Welcome to fall 2017! New initiatives are underway at the Library

Dear faculty, students, and colleagues,

Welcome to the start of a new academic year.

We would like to share details of a number of new initiatives and programs that are underway at Princeton University Library. Highlights of these activities include:

  • Website new look and feel: We have refreshed the look and feel of our website as a first step in bringing the site up-to-date and to reflect our unified and innovative approach to providing state-of-the-art library services. While the website’s core functionality remains essentially the same, we will be continuing to modify the site throughout the year and will incorporate feedback from usability testing in order to enhance user experience. New on the homepage is a feature called Library Spotlight. Each month a student or member faculty will share their learning/teaching/research experience working with Library staff and resources.
  • Personal Librarian Program: User testing has demonstrated that getting started with research and navigating the rich but varied resources at Princeton University Library can be challenging for new students. In response, starting this term, we are launching a new program that will pair every first and second year undergraduate student with one of our friendly library experts. The personal librarian will be a “go-to person” to help each student find the right resources and cultivate research skills to foster their academic success.
  • Expansive digitization and new technology: As part of our commitment to provide online access to our world-renowned collections, we are continuing to invest in the development of our digital library. For example, this spring and summer, as part of a collaboration with Columbia, Harvard, the Getty Research Institute, the National Gallery of Art, the Vatican Library, and other partners, we have digitized hundreds of texts to replicate the Bibliotheca Cicognara Collection, which comprises the foundational bibliography of art and archaeology. Funded in part by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the collection will contain over five thousand digitized rare books when complete. (The Digital Cicognara Library)
  • Firestone renovation: We are in the final phase of a 10-year renovation project at Firestone Library. During the upcoming academic year, patrons will