Virginia Tech Library Systems (VTLS), which is one of the major library automation systems, and in 1995 VTLS was started to be used. At the first stage, the bibliographic sources of the books after 1980 were accessible through the library automation system for public and within the campus.
In parallel with digital media developments in the world, a CD-ROM network was established in ODTÜ Library to provide access to electronic databases from the campus for the first time among the Turkish libraries.
ODTÜ Library who leads practices of sharing library sources in Turkey, has decided to carry out journal and CD-ROM subscriptions with Hacettepe, Gazi and Bilkent University.
A new project was conducted about collectivisation on using printed sources in line with the practices of sharing library sources that started in 1998. Within this scope, the OBES (Supplying Joint Documents) project was put into practice in 2000 after an agreement between ULAKBIM, Hacettepe, Gazi and ODTÜ.
Cooperation efforts between universities accelerated in 2000's. Hacettepe, Gazi, Bilkent and ULAKBIM agreed on establishing the first consortium in Turkey. The presidency of the consortium established under the name ANKOS (Anatolian University Libraries Consortium) which was administered by ODTÜ Library for many years, and the consortium grew rapidly. Established in 2000, the consortium began to work with three different databases of 12 member institutions with a joint subscription. ANKOS is an international consortium with 50 employees, and 180 universities and research institutes.
In 2001, ODTÜ Library was selected as one of the six pilot institutions under the "Project for the Restructuring of the Continuous Quality Development and Public Budgeting System" jointly conducted by the World Bank and the Ministry of Finance. The mission, vision, goals, objectives and action plans of the library were established. In this direction, a five-year strategic plan was initiated and a Performance Based Budgeting System was established.
In 2003, a directive was issued for the national and international accession of the graduate and doctorate theses produced in the university within the digital platform, and approved by the University Administrative Board. Thus, ODTÜ Library has brought in something new by establishing an open access electronic thesis archive.
Between 2003-2004, the Library was selected as a pilot unit within the scope of quality studies, and was started to collaborate with KalDer (Turkey Quality Association). At the end of the study, business processes, procedures, job descriptions and instructions were prepared.
In 2004, the book collection was analyzed by Automated Collection Analysis Service (ACAS) and the journal collection was analyzed by USAS (ULRICH'S Serials Analysis System) to see the strengths and weaknesses of the collection. As a result of the work, information sources were provided in related fields to strengthen the weaknesses of the collection,
In 2006, the new library automation system Millennium was put into practice.
Cevat Güven has been appointed as the Director of the Head Office of Library and Documentation since 14 February 2007. He was elected to the board of directors of ANKOS (Anatolian University Libraries Consortium), which was founded by ODTÜ in May 2007. He took place as a founding member during the association process of ANKOS on 27 January 2012, and still serves as a member of the board of the directors.
After 2007, ODTÜ Library increased its cooperation with academicians both in collection development studies and informing users about library sources. "Collection Development Group" was established with an arrangement made on this date. In this way; academicians are regularly introduced new information sources. In addition, it has been ensured that the librarians are in constant contact with experts who are involved in the selection of new informatin sources.
Within the scope of Library renewal works in 2007; the inside and outside of the building have been renovated and more comfortable working environments have been created in the halls.
ODTÜ Library started to work on ISO 9001: 2008 Quality Management System on 7 July 2011, and received the Quality Certificate on 25 April 2012.
In order to provide a more efficient service for people with disabilities, the doors have been replaced with smart doors, and visually impaired users are served LCD screens connected to a device.
The exhibition hall in the Library was given the name of Furuzan Olşen, who was the director of the Library between 1967 and 1981, and passed away on June 5.
In 2011, the mobile library was launched, and Library services and sources were started to be accessed via mobile phones. In the same year, Millennium's catalog scanning module was integrated with QR code and direct access to catalog records via mobile phone was provided. In the Library; the RFID system (LibREF) was established on 14 December 2011 in order to facilitate lending, collection management and security and inventory practices. Digital safe boxes for users were put into service in 2012.
The author workshop carried out by the Library was shared live with the Computer Center for the first time. Within the context of the lending service of the library, the required infrastructure for payment of delayed fees by credit card or remote payment was established and offered to service in 2013. The building's air conditioning system has been renovated.
In 2014, the Library was included as a pilot unit in Precautious ODTÜ Campus for Disaster and Emergency Situations Project which belongs to ODTÜ Disaster Management Application and Research Center Scientific Research Project. In this context, necessary instructions, directions have been prepared, and the data on the Library server has been kept on the discs located in ODTÜ Northern Cyprus Campus by being backed up.
Self-check kiosks were offered to service in 2015 with the aim of enabling users to make their own lending transactions. The periodicals located in the main building of the Library were moved to the new archive building in 2015, and the publications were started to be shared with lecturers by scanning module. The Reserve Hall began to serve to the users for 24 hours.
On March 2016, the Millennium Library Automation System was converted into Sierra software as developed by Innovative Interfaces. The number of printed periodicals that the Library subscribes to was decreased within the scope of electronic collection creation and development works in collaboration with the departments in 2016, and that the same publications were converted into digital periodicals. Since 1 April 2017, the Library has been kept open until 23.30 at weekends in order users to benefit more from the Library, and that the number of days off on religious and official holidays is decreased.
As of July 2017, the library began working under the ISO 27001 Information Security Standard.