NO.58 FALL 2001

The Library Associates

Join more than 6,000 other friends, book lovers, alumni, and faculty who recognize that the influence of a great research library reaches beyond the university it serves to the many communities of which it is a part.

Library Associates receive complimentary copies of the quarterly newsletter Bene Legere, as well as invitations to special occasions at the Library. For more information on the Library Associates program, please write or telephone: The Library Development Office, Room 188 Doe Library, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-6000; telephone (510) 642-9377. Or, check our website.


State of the Library

In his inaugural address in 1998, Chancellor Robert Berdahl announced the creation of the Chancellor's Initiative, a three-year program to increase Library funding. Now three years later, we can report that his initiative has done much to restore and enhance the depth of Library collections. As we review the state of the Library in 2001, we appreciate the Chancellor's support, that, in a very practical way, acknowledges a fact we all understand--the University Library is a critical part of what makes the Berkeley campus great.

That fact is also evident nationally. With over nine million volumes now in our collections, the Cal Library is considered one of the finest research university libraries in the country. Highlighting that point was the annual survey of the Association of Research Libraries that ranked Cal Berkeley 4th in its 1999-2000 ARL Membership Index of its 112 library members. Indeed, it is our collections and research programs that are regarded so favorably and helps to rank us below only Harvard and Yale in the United States, and above Stanford and Michigan in the survey.

While the budget picture for the State of California is less encouraging than in past years, income from our acquisitions and program endowments (especially those created in recent years) is definitely helping the Library to acquire materials that are critical for our collections. Private support for these collections continues to be crucially important in helping maintain our exceptional library.

Budgetary struggles are not new to research libraries. Many, like Berkeley, have been developing a broad range of collaborative activities to lower costs. An encouraging development is the California Digital Library (CDL), a consortial effort of all of the libraries of the University of California system, that has been particularly successful in combining shared resources of all campuses and making them accessible to a wider University population. Journals, which are often very expensive and once available only on individual University of California campuses, are now available in digital form to all campuses through the CDL. The consortium also has joined forces with the Scholarly Publishing Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) in an effort to create alternative and less expensive means of disseminating information on scholarly advances than through traditional academic journals. Though only four years old, CDL's efforts indicate that collaboration does help us to reduce costs while simultaneously increasing access to materials.

While the budget and information access are very important, our Library facilities also must be considered in our plans. The buildings on the Berkeley Campus continue to undergo seismic retrofitting. Because the Library has subject-specific libraries located in buildings campus-wide that are affected by these retrofits, we now have become expert in relocating entire library collections and services to temporary spaces. In July, 2000, Cal's Chemistry Library left its permanent home in Hildebrand Hall and moved into the "Doe Core," the space created by the removal of the original Doe stacks in 1994. In addition, the College of Environmental Design Library now occupies the fifth floor of Moffitt Library as Wurster Hall is being completely renovated. Both libraries plan to return to their new spaces during the 2001-2002 academic year. Future such seismic projects will impact LeConte Hall--forcing the Physics Library to move into the Doe Core space when the Chemistry Library moves home--and eventually the Doe Library Annex Building.

For most people, the Berkeley Library is defined by its collections. Each year, we describe in general terms a wealth of new material; and each year donors like you continue to support generously those acquisitions.

However, it is worth looking more closely at a representative sampling of these additions (and editions!) to get a feel for what was added in 2000-2001.

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Originally published Fall 2001. Server manager: contact