College & Research Libraries News

News from the Field

Mary Ellen Davis

Stanford, UC-Berkeley, and UT-Austin form Latin American cooperative

Stanford University, the University of California-Berkeley, and the University of Texas at Austin have signed an initiative and agreement to foster regional cooperation in the areas of collections, services, and digital projects focusing on Latin America.

The new Research Library Cooperative Program “will produce results of consequence because of the similar intensities of programs in the libraries of Berkeley, Stanford, and Texas-Austin and because of our commitment in common to build a deeper, richer collection parsed among the three institutions than any one of the three could build alone,” said Michael A. Keller, university librarian at Stanford.

The first step will be the allocation of collection responsibilities for Mexico in particular and Latin America in general, with each institution assuming responsibility for a specific geographical and/or subject area. The agreement also makes the circulating collections, and some special collection materials, of all three institutions available to faculty, graduate students, and academic staff through an expedited document delivery program and onsite visits.

Among the interesting facets of the agreement is that it has performance specifications, an explicit commitment to bringing in institutional partners from Latin America not just for cooperative collection building and access but for digitization and electronic publishing programs.

The statement of principles of the new cooperative are available on the Web at cooperative.html.

Stanford libraries in operation after flood

In early February, a raging storm flooded vents, spilled down stairwells, and broke through doors and walls at Stanford University, filling basements with up to four feet of mud and water. In one day 3-7 inches of water fell on the main part of campus. “Our storm drains were not designed to get 3-7 inches in 24 hours,” said Margaret Laporte, manager of water resources in Facilities Operations.

More than 120,000 books were moved out of the basement of Green Library and 4,000 boxes of materials were trucked to a coldstorage facility in Union City and frozen before mildew could set in. Estimates are that 70,000-80,000 books were damaged, from drenched to just minimally damaged. Each week 6,000-8,000 books will be moved from the U.S. Cold Storage facility in Union City to Document Reprocessors in Burlingame, California, where they will be dried.

It takes about ten days to diy out 8,000 books and the entire process, which was scheduled to begin in late March, is expected to take four to five months to complete.

Library staff and student volunteers moved 120,000 books out of the flooded basement of Stanford University's Green Library.

photo credit: Linda Cicero

University Librarian Michael Keller begged “the patience of Stanford faculty and students during the next four to six months as we start a phased reshelving of books that have withstood the rehabilitation processes.” He pledged that, “Books that are irretrievably damaged will be reordered, even in cases of books long out of print and from distant cultures. We do not have an estimate of the number of irretrievably damaged books, but presume it to be much less than 50 percent of the volumes removed.”

Joan Krasner Leighton, head of access services in Green Library, is confident that there will be no long-term negative impact on the libraries’ services. “Given the speed the books were removed, we hope very few are damaged,” she said. She added that the storm had brought out the best in the staff. “I don’t want to sound Pollyannish,” said Leighton, “but we’re all having to pull together. We know how important this operation is to the university. We’re all having to work a little harder, a little faster, and a lot smarter.”

The library has limited access to the stacks as they have been “wrapped” to protect collections while construction work is underway and to keep humidity levels down. Books are being paged from the basement area, and as the contractors complete their work and the temporary dehumidification chambers are removed, book retrieval times and frequency will be increased.

Most affected areas of the libraries reopened on March 9. The basement of Green Library is expected to reopen to readers in early May.

Univ. of Maryland contracts for security study

The University of Maryland College Park Libraries has contracted with George P. Morse & Associates, an experienced Loss Prevention Management consulting firm, to conduct an organizational security study. The study, done in cooperation with the Association of Research Libraries (ARE), will involve many libraries’ systems managers and staff and other University of Maryland organizations, such as the University of Maryland Police Department. The review will address security in its broadest senses, including management issues such as appropriate organization, operational responsibilities, policies and procedures, threat analysis capabilities, evaluation, and program development. It will also include systems and procedures for personnel and property protection, inventory protection and control, behavior control, access control, electronic monitoring, computer security, and fire protection and safety.

In announcing the study, Charles B. Lowry, dean of libraries, noted that “it is not possible to build a robust and effective security program without thinking about how it integrates with all other library operations. Among the most important elements in such a program has to be that every single member of the staff see security as their responsibility. We believe that the systematic approach we are developing with Morse Associates and ARL will have the staff training and awareness as a key element within the total library security program and that this will be a valuable asset for success.”

NCSU Libraries opens Scholarly Communication Center

North Carolina State University (NCSU) Libraries opened its Scholarly Communication Center in January. Peggy E. Hoon, the libraries’ first scholarly communication librarian, will offer guidance on university policy to NCSU librarians and to faculty, students, and staff on matters relating to the dissemination and use of published knowledge. She will work in close cooperation with NCSU’s Office of Legal Affairs.

NCSU wins PR award

North Carolina State University Libraries received an Award of Excellence in the 1998 Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District III Advancement Awards Competition. Its entiy, “Inaugurating an Architectural Archive,” was honored in the category of Institutional Relations/Media Relations.

