U.C. Berkeley Library Web

Our Commitments

Annual Report of The Library, 1995-96

Letter from the University Librarian Campaign for a New Century
Renewing our Commitment... What's New at The Library
...to The University Community Library Associates
... to The Library's Friends Major Gifts
...to the People of California Grants

Renewing our Commitment to the University Community

  Central to our mission is service to the University community. In this period when technology is being used to create new kinds of information and we are developing new ways of collecting and analyzing data, continuity and expansion of service to our primary clients are even more important.

  One of our current major projects is strengthening the role of the Moffitt Undergraduate Library in fostering undergraduate teaching and learning on campus.   Unlike students of earlier generations whose primary means of learning was by reading, today's students, although bright and eager to learn, have often suffered from the lack of adequate high school resources, especially for libraries (California ranks 50th out of 50 states on expenditures for school libraries).   Current undergraduates, members of the MTV generation, come to the University with their visual and computer skills already in place.

Many of today's freshmen were born in 1978, simultaneous with the birth of the video revolution.   Video is as much of their experience as radio was part of the lives of their grandparents.   In fact, William Kirby at the MacArthur Foundation estimates that 70-80% of what is learned is learned visually.   Media is the primary text of the late 20th century!   The changes in the high school preparation of entering students constitute a challenge to traditional assumptions about the way students will use a university library, and we must respond to students' needs in new and innovative ways.

  The UC Media Resources Center (MRC) was initiated in 1979, and over the years its staff has created a distinguished collection of multi-media material - from full runs of PBS series to esoteric examples of international low-budget filmmaking.   And students flock to its doors.   During the academic year we turn away more than 100 students each school day.

  How do students use the Media Resources Center?   Consider this: for many students, term papers are no longer on paper.   They are often composed and presented on the computer, complete with sound and visual documentation. As an example, recently one student did a "paper" on the "Image of Asian Males in American Movies."   Using original film clips as primary sources, the student was able to append to her "paper" clips from the films she was talking about, from Broken Blossom by D. W. Griffith to Breakfast at Tiffany's.   Click here to check out the MRC.

  We are renewing our commitment to all members of the academic community, not just undergraduates.   A research library must provide to faculty, scholars, and graduate students the materials that are required for intellectual advances to be made.

However, Berkeley has a triple challenge.   First, it offers more than one hundred doctoral programs!   That means that we must make available ample resources in depth to support these programs.   Second, in a survey published last fall by the National Research Council, Cal was ranked in the top ten of 35 of the 36 academic disciplines that were surveyed nationally.  Such favorable findings, while very gratifying, result in additional pressure for the Library in terms of maintaining the depth of its collections.   And third, the University is presently replacing some of the faculty who retired earlier in the decade.   These new faculty, often young and coming to Cal directly from a post-doctoral fellowship or other research opportunity, are bringing with them skills and knowledge in entirely new fields and disciplines that are "cutting edge."   The Library must support their work by providing them with up-to-date resources in their fields.

  Last spring staff, faculty and Friends of the Bancroft Library came together to deliberate on the role that the Bancroft should play on the campus, and began to fashion a long-range plan that will result in the Bancroft strengthening its commitment to the academic community and simultaneously expanding its reach beyond University walls.   As the most heavily used special collections library in the nation, with particular strengths focusing on the history of California and the American west, and Mexico and Central America, the Bancroft Library already has an established clientele.   As part of its newly strengthened mission, it is beginning to work on cooperative activities with campus units, such as the Townsend Center for the Humanities and the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology, that will reflect their common interests and provide a forum for an increased campus presence.

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Renewing Our Commitment to the Library's Friends
Library Volunteers! An Incomparable Resource

Library Associates have grown from 1,500 in 1989 to 3,300 strong today.   On the Cal campus, only the schools of engineering and business can claim larger numbers of current donors - and they have alumni!   Associates' generosity is such that gifts in 1995-96 represented almost a 30 fold increase from the amount received in 1989 ($208,000)!   This is truly a testament to the understanding that as the intellectual nucleus of the University, the Library must be nurtured and carefully tended to ensure its excellence for future generations of Californians.   We are so very grateful to all of you!
Click here to read more about the Library Associates.

