College & Research Libraries News

News from the Field

Mary Ellen Davis

San Diego Mesa College dedicates new LRC

The Learning Resource Center (LRC) of San Diego Mesa College was opened and dedicated on April 20. The $20 million, four-story building is 107,726 square feet and is designed to serve a student body that has ranged from 23,000-26,000 in recent years. The LRC houses the library, the audiovisual department, and the Center for Independent Learning. Among its many features are: nearly 300 computer workstations, state-of-the-art digital computer editing banks, 20 group study rooms, seating for 1,000, and a book stack capacity of 170,000—about double the current collection.

At the dedication, Librarian Jack Forman said the LRC is “a place that will set the (physical environment) standard for the 21st century at Mesa College. Future campus structures will be built to complement and supplement the LRC’s exquisite beauty and broad utility.”

During the dedication ceremony, SCT Corporation announced a $50,000 donation to be used to purchase computer technology from the demonstration lab, set aside for faculty in the Center for Independent Learning.

ASERL stats available

Statistical data for the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) member libraries for the years 1995, 1996, and 1997 are available at The ASERL is made up of the 31 largest academic libraries in the 12-state southeastern region encompassed by the Southeastern Library Association and, as ex officio members, the state libraries or state library agencies in each of these states.

To blend in with surrounding architecture, the new Learning Resource Center at San Diego Mesa College, designed by M.W. Steele Group, Inc., is a poured-in-place concrete structure, affording a naturally quiet environment.

ACRL offers 50 scholarships to its National Conference

ACRL is offering 50 scholarships to its National Conference, April 8-11, 1999, in Detroit, consisting of complimentary registration and $250 for travel expenses. Ten awards will be given in each of the five categories: community colleges, four-year colleges, universities, historically Black colleges, and His- panic-serving institutions.

Recipients of the scholarships must be ACRL members, currently employed at a library in one of the categories mentioned above, hold an MLS degree, have been a librarian for less than five years, and have annual salary earnings of $35,000 or less.

The deadline for applications is October 15. Details and the application form are available at html.

ACRL section renamed Distance Learning Section

Members of ACRL’s Extended Cam- pus Library Services Section (ECLSS) approved by mail ballot this spring the change of their name to Distance Learning Section (DLS).

The new name does not reflect a change in the concerns and chal- lenges facing its members. Rather, it is an attempt to update its image and to clarify the nature of its programs and work. The world of extended, off-campus, and distance education activities has changed markedly since ECLSS was founded in 1990. At that time, “extended campus” reflected the focus of distance learning delivery. Today, with the advent of Internet-based and technology-delivered learning at a distance, the name no longer reflects or fully informs others about the work of the section. The name change has been made in an effort to increase the potential impact and visibility of the section within the profession and in higher education as a whole. It is hoped that the more recognizable Distance Learning name will help others to acknowledge more effectively the section’s work and resources.

The section currently has more than 1,000 members and is one of the fastest- growing in ACRL. For more information on the section, please consult its Web page at http:// home.htm.

1999 ACRL vice-president/president- elect candidates announced

Patricia Ann Wand, university librarian at the American University, and Betsy Wilson, associate director of libraries for public services at the University of Washington have been selected by the 1998 Nominations Committee as the candidates for ACRL’s top leadership position: vice-president/president-elect.

Both candidates have held numerous positions of responsibility within the division and look forward to continuing to serve the ACRL membership in leadership roles. Wand currently chairs ACRL’s International Relations Committee and ALA’s Committee on Legislation. She served on the ACRL Board from 1986-88 and on numerous committees and panels within ALA, ACRL, and her state library association.

Wilson is currently co-chair of the ACRL Colleagues Committee and serves on the ACRL 1999 National Conference Executive Committee and the National In- formation Literacy Institute Plan- ning Group. She has also chaired numerous committees at the sec- tion and division level.

The candidates will appear on the ACRL ballot for the ALA 1999 election and one will assume of- fice at the close of the 1999 ALA Conference in New Orleans.

RBMS seeks papers for 1999 preconference

ACRL’s Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) is seeking proposals for papers related to the theme of its 40th annual preconference, “Border Crossings: Exploring New Territories for Special Collections.” The preconference will be held Monday through Thursday, June 21-24, 1999, in Montreal.

