From the University Librarianimage

This is the time to give thanks to all the staff, to assess the past year and to take credit for the many accomplishments of the Libraries. Once again, we have truly made much progress on all of our goals, especially in terms of user-centered services. All indications are that our users are pretty satisfied with library services and use of the libraries continues to increase.

Library achievements were extraordinary during the past year thanks to the very hard and excellent work of all library staff. Use of the libraries increased by 15%, when combined with the previous year library use has increased 40% in two year. For the first time the libraries became a net lender of library materials. The new Metropolitan College computer laboratory in Ekstrom Library is very popular and has been used by more than 35,000 persons since it opened last February. Library staff continued to provide high-quality service and access to an increasing array of print and electronic resources.

The library staff updated and implemented various parts of the new web-based library system Voyager from Endeavor Information System, Inc. including the initiation of an electronic reserve system. As part of the Kentucky Commonwealth Virtual Library (KCVL), Western Kentucky, Murray, and the community technical colleges, have now implemented Voyager and share the U of L server with the University Libraries. The library staff contributed productively to the successful development of all segments of the KCVL.

Access to many new electronic databases was provided, adding thousands of full text journals, reference items, abstracts and indexes. The collections of the libraries increased by six percent to 1,513,672 volumes and 14,332 journal subscriptions. The Libraries' technology continued to be updated to provide more than 500 networked and Internet-connected workstations for staff and public use. The library staff continued to improve their assessment plans and completed the second user survey. Ongoing assessment of collections and continuing growth of the collections are significant steps toward future membership in the Association of Research Libraries.

Most importantly, fund-raising initiatives begun last year were effective in once again increasing private support for the Libraries, resulting in more than $669,000 in gifts, an increase of 75 percent. It is noteworthy that the Libraries are the first in Kentucky to create an endowed chair, the Evelyn Schneider Endowed Chair for Copyright and Intellectual Freedom.

Indeed, take a few moments during the holidays, pat yourselves on the back and feel good about the many accomplishments of the libraries this past year because without you it could not have happened.

--Hannelore Rader, University Librarian