Two great ladies deserve special public appreciation and recognition:
Jean Stone and Evelyn Hemmings Chambers.

Also this year the staff of the Bancroft Library, the Council of the Friends of the Bancroft Library and the Library Development Office agreed to increase our efforts to raise endowments and other financial resources for the Bancroft Library by incorporating Bancroft's fundraising activities as an integral part of the Library's total effort.   Our ultimate goal is to increase the financial independence of the Bancroft Library while strengthening the unique relationship between the Bancroft and the Friends of the Bancroft.   We hope as well to open up more opportunities for members of the Friends to participate in other university activities.

Last year Library Associates whose annual gift was more than $100 received invitations to one or more of the following:

  Learn to "Surf the Net," a morning in Doe Library with instructors from our Teaching Library available to guide participants in learning to "surf the net."   Response to this event was so enthusiastic that we scheduled two more, also to overflowing, and could have scheduled an additional three sessions!

A reception honoring Charles Faulhaber, newly appointed Director of the Bancroft Library, held in the Morrison Room in Doe Library.

Donors at the $250 annual gift level and above received an invitation to the Library Associates' Annual Dinner, at which Robert Hass, Professor of English and current U.S. Poet Laureate, spoke and read some of his poems.

Library Advisory Board, 1994-95 Honorary Advisory Board
John W. Rosston, Chairman Marion Sproul Goodin
Carol T. Christ, The Vice Chancellor and Provost Ira Michael Heyman, Chancellor Emeritus
Albert H. Bowker, Chancellor Emeritus Esther Heyns
Herbert W. Funk Di-Hwa Tien
Clark Kerr, President Emeritus
Daniel E. Koshland, Professor Emeritus
Robert G. O'Donnell
Amy Worth

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Renewing Our Commitment to the People
of the Bay Area and California

As a state supported institution, the University of California has responsibilities to the general public that private institutions like Stanford or Harvard don't have.   Unlike many private schools which issue library cards only to current students and alumni (for a fee), anyone can receive a day pass to use Cal's libraries, and more than 20,000 non University patrons annually use the stacks in Doe Library.   We also serve as the state's library "of last resort," which means that all libraries in the state normally turn to us when they are having difficulty locating an item.

During the state's recent recession and the University's consequent budget problems, it has been more difficult to meet our responsibilities to our primary clientele and meet the needs of the state of California.   But this year, spearheaded by Chancellor Tien, the Library has been able to recommit itself to extending its borders, reaching to those whose needs for information aren't otherwise realized.

As part of the Berkeley Pledge, Cal's Library, the UCB School of Education and the San Francisco Unified School district have undertaken interactive projects whose targeted audiences include the state's elementary and secondary school students. In the American Heritage Project and its companion project, the California Heritage Project, the Bancroft Library is creating a database of unique archival materials and making it available on the Web.   The database includes materials that document the history of California and have never before been available to the public.   To make this "virtual archive" available to school children, Cal's Library has joined with the California State Library to ensure that the necessary infrastructure and equipment will be available to the state's public libraries.   Teachers will be able to select images to meet their curricular needs and students will be encouraged to publish their own interpretations of this primary source material on Web sites.

Cal's Teaching Library is dedicated to promoting information literacy and research and learning skills for the electronic age.   Recently, also as part of the Library's support for the Berkeley Pledge, it joined with the West Contra Costa School District (formerly the Richmond School District) and the UCB School of Education to bring new teaching skills and methods into the classroom.   Cal's Teaching Library will "train the trainers," West Contra Costa teachers, by demonstrating how to integrate effectively electronic resources into the mandated curricula.   The goal is ultimately to transform students from passive receivers of knowledge into active, questioning seekers.

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