As the century comes to a close, special collection librarians are discovering that the traditional boundaries of the profession are beginning to break down, giving birth to new strategies for building and administering collections. These borders may be broadly classified as technological, administrative, disciplinary, and national. This preconference will explore significant ways in which the borders of this profession have been crossed and modified in recent years.

Presentations (e.g., studied opinions, historical surveys, and case studies) about some aspect of border crossings and the consequences thereof for special collections librari- anship may include: ways in which changes in academic disciplines affect the development and use of special collections, problems in administering multinational collections, issues pertaining to ownership of cultural materials and documentation of native peoples, challenges presented by the convergence of special collections librarianship and digital librarianship, construction of virtual archives, description of practices or professional developments in special collections librarianship beyond North America, changes in special collections constituencies, and commercial marketing of special collections.

Details about submitting a proposal may be found at ~ferguson/rbms. html.

Submit four copies of the proposal by mail no later than September 30, 1998, to: Bradley D. Westbrook, chair, RBMS Preconference Program Committee, c/o Mandeville Special Collections Library 0175S, UCSD, La Jolla, CA 92093 (e-mail:; fax: (619) 534-5950). Submissions by fax or e- mail will not be accepted.

The Rosalind Denny Lewis Music Library at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology received the Building of the Year Award, sponsored by New England Real Estate Journal, International Facilities Maintenance Association (Boston Chapter), Association for Facilities Engineering, and Key Productions.

Photo credit: L. Barry Hether¡ngton

Western Governors University offers virtual tours of campus

Visit and take a tour of the virtual campus of Western Governors University, a competency-based, degree-granting, virtual university. The site provides information about degree programs and course offerings and how institutions can affiliate with WGU, since WGU doesn’t provide instruction itself but relies on content from colleges, universities, and corporations. Student enrollment is expected to begin this summer.

Ground broken for Penn State Harrisburg Library

Ground was broken April 30 for Penn State Harrisburg’s $17.33 mil- lion “Library of the Future” in a ceremony attended by university and public officials and many cen- tral Pennsylvania librarians. The 115,000 square foot facility will accommodate 500,000 volumes and contain 775 public seats.

Planned with the assumption that future users will want to use print, electronic, and Internet re- sources at most seating locations, the facility will include 180 computers, 502 data ports, and 13 video ports. In addition to providing a variety of individual and group learning spaces, the new library will include a state-of-the-art instruction lab, two technology-enhanced classrooms, two seminar rooms, a geographic information sys- tems (GIS) center, a special collections area, and an Internet cafe.

The design was completed in May 1997 by the joint-venture architectural team of Shepley Bulfinch Richardson Abbott and Hayes Large. Construction funds wτere released in March 1998. Completion and occupancy are anticipated in late 1999 or 2000. Design and construction funding has been provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. A $2 million capital campaign to support future technology and collection enhancement is in progress.

The new library will replace the current 37,200 square foot Heindel Library, which has served the college since its founding in 1966.

An artist's rendering of Penn State Harrisburg's $17.33 million “Library of the Future," which will accommodate 500,000 volumes and contain 775 public seats.

Library of Congress selects Endeavor for ILS

As part of the most massive library automation effort in its history, the Library of Congress has awarded a contract to Endeavor Information Systems to provide comprehensive integrated library system (ILS) software and support to the Library.

“This is a momentous occasion in the history of the Library,” said James H. Billington, librarian of Congress. “It marks our transition to a new era of automation that promises improved library services to Congress and to the nation by bringing disparate operations together for the first time.”

The Voyager system from Endeavor Information Systems will replace many of the Library’s older, independent automated systems—some of which date back to the late 1960s and early 1970s—with a single, modern client/server system that will support all standard library operations, including acquisitions, cataloging, inventory and serials control, circulation, and the online public catalog.

When the ILS is fully operational, users will be able to perform comprehensive searches of the extensive collections. A search for a keyword or subject area will result in a list of resources that may include books, maps, manuscripts, periodicals, or sound recordings—as well as the precise location, whether on the shelf, in use, undergoing microfilming, or in storage. These searches may be conducted onsite at the Library or via the ILS online catalog, which will be fully accessible through the Library of Congress Web site (

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