As my first full semester as Interim Dean and calendar 2016 comes to a close, I have been reflecting upon how much libraries, librarians, and access to information are essential to vibrant communities.
Our donors make it possible for the UNCG University Libraries to shine as teaching and learning partners for the students, faculty, friends, and region which we serve.
Because of your generosity we—and they--are stronger, better, and more vital.
Here are just a few of the initiatives your assistance has fostered this year:
· Growing and digitizing our unique collections such as the Cello Music Collection, the Women’s Veteran’s Historical Project and the Book Arts and Book Binding Collection. These collections distinguish us among research libraries and we make them available to users worldwide.
· Working with faculty across the campus to develop low cost, high impact alternatives to expensive textbooks which makes higher education more affordable for our students.
· Providing an innovation award to library staff to develop a unique project that benefits our community both on campus and off. Last year’s award enabled a staff member to develop training videos about preservation techniques in three languages
· Transforming the first floor reading room into a vibrant, engaging student study space which optimizes small group collaboration
· Recognizing student achievement through an annual undergraduate research award which demonstrates the ability to locate, select and synthesize information resources in the creation of an original research project in any media.
· Bolstering information and digital literacy initiatives by incentivizing faculty to partner with librarians to incorporate these concepts into the curriculum so that students learn to select and use quality information resources. Recent reports about students’ ability to distinguish “fake news” highlight this need.
· Offering an annual storyteller event that brings hundreds of area school children to campus to hear a well-known author.
· Engaging area school teachers in workshops to train them how to use primary sources in their classrooms. Our archivists and librarians share their expertise with these resources through workshops, toolkits, and guides.
A library is not only a place for materials, but also a workshop for transformation. We remain grateful to you and for you at the holiday season and always.
With best wishes