We have just posted the 2012-2013 Library Annual Report to the Provost. As I reviewed the report, I was struck again by how incredibly impressive and broad is the library’s reach.
A week or so ago we held our annual service awards brunch, honoring individuals with a combined total years of service of 984. If one person had worked that long at CUL, they would have started in 1029, several years after the world’s first paper money went into circulation in China, four years before the 1,000th anniversary of Christ’s death, and just before The Book of Healing was published as a comprehensive scientific and philosophical encyclopedia written by the Persian polymath Avicenna (no doubt that book would have been cataloged by this person).
After 37 years of service to Cornell University, Lee Cartmill has announced his intent to retire effective October 1, 2013. Lee joined the Library in January 1992 and has served with great distinction as the Associate University Librarian for Administrative Services. As the chief financial and administrative officer for CUL, Lee has responsibility for the financial, human resource and facilities operations of the library system, with its an annual budget of $58 million.
I wanted to share with you a copy of the spring email that went to nearly 2,000 supporters of the library last week. This is the second of these emails we’ve sent and big thanks goes Zsuzsa Koltay and her team for developing it. Most of the content should be familiar to you, but it’s nice to see the range of accomplishments brought together. I have received a number of compliments from alumni on the email. One in particular was so pleased to learn that she still had access to Cornell Library materials!
I’m pleased to announce that our Campaign for Collections took a giant step forward this month, when Eileen and Jay Walker agreed to co-chair the effort. To quote Eileen: “The quality of an institution's library speaks volumes about the values of the institution. This campaign is not solely about buying more books, though books may be part of the story. This is about having the tools, paper or electronic, that a 21st-century research university should have available to scholars.
This morning an announcement came out of Harvard that Cornell’s former Carl A. Kroch University Librarian will become Vice President for Harvard Library. Sarah Thomas will have overall responsibility for a very complicated library system, one that has been undergoing major changes in the past several years. You may recall that Scott Wicks also joined the Harvard Library two years ago and beginning in August, Scott will work closely with Sarah.
After 33 years of service to Cornell University, Janet McCue is retiring as Associate University Librarian for Teaching, Research, Outreach and Learning Services in June. During her tenure at the Library, Janet’s innovative leadership, dedication, and enthusiasm for Cornell’s vibrant culture of learning and discovery have had a lasting impact on both Cornell and the global research communities. Stay tuned for more information on bidding Janet farewell. A search committee has been appointed to find her successor.
Last week at the ARL annual spring meeting, I participated in a session on doing “less with less” that included a description of our process as well as the results from a survey of other ARL libraries that Research and Assessment conducted earlier this spring. The slides from this presentation are available on staff web at http://staffweb.library.cornell.edu/system/files/ARL%20less%20with%20less%202013.pdf.
Recently Gail Steinhart wrote with a great suggestion to share more broadly the Library’s position when weighing in on pending legislation and public policies. Most of the time CUL avoids commenting on legislative action but makes an exception for bills that would impact directly our role as a research library and the ability of faculty, students, and other researchers to access critical information.
Next week the US will celebrate National Library Week, which the American Library Association has sponsored since 1958. This year’s theme is “Communities matter at your library.” Certainly we could highlight the Cornell community and its commitment and use of the libraries on campus. But I’d like to highlight the theme of communities by focusing on our own community within the library. Each and every one of you who contribute to making CUL such an incredible place.