College & Research Libraries News


Carol C. Henderson

Deputy Director, ALA Washington Office

(202) 547-4440; ALA0070

The buzzword on Capitol Hill this year is “competitiveness.” Despite congressional preoccupation with the Iran/Contra hearings and scandals involving presidential candidates, the major omnibus piece of legislation this session has to do with reducing our trade deficit and restoring the U.S. competitive edge. Libraries are shaping up as a small but significant part of this effort.

House Majority Leader Jim Wright (D-TX) directed House committees to prepare components of a major trade bill. The result in most committees was a fairly bipartisan effort which became HR 3, the Trade and International Economic Policy Reform Act of 1987, a 946 page bill with a report (H. Rept. 100-40) in six parts from six different committees. HR 3 passed the House on April 30 by 290-137. Similar but not identical legislation is pending in the Senate.

Title V of HR 3 is the Education and Training for American Competitiveness Act, and it amends the Higher Education Act in several ways of Interest to ACRL members. It adds an additional $5 million in authorization for HEA II—D grants to academic libraries for technological equipment and tech-oriented cooperation efforts to allow “libraries to participate more fully in the competitiveness initiative." II—D is the new program signed into law in last year’s HEA amendments, but not yet funded.

HR 3 also adds $1 million in authorization to the Education Department for the acquisition of, translation of, and provision of access to foreign technical and scientific periodicals. This would be in addition to the new and as yet unfunded provision of $1 million in grants under HEA VI International Education to higher education institutions for the acquisition of foreign serials.

The $25 million dollar Technology Transfer Centers authorized by HR 3 under HEA XII are to include collaboration "with libraries that have demonstrated strengths in meeting the information needs of business, industry and the scientific communities.”

More generally, the Education and Labor Committee said: "The Committee also recognizes that libraries have an important role to play in supporting educational activities and programs by providing research and information services vital to research and development, operations, and decision-making. The products of investment in research, both by government and by the private sector, are available through libraries. Technical reports, international trade information, economic data, Federal and industry standards and specifications, copies of U.S. and foreign patents, and other information needed for business and industrial purposes is provided every day in the business, science, and technology sections of libraries. Small businesses, an increasingly significant part of our economy, need library services because they cannot afford extensive in-house information resources or massive retraining programs."

•McGill University, Montreal, has received agrant of more than $86,000 from the Wellcome Trust to catalog approximately 6,500 uncataloged historic works held in the Osler Library. Many of the titles date from the 17th and 18th centuries. The grant also inaugurates the conversion of the library’s catalogs to machine—readable form.

Moravian College and Theological Seminary, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, has received $5,000 from the Littauer Foundation to establish the Lucius N. Littauer Book Fund in Judaica.

The National Information and Standards Organization, Gaithersburg, Maryland, has been awarded a $36,000 grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to further the conservation and preservation of library and research collections. The grant will fund two projects: the production and distribution of an information packet on the NISO-developed American National Standards for Permanence of Paper for Printed Materials (ANSI Z39.48-84); and the revision of Z39.48 to include standards for coated as well as uncoated papers. The packet will be distributed in late 1987 to 2,400 U.S. publishers of books and journals.

The New York University Libraries have been awarded a $250,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop a model for the management of information within the new technological environment. The grant will allow the Libraries to systematically study a range of issues surrounding the changing modes of scholarly communication, while recognizing that more and more information is available only in very specialized forms and formats which may or may not be easily or economically accessible. A staff of researchers headed by the dean of libraries will identify the ways that scholars use, and intend to use, the new technologies and how new technological tools can best serve the scholarly needs of students and researchers. University departments will be surveyed to determine what resources are currently used or needed. Once an inventory is made, project staff will explore the best means to provide broader access to those resources, and consider augmenting them with appropriate hardware or software. The university will eventually sponsor a conference to share the results of its research.

The Northern Illinois University Libraries have been awarded an Institutional Support Program Grant of approximately $3,000 from the Japan Foundation for the acquisition of books on the culture, geography, economics, laws and religion of Japan.

The University of California system has received a continuation grant of $183,191 from the National Library of Medicine to fund the second year of the MELVYL/MEDLINE Project, covering the period from April 1, 1987, through March 31,1988. The Project, a joint effort of the UC Division of Library Automation at the Office of the President and the UC health sciences libraries, provides increased access to biomedical information for all UC faculty, staff, and students.

The University of South Carolina’s Library Processing Center, Columbia, has received a LSCA Title III grant of $1,500 from the South Carolina State Library. The funds will be used in a retrospective conversion project whose eventual goals include a union catalog for the libraries of the university system as well as increased access throughout the statewide bibliographic network to materials held by the campus libraries.

Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, has received a $1 million gift from alumnus Carl Neureuther in commemoration of the Year of the Reader and to encourage and stimulate good reading by Washington University students. The Carl Neureuther Endowed Book Fund will be used to purchase works of fiction and non-fiction in English or English translation from all fields of intellectual endeavor. Displays featuring materials on newly acquired books will be established in the Olin Library and at other locations on campus, and lists of new acquisitions will be posted. In addition to regular book reviews written by the Library Services staff, the fund also provides for lectures by selected authors and a book collecting contest for students. Finalists in the competition for the best personal library collected by a full-time undergraduate and graduate student while at the university will be awarded $1,000 each.

News note

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the recipient of a new library endowment fund established by Ruth Patrick, senior curator of the Frances Boyer Chair of Limnology, in memory of her husband, Charles Hodge IV, late professor emeritus of biology at Temple University. The Hodge Fund will be used to purchase books and journals in entomology.

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