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.
Celebrating April Fool's day got me thinking about the role of the Fool. In medieval plays, the Fool was an important character, a stand-in for the audience and representing Everyman. More clever than smart, the Fool questioned beliefs or acted contrary to social expectations. In so doing, the Fool often raised important issues, which led others to consider new ways of seeing things. Though not a Fool per se, recall it was a child who cried out that the Emperor had no clothes on in Hans Christian Andersen's tale of The Emperor's New Clothes.
I’m pleased to announce that the reports for the priority objective teams to advance the Library’s Strategic Plan, 2010-2012, are now available, along with LEG’s responses and recommendations http://staffweb.library.cornell.edu/node/3637. I wanted to take a moment specifically to thank the groups for their wonderful work over the last couple of years. Some of their recommendations have already been implemented or are underway; others will be mainstreamed into the appropriate groups’ work.
Take One: March 18, 2013 (Government support for open access to federally- and state-funded research)
In the past month, we’ve witnessed significant moves in favor of open access coming from the Obama White House, Congress, and at the state level. On February 22nd, the White House directed federal agencies to develop open-access (OA) policies within the next six months. (http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/02/22/expanding-public-access-results-federally-funded-research).
Chris Manly, Kornelia Tancheva, Kizer Walker, and I have just returned from an intensive week in Myanmar where we are consulting for the Open Society Foundation on the development of a national plan to support an e-library for all of higher education. We visited many academic libraries in Yangon and Mandalay, talking with administrators, faculty, and library staff about their needs and hopes for the future. Given that the country has been closed to the outside world for many years, there is a strong desire to advance quickly.