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Spring 2019 | Volume 20 | Number 2
In This Issue
Note from the Dean
John P. Wilkin
 Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

We’re wrapping up another academic year and all of us in the Library are breathing a sigh of relief after a year of fast-paced and high impact work. I am gratified by the health of the Library and by our tremendous accomplishments. I am also excited by our future plans, which build on those past efforts. As an academic unit, each year the Library is asked to present an annual report and budget request to the provost. My meeting with the provost and his staff took place earlier this April, and it was an excellent opportunity to reflect on our accomplishments and our future directions. We have strengthened our collections and our leading-edge services such as our Research Data Service and our digital preservation system. We continue to lead the research library community, for example by leveraging our outstanding print collections as a linchpin for shared print storage. Despite a period of declining state funding, our Library has been well-supported by the university: the provost made a multi-year commitment to keeping pace with the high rate of inflation for library books and journals. Funding increases of approximately 2.5% per year for collections will allow us to continue to provide access to an exceptional body of print and electronic resources. I am optimistic about next year’s funding and the strength of our engagement with campus.

I hope you have been following our plans to transform the Main Library and to repurpose the Undergraduate Library for our rare and special collections. These efforts are critically important. Our special collections deserve improved facilities, and the older portions of the stacks are accelerating the decay of our outstanding collections. We are now intensifying our work on the building project. Several library committees are conducting important fact-finding work and preliminary planning to aid us in the process. At the campus level, the provost and the vice chancellor for research and I recently appointed a committee to help shape these important efforts. I am grateful that so many faculty from across campus readily agreed to participate in this effort. That group begins meeting this month and we hope to have formal feedback by September. The university has also contracted with Johnson Lasky Kindelin (JLK) Architects, along with the design firm brightspot strategy, to guide us through the conceptual planning stage of our project. When we conclude the calendar year, we should have a much clearer sense of the project and timelines. Again, I am grateful to all of you who have provided feedback and participated in our discussions. Visit www.library.illinois.edu/library-building-project for the latest information about this important endeavor.

Let me conclude by thanking all of you for your support. We would not be one of the greatest research libraries in the United States if it were not for the broad support of the campus. The Library is deep in the midst of strategic planning, leveraging the campus strategic plan. That plan should be publicly available in the fall, but, as always, we will partner with you, striving to be a vital part of efforts to advance the research, teaching, and outreach of the university.

Dean of Libraries and University Librarian wins 2019 Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award

John Price Wilkin, Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson Dean of Libraries and University Librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been named the 2019 winner of the Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award. 

Named in honor of one of the pioneers of library automation, the Atkinson Award recognizes an academic librarian who has made significant contributions in the area of library automation or management and has made notable improvements in library services or research. Read more of the ALA press release...

2019-2020 Research Travel Grant

Do you know of any scholars at the graduate or post-doctoral level who wish to conduct research at the Library?

The University Library and the Department of History are pleased to announce a Research Travel Grant to support scholars conducting research in any of the Library’s collections.

The University Library is one of the largest research libraries in the U.S., holding more than 14 million volumes and 24 million other items and materials in all formats, languages, and subjects. Special collections include the papers of literary figures such as Marcel Proust, H.G. Wells, Carl Sandburg, and Gwendolyn Brooks, extensive collections relating to the history of science and technology, extraordinary collections of Slavic and East European, and Latin American and Caribbean materials, and a unique collection of sub-Saharan African research materials. Travel grant recipients will also have access to the Library’s digital collections (including journal subscriptions and licensed databases) during their stay.

More information is located at www.library.illinois.edu/hpnl/blog/2019-2020-research-travel-grant/. The deadline for 2019-2020 applications is May 1, 2019.

Trial Access to 100+ Electronic Resources

The University Library has secured three years of trial access to every primary source product sold by ProQuest, an information-content and technology company which provides applications and products for libraries. ProQuest is piloting the program with a number of different universities.

