News from the Field

David Free


Wyoming library renovation

Dedication for the addition and renovation to the University of Wyoming’s (UW) William Robertson Coe Library was held November 19, 2009. The addition and renovation of Coe Library includes 20 group study rooms and 180 computer terminals. Located east of the existing library, the 94,500 square-foot addition is designed to shelve a capacity of 1.4 million books. The Wyoming State Legislature allocated $45 million for the project in 2005 and another $4.9 million in 2007. Private donors contributed $1.2 million. New spaces within Coe Library, designed to reflect student’s learning styles, include flexible study space, quiet study spaces, and the integration of technology with instruction services.


Dedication ceremony for the William Robertson Coe Library.

UW libraries’ collections include an extensive media collection of films, television programming, and music. This collection supports the inclusion of media in teaching and student projects. The new Coe Library wing additionally houses the Grace Raymond Hebard Wyoming Collection within the Chisum Special Collections Room. Students researching Wyoming history now have improved access to the collection.

ACRL TechConnect

Looking for information about the impact of technology on academic and research libraries? Best practices for launching technology projects at your library? Then the new ACRL TechConnect Webpage is the place for you. For your convenience, we’ve identified all the ACRL technology-related events, professional development opportunities, publications, articles, podcasts, and communities and linked them from one handy location. Visit ACRL TechConnect frequently to see what’s new. ACRL TechConnect is online at www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/proftools/techconnect/index.cfm.

Oberlin College faculty unanimously endorses open access

On November 18, 2009, the Oberlin College General Faculty unanimously endorsed a resolution to make their scholarly articles openly accessible on the Internet. As a result of the measure, the scholarly output of the Oberlin faculty will become available to a much broader national and international audience. The Oberlin resolution is similar to policies passed at Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Kansas, and Trinity University.

“I’m delighted that Oberlin’s faculty and staff have made this important commitment to open access,” said Ray English, Azariah Smith Root director of libraries.

“The movement for open access to scholarly research information is international in scope and growing rapidly as academic institutions, research-funding agencies, and policy makers see the benefits of unfettered access to scholarly research. The library looks forward to putting in place the support structures that are needed to carry out this important initiative.”

Under the new policy, Oberlin faculty and professional staff will make their peer-reviewed, scholarly articles openly accessible in a digital archive managed by the Oberlin College Library as part of the OhioLINK Digital Resource Commons. Oberlin authors may opt out of the policy for a specific article if they are not in a position to sign journal publishing agreements that are compatible with the policy, or for other reasons.

The resolution also creates an institutional license that gives Oberlin College the legal right to make the articles accessible on the Internet through the digital archive. The resolution further encourages, but does not require, authors to submit publications other than peer-reviewed articles in the same manner. The text of the faculty resolution is available online at tinyurl.com/ykyfz2j.

NYC apartment history

Columbia University Libraries recently launched the New York Real Estate Brochure Collection, a resource for studying and conducting research about New York City apartment buildings. The collection can be browsed or searched by address, building name, neighborhood, architect, and owner/agent. Buildings are also encoded with GIS coordinates so that locations and neighborhoods can be displayed using Google Maps. Users of the site are able to contribute comments about individual buildings, thereby enabling the creation of an even richer set of descriptions and potentially valuable historical context.

The first release of the new Web collection includes approximately 800 buildings in the borough of Brooklyn, displaying more than 3,000 images of brochures, drawings, floor plans, and marketing material. In early 2010, material for buildings in the borough of Manhattan will be added to the online collection, with content from other boroughs to be added over the next year. When completed, the collection will represent more than 4,100 buildings.

The collection was donated to Columbia’s Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library by Yale Robbins, Henry Robbins, and David Magier in 1986 and consists of more than 9,000 items that document residential and commercial real estate development in the five boroughs of New York and surrounding areas from the 1920s to the 1970s. The collection is available online at nyre.cul.columbia.edu/.

Fulbright speeches online

Fifty speeches delivered by Senator James William Fulbright (1905–95) are now available on the University of Arkansas Libraries’ Web site. The digital library collection, titled “A Calm Voice in a Strident World: Senator J.W. Fulbright Speaks,” contains the text of selected speeches, ranging from comments regarding Fulbright’s dismissal as president of the University of Arkansas in 1941, to remarks censuring Senator Joseph McCarthy’s far-ranging investigations, and criticisms of U.S. involvement in the war in Vietnam. The Fulbright speeches are part of the University Libraries’ digital library collections.

The libraries’ special collections department digitized the speeches, which represent a small portion of the J. William Fulbright Papers held by the department. Additional information on the Web site, including photographs, a biography, a detailed timeline of Fulbright’s life, and a bibliography of materials both by and about Fulbright, provide historical context. The Web site also includes a link to the finding aid for the entire collection of Fulbright papers housed in the special collections department.

Fulbright represented Arkansas in the Congress of the United States for three decades following World War II. During his one term in the House of Representatives and four terms in the Senate, Fulbright was a voice of calm in the halls of Congress, counseling international cooperation, the exchange of information, and support for the United Nations. Access to the Fulbright speeches is available free of charge at scipio.uark.edu/.

UCSD/MCASD partner for the arts

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) and the University of California-San Diego (UCSD) have formed a new partnership that will expand student and faculty access to more than 8,000 visual art catalogs and related materials. The agreement will also provide MCASD curatorial staff with access to the vast holdings of the UCSD libraries, the largest academic library system south of Los Angeles. The transfer of art materials to UCSD will integrate access to these catalogs and other materials with all the resources—more than 7 million print and electronic items.

“While this project has been in the works for several years, now more than ever it makes sense to combine our resources where there are strong benefits and efficiencies to be achieved,” said Hugh M. Davies, David C. Copley director of MCASD. “MCASD’s curators will gain access to one of the great academic libraries on the West Coast. We are also pleased that this collection of visual art books will be accessible to students and faculty at UC-San Diego and will benefit teaching and research in the arts.”

To date, MCASD has transferred more than 8,000 of its art volumes to the UCSD libraries. Most of the materials are catalogs accrued via the museum’s long-standing international museum library exchange program, and are now being housed at the UCSD Arts Library. The collection will grow annually as MCASD continues to produce between one and three scholarly catalogs each year, and will also provide a number of volumes via its international museum library exchange program. Additionally, MCASD curators will recommend titles to the UCSD Arts Library that support MCASD research needs.


On November 5, ACRL President Lori Goetsch presented the 2009 ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award in the college category to the sta3 of the Hollins University Wyndham Robertson Library. Pictured (L-R) are Joan Ruelle, Hollins University Librarian; Goetsch; Hannah Bucholz from award sponsor Blackwell’s Book Services; and Wyndham Robertson, for whom the library is named.

HathiTrust launches full text search

A year after its launch, HathiTrust Digital Library has announced the addition of full-text searching capabilities across the entire library. Researchers can now search public domain and in copyright works by keyword or phrase across the 1.6 billion pages (4.6 million volumes) in the HathiTrust collections. Based on open source Solr/Lucene technology, the service expands on an experimental search of public domain volumes introduced in November 2008.

In combination with the HathiTrust Digital Library’s bibliographic data, the new functionality allows researchers to more efficiently locate items relevant to their research. It also lays the foundation for future services, such as full-text search with faceted browsing and “more like this” options, computational research. HathiTrust is a collaboration of the 13 universities of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, the University of California system, and the University of Virginia, and currently includes digitized volumes from the University of Michigan, University of California, Indiana University, and the University of Wisconsin. Visit HathiTrust at www.hathitrust.org.

A New Year, An Unending Legacy for the National Forum on Information Literacy

On October 15 2009, a seminal event highlighted the 20th anniversary celebration of the National Forum on Information Literacy (NFIL), held at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C. President Obama issued a proclamation establishing October as National Information Literacy Awareness Month, a crowning achievement for the Forum, its leadership, and member organizations. In a way, it was de facto recognition of the 20-year legacy of the National Forum in promoting information literacy at home and abroad.

Critical to the success of the National Forum was the passionate commitment and dedication of its first chair, Patricia Senn Breivik, vice president of Nehemiah Communications. The anniversary celebration was also a tribute to her leadership and unswerving belief in the empowering influence of information literacy philosophy and practice, not only for individuals, but for us a nation. Breivik received proclamations from ACRL, the Australian Library and Information Association’s information literacy group (ALIA Pathways), among other tributes and accolades.


In honor of the 20th anniversary, the Board of Directors of the National Forum established several awards that would reflect the NFIL legacy and mission.

Also recognized that evening were the first recipients of newly established NFIL achievement awards for 2009:

  • Congressman Major R. Owens, ret. received the Information Literacy Drum Major Award for exceptional service and dedication to promoting information literacy. A deeply passionate, legislative activist and staunch champion of the rights of unserved and underserved Americans, Owens is a long-time information literacy advocate and the first librarian to serve in Congress.
  • F. “Woody” Horton, the Patricia Senn Breivik Information Literacy Award recipient, served as one of the chief architects of two, seminal international policy statements on information literacy—the Prague Declaration and the Alexandria Proclamation.
  • The National Education Association, recipient of the National Forum on Information Literacy Advocacy Award, has been a staunch supporter of many National Forum activities throughout the years, most notably the first Information Literacy Summit held in Washington, D.C. in 2006.

Also joining the festivities that evening was Paul G. Zurkowski, former president of the Information Industry Association, credited with coining the term “information literacy” in 1974. Zurkowski perceived information-literate people as having the “techniques and skills for utilizing the wide range of information tools as well as primary sources in molding information-solutions to their problems.” Thirty five years later, we finally receive national recognition of its critical importance to our well-being as a nation in the 21st century—an undeniable achievement.

A new year brings new challenges. It also brings old baggage. Our mission is expansive—mainstreaming information literacy across the American landscape. We still have much work to do. National Information Literacy Awareness Month is our clarion call to promote information literacy activities nationwide. Diversity is key. We welcome your ideas in strengthening our mission to empower all Americans with the skill set to pursue a better quality of life now and in the future. Won’t you join us?!—Lana W. Jackman, National Forum on Information Literacy, E-mail:

2010 ACRL Scholarly Communication Roadshow

ACRL is taking scholarly communication on the road again in 2010 with “Scholarly Communication 101: Starting with the Basics.” Recognizing that scholarly communication issues are central to the work of all academic librarians and all types of institutions, ACRL is pleased to offer this free half-day workshop to libraries across the country. Led by two expert presenters, this structured interactive overview of the scholarly communication system highlights individual or institutional strategic planning and action. Four modules focus on new methods of scholarly publishing and communication, copyright and intellectual property, economics, and open access.

The application for the 2010 road show is now available. Institutions interested in hosting “Scholarly Communication 101” should apply by Monday, February 8, 2010. Hosts must partner with, and invite staff from, at least one other institution. Complete details are on the ACRL Web site at www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/issues/scholcomm/roadshow.cfm.

Copyright © American Library Association, 2010

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