The entry featured a multimedia publicity campaign surrounding the libraries first major acquisition under a collecting initiative in architecture, the Papers and Drawings of George Matsumoto. The publicity campaign included an exhibition catalog, reception, lecture program, interview with Matsumoto, and a videotape documentary that was shown on the local PBS station.

SMU breaks ground for new library expansion

Southern Methodist University (SMU) broke ground for construction that will join and expand SMU’s two principal libraries, Fondren Library and the Science and Engineering Library. This is the first new construction project resulting from gifts made to the university through the Campaign for SMU.

The project was made possible by a 1997 gift of $1.5 million from the Fondren Foundation of Houston and the new integrated complex will be named the Fondren Library Center.

The complex will encompass the two libraries as well as the new 7,100 square foot building that will connect the two libraries and serve as the primary entrance. Atop the new building will be the Selecman Tower, named for benefactor Charles E. Selecman of Florida, grandson of SMU’s third president. The cupola will provide the two-story entrance to the libraries with natural light during the day and be lighted from within at night serving as a beacon to the campus. The new building’s second floor will be comfortable and spacious, with study and seminar rooms, and a large reading room overlooking the campus.

Indiana selects EBSCO to offer access to virtual library

Under a program called INSPIRE (Indiana Spectrum of Information Resources), any resident with access to the Internet and a Web browser will be able to search any of 13 databases provided by EBSCO. Those databases include MasterFile FullTEXT 1,500, Academic Search FullTEXT, Elite, MAS FullTEXT Premier, Middle Search Plus, Primary Search, and Business Source Elite. In addition, INSPIRE users will have access to several databases licensed by EBSCO, including ERIC, Colliers Encyclopedia, and Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia.

EBSCO was selected as the sole vendor by a group of librarians representing school, public, academic, and special librarians. The group wanted a range of databases to serve their clients with as much full text as possible. The Indiana Cooperative Library Services Authority (INCOLSA) will manage the service. The Indiana State Library will use state funding to provide the databases. Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds are used for implementation and a grant from the Lilly Foundation provides the Z39.5O license and develops user interface.

Johns Hopkins University establishes Digital Knowledge Center

The Milton S. Eisenhower Library of the Johns Hopkins University announced the establishment of a new library department, the Digital Knowledge Center (DKC) and creation of new facilities for its operations (including a digital photography studio) as part of the library’s $4.6 million renovation. The goals of the DKC are: to build critical partnerships with the academic program in the three schools on the Homewood campus; to become a hub at the university for the creation, prototyping, marketing, distribution, and archiving of multimedia information and instructional resources; to serve as a laboratory for employing new technologies in teaching, learning, and the creation of scholarship; to provide leadership and guidance in the adoption and use of technical and access standards for the advancement of instructional computing capabilities and of distributed access to information resources; to influence intellectual property policy and management directions at Hopkins; and to serve as a center for copyright permissions and education. DKC projects consist of research and development efforts, online publishing, and online pedagogy. For more information about the DKC visit http://

Draft of ALA Intellectual Freedom statement on Web

Comments are invited on the draft of the 21st Century Intellectual Freedom Statement, “Libraries: An American Value,” to be presented to the ALA Council for adoption at the 1999 Midwinter Meeting, can be found at http:// This site is linked from a memo from ALA President-Elect Ann K. Symons and the chair of the 21st Century Intellectual Freedom Statement Committee, June Pinnell-Stephens, found at statement_memo.html.

College library management video available from ACRL

“Hot Topics in College Library Management” has been published by ACRL’s College Libraries Section. Four college librarians are interviewed, with each addressing a key topic: Michael Kathman, College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University discusses funding/budgeting for technology; Sue Stroyan, Illinois Wesleyan University, discusses Web integration; Mich Jedrey, Wellesley College, discusses reorganizations, and Susan Campbell, York College, addresses user instruction in the electronic age. The tape, which runs 75 minutes, makes a great way to provide professional development at home.

To borrow the tape for a three-week period, send an ALA-approved interlibrary loan form to the ALA Headquarters Library, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611-2795. There is a $3 charge to cover postage. Advanced reservations will be honored by calling (800) 545-2433, ext. 3277 or via e-mail at

To purchase the tape ($15.00 for ACRL members; $18.00 for nonmembers), send a check made payable to ACRL to: ACRL Hot Topics Video, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611-2795.

Restructuring Academic Libraries available

Restructuring Academic Libraries: Organizational Development in the Wake of Techno- logical Change (ACRL Publications in Librarianship no. 49)is now available from ACRL. This volume, edited by Charles A. Schwartz, uses case studies and general analyses to address the challenges posed by the intense demand for network-to-desktop information resources to support research and teaching. In 19 separate essays authors, including David Lewis, Herbert S. White, Richard Dougherty, Meredith Butler, David Kohl, William Gosling, Rebecca Martin, Derrie B. Roark, and Peggy Seiden, show how “boundary spanning”—collaborations between the library units, the library and computer center, and within the library and the rest of the university and world—can successfully cope with innovations in information technology. Restructuring Academic Libraries (ISBN: 0-8389-3478-1) is available for $23.50 to ACRL members ($28 for nonmembers) from ALA Order Fulfillment, 155 E. Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL 606ll; (800) 545-2433 (press 7); fax 312-836-9958.

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