The ProQuest “Access and Build Program” includes access through August 31, 2021, to 115 electronic resources that touch on the humanities, music and the arts, the social sciences, and some scientific disciplines. There are newspapers, government documents, digitized books and journals, scanned microform sets, streaming videos, and recorded sound collections.

A ProQuest website highlights everything that is available through the duration of the Access & Build Program. Users can search for digital journals, newspapers, and databases at https://sfx.carli.illinois.edu/sfxuiu/az. Resources in the Program are labeled as a trial.

“While the resources secured through the licensing arrangement are not permanent acquisitions, the Library is excited to be able to make them available to the faculty, staff, and students at Illinois for a substantial amount of time,” said Tom Teper, associate university librarian for collections and technical services. “In addition, this program banks our spending, creating a deposit account and enabling our purchasing decisions to be informed by data gathered about the collections’ use.”

What Illinois Faculty are Saying About the Library

Martin Camargo is associate dean for humanities and interdisciplinary programs and professor of English, classics, and medieval studies at Illinois.

"As a medievalist, I depend on great research libraries, and ours is among the best. Forty years ago, while a doctoral student at Illinois, I wanted to read the first letter-writing manuals written in English. Our library has a copy of every edition of every one of these sixteenth-century schoolbooks. More recently, I needed to consult a thirteenth-century Latin encyclopedia that has never been published in a modern edition. Our library owns a beautiful incunabulum from the early age of printing in the fifteenth century. I look forward to many similar discoveries when I step down from the LAS Dean's office to focus on my next book project during a sabbatical leave in fall 2019. My well-lit, air-conditioned faculty carrel is a big improvement over the dim and dusty cage where I wrote most of my dissertation, but hands-on access to the fabulous riches of the collections is and always has been the reason I look forward to spending many productive hours in our amazing library."

 Photo by Phil Cantor Photography

Center for Advanced Study Professor of History Harry Liebersohn came to the University of Illinois in 1990 and will retire at the end of spring semester 2019.

"I could not imagine my research career without the Library and its many-sided resources. The stacks of the Main Library have inexhaustible aisles of printed materials—and for serious research, there is no substitute for print books. Specialized collections like the History, Philosophy and Newspaper Library and the Music and Performing Arts Library provide quick access to a selection of the best publications from past and present. The electronic collection offers resources of great breadth and depth. And the Library staff has a wonderful ethos of helping students and faculty. The renovations underway promise to do even more to promote collaboration among researchers and access to the collections for undergraduates."

We would love to hear your thoughts about the role the Library may be playing in your research and teaching. Share your comments with Heather Murphy at hmurphy@illinois.edu. With permission, the Library may include your feedback in some of its publications where appropriate. 

Meet Sarah C. Williams

Sarah C. Williams has worked at the University Library since August 2011, when she was hired as the Life Sciences Data Services Librarian. Since August 2016, she has been Head of the Funk ACES Library and Agriculture Librarian. Sarah is the subject specialist for the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) departments of Agricultural & Biological Engineering, Agricultural & Consumer Economics, Crop Sciences, and Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences. Her research focuses on data and publishing practices in the life sciences and library services to facilitate better practices.

Sarah has keen interest in agriculture. She has a bachelor’s degree in Soil & Crop Science from Purdue University, and prior to her time at Illinois, she was the agriculture librarian at Illinois State University for ten years. Sarah is actively involved in the U.S. Agricultural Information Network (USAIN) and served as president from 2016-2017.

Have questions? Need help? Connect with Sarah Williams at scwillms@illinois.edu.

A Convenient Way to Make an Impact Today

Every day, you make an investment through your service to Illinois. By setting up payroll deduction directed to the areas you care most about on campus, you can have an even greater impact on the lives of all who are touched by the Illinois mission. Please consider the University Library when making a gift. 

Visit the University Library's Office of Advancement website at www.library.illinois.edu/friends/.


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