The Vision For University Libraries
As the center of the intellectual community at one of the best public universities in the country, we need to be flexible and nimble to address an ever-changing information landscape while we customize knowledge for students and faculty. That is why we seek to build our endowment, which will help in the following areas:
Today’s students grew up with information technology, and they expect their libraries to provide them with information in the most efficient and effective manner. At Binghamton, that can entail everything from expanding our catalog of electronic books to providing access for subject-specific databases to scanning more materials for easy Web access 24 hours a day. Our libraries need the latest technology so our students and faculty can remain competitive with their peers around the world.
Integrated Library/Classroom Services
The University Libraries can increase effectiveness across the curriculum by integrating with the classroom. Additional funding can provide blackboard interfaces between professors and library resources, all occurring in real time with class discussions. The resulting synergy can engage students in an unprecedented manner.
Information technology changes so rapidly that today’s ideal service can be obsolete in just a few years. Professional development for the staff helps them learn about and determine which technologies will best serve our students, faculty and community both today and tomorrow. They will be better prepared to anticipate changes and trends in scholarship, publishing and education. The result will be the cost-effective ability to deliver enhanced services.
Value-Added Information Services
In a “Google world,” people have immediate desktop access to seemingly unlimited information. Our libraries must provide the value-added products and services that assist users in deciphering and customizing this information.
Preservation of Collections
Our University Libraries host extensive collections of rare and historic materials. From Chinese books of the 19th and 20th centuries to Civil War manuscripts, these documents and publications require expert care to repair and prevent deterioration. Our in-house digitization lab allows us to convert materials to digital formats, meaning scholars can access the materials from anywhere in the world. We are committed to preserving our superlative collections and strengthening them through strategic acquisitions.
Working within the Binghamton University Libraries gives all students an advantage when they begin their careers because they have valuable work experience and know how to find information. But our students are funded through a work-study program, which means once their stipend runs out, they’re out of a job. By growing our endowment for student library workers, we will ensure that our libraries will have the resources needed to maintain the hours and staff our learning community demands while giving student-workers substantial knowledge about information resources.
Points of Pride
- Binghamton University Libraries have been consistently ranked either number 1 or 2 (with Cornell) as having the best interlibrary loan service in New York.
- An independent survey of our 2009 graduating seniors reported a highly favorable library approval rating of 96 percent.