News from the Director
By now we are all aware of the state budget situation and cuts to all of our programs and schools, so let me highlight some activities and initiatives the Libraries are working on to support research and provide expanded access even in this environment of frugality. At the statewide level, we are attempting to develop a collaborative model to reduce duplication of books purchased across the UW System thereby freeing up monies for purchasing unique items that support our particular research needs. As you know, books can be obtained rapidly through the UW System Borrowing link in our catalog, proof that cooperative collection sharing can be very effective.
Although we have avoided a major serial cancellation this fall, annual inflationary increases have prevented increasing our serial holdings-electronic access provides better searching, but it is just as costly as traditional titles. However, desktop delivery of articles offers rapid access to journals not held by us. Next semester we will be providing a group (union) catalog interface, which will clearly show where items are located at all UW Libraries as well as other libraries with one search.
In the past year we have added several features to our catalog, including Find It, to streamline searching databases and ejournals. We are currently testing Meta Search, which allows simultaneous searching across multiple databases, with the results interfiled. Our goal is to make it easier for our users to find results quickly while still retaining the more in-depth interface search of individual databases.
More good news in the digital realm: we have received funding from the Educational Technology Committee to spearhead a laptop borrowing program for students. We hope to begin this service later this semester.
Please take the time to look at the wealth of digital collections now available through the UW System Digital Collection, which is highlighted in this newsletter. Rare books, audio clips, manuscripts, photos, diaries, maps from library collections across the state previously not readily available for researchers and readers are now accessible. This is another successful collaborative initiative.
Last but not least, the Libraries will be undergoing some additional physical changes. As you likely noticed, the entrance lobby in the west wing has a new welcoming presence with comfortable seating. And if you haven't been down to our Current Periodicals Room, you might wish to check out the new browsing collection. More extensive alterations are in store. The Libraries have received state funding to remodel the first floor west wing to improve user services, and to create group study opportunities and an information commons, reflecting the way students use the library. We will also be installing compact shelving on two floors to accommodate collection growth. Even though we are acquiring more electronic resources, paper resources continue to increase and be used by faculty and students.
Exciting times are ahead. With the growth of the student population on campus, the Libraries are a busy place: faculty and students meeting over a cup of coffee at the Gathering Place@your libraries, great numbers of tours for newcomers, library instruction classes reaching thousands of students, and students with laptops connecting with wireless access or working at public workstations. I want to take this opportunity to thank our hard-working library staff who provide outstanding service to our community of users.
UW System Digital Collections Launches 1 Millionth Object
The 1 millionth digital object for the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections (UWDC) was selected and posted this October. The image is Lois Ireland's "Harvest Time," a painting which illustrates the Wisconsin spirit and was included in John Rector Barton's Rural Artists of Wisconsin. Published in 1948, the book documents artwork displayed in the 1940s by the Rural Art Committee. The overarching goal of the Committee's exhibits was to promote greater interest in the cultural treasures of Wisconsin.
UWDC, initiated in 2001, is an ongoing project with digital collections cooperatively developed by UW System libraries and other collections developed by individual UW libraries. The UWM Libraries have contributed Milwaukee Neighborhoods: Photos and Maps 1885-1992 and Milwaukee Repertory Theater Photographic History to the project, which may be accessed at http://uwdc.library.wisc.edu/.
Robert McColl Honored
The first lecture in the Libraries’ 2005-06 Academic Adventurers Series was presented on Sept. 30 by UWM Chancellor Carlos Santiago and was entitled “Economic Development and the Indigenous Question in Latin America—A Romp through the Western Amazon.” After the Chancellor’s talk, a reception was held to honor Robert McColl, who recently promised a significant bequest to the American Geographical Society Library (AGSL). McColl—Emeritus Professor of Geography and East Asian Studies at the University of Kansas—and his wife Suzanne Ecke McColl have already been funding several AGSL projects and programs.
Friends of the Golda Meir Library Offer Tour in Alaska: Support the UWM Libraries and Enrich Your Life
The Friends of the Golda Meir Library are sponsoring a seven-day cruise in July 2006 through the sublime land and seascape of Alaska’s inland waterways and magnificent Glacier Bay.
The tour— supported by rare maps and photographs from the American Geographical Society Library —features a combination of thought-provoking educational forums provided by UWM geologist Douglas Cherkauer, excursions to places of cultural and geographical interest, and an opportunity to support the treasured resources at the UWM Libraries through a generous tax deduction of $600 (included in the cost of the trip).
For more information about the cruise, visit the Friends Web site at www.uwm.edu/Library/Friends.
Former Director Receives Spaights Award
On Oct. 11 former UWM Libraries Director Peter Watson-Boone (1990-2003) received a 2005 Ernest Spaights Plaza award, given to individuals who have made significant, enduring, and campus wide contributions to the growth and development of UWM. Before the public ceremony at the Union recognizing this year's award winners, the UWM Libraries held a reception for Watson-Boone in the Golda Meir Library. Among the gifts given to him by the Libraries staff was a book plate in his honor, to be placed in a rare and important copy of Richard Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy (second edition, 1624).
Opening of Woman's Club of Wisconsin Archives Celebrated
The Woman's Club of Wisconsin (WCW) and the UWM Libraries celebrated the opening of the Club's archives for public research at an event on Nov. 18 at the Club in downtown Milwaukee. The UWM Archives acquired the Club's historical records in 2004 in order to support research and instruction at UWM. The event coincided with Wisconsin Archives Week, and Genevieve McBride, Associate Professor in the UWM History Department and Director of the Women's Studies Program, was the featured speaker.
Holding and cutting the ceremonial ribbon are (from left) Patricia Fetterly, WCW Past President and Chair of the History Committee; Cathy Brock, WCW President; Ewa Barczyk, Libraries Interim Director; and Michael Doylen, Head of the UWM Archives Department.
Irish President Views Libraries' Treasures
Irish President Mary McAleese viewed a special exhibit of rare and significant Irish-related materials from the collections of the UWM Libraries during her visit to campus on August 22. Displayed in Chapman Hall where President McAleese spoke at a reception in her honor, the exhibit highlighted the Libraries' rich resources for research and teaching in Irish and Celtic studies, disciplines that have long been areas of focus at UWM.
Included in the exhibit were rare maps from the American Geographical Society Library; unique Joycean materials from the Division of Archives and Special Collections, including original letters, a rare edition of Ulysses with original prints by Henri Matisse, signed by both Matisse and Joyce, and a recently-identified corrected galley proof for Finnegans Wake; and selections of rare books from Special Collections, including the exquisitely produced Luzern facsimile of the Book of Kells, and a first printing of the first edition of Edmund Spenser's 1633 A View of the State of Ireland.
Irish President Mary McAleese views rare materials from the UWM Libraries. From left are UWM Libraries' Special Collections curator Max Yela, Libraries Interim Director Ewa Barczyk, President McAleese, and her husband Dr. Martin McAleese.
David Buck Recognized for Contributions
Professor Emeritus David Buck, UWM Dept. of History, was honored for his contributions to the Libraries at a July 25 reception in the Golda Meir Library's Conference Center. From 1989 to 2004, Prof. Buck (pictured above with his wife Diane) donated over 1700 books and periodicals, including his personal collection of nearly 1200 items, focusing on Chinese history and Asian studies.