In preparing for the ARL (Association of Research Libraries) team evaluation visit October 3-5, 2001 we have sent them our required report, which will also be available on the web site. This site should be ready by mid September.
Vision Statement Workshop
On August 3 the Administrative Coordinating Team and several staff participated in a half-day retreat, facilitated by Susan Newkirk-Moore and Associates, to update the Librariesí vision and goals. A summary of information gathered by Beth Denham and Glenda Neely from interviews with stakeholders helped to set common vision themes. These themes are leadership, commitment, internal and external customers and funding. Based on the retreat, we now have a draft of a new vision to be finalized on September 12 with input from all staff. All information gathered and gained will be used to update our strategic plan during the fall. I would like to thank everyone for their good participation and their hard work.
Information Literacy Instruction
As I mentioned last month I have been away most of August and I would like to report briefly on two of the meetings I was involved in. From August 6-10 I was an instructor at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. About forty participants from around the world spent the week learning and discussing the digital library and information literacy. The group was very energetic and contributed many views from various countries. Major issues involved librarianship as a profession, human resource and training issues, as well as new roles for librarians. For me, the most interesting insight was how similar the libraries of different countries have become during the past 5-8 years in providing services and in building collections and facilities.
Second U.S.-China Conference on Libraries 2001
From August 11-15, I participated in the Second U.S. - China Conference on Libraries 2001 in New York. I was also a participant in the first U.S.-China Conference in 1996 in Beijing. Weiling Liu also attended the 2001 conference and was a great help in translating much information. Approximately 25 participants from China, and as many from the United States, discussed cooperative library and information ventures between the two countries. I was again impressed with how much closer our library operations have become during the past several years. When I visited Chinese universities and libraries in the early 1990s, there was hardly any technology, and services were less developed than in the U.S. Now much of this has changed and our services are becoming more related. The outcome of this meeting will be the creation of even more cooperative ventures between our libraries on the national and individual level.
I was also most impressed by Queens and Flushing, New York. It is a densely populated area, the majority of the population is Asian; in fact, I almost felt like I was visiting China. The public library was the most astonishing library I have ever encountered. It is the busiest public library in the country with 17 million visitors a year and millions of items circulating. Their staff can speak 80 languages and they have extensive international collections and services. In fact, they provide more than 30,000 learning workshops each year. There was no empty chair, or unused computer during the three days I was there.
I will report on the IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations) meeting in Boston from August 17-25 in the next issue.
--Hannelore Rader, University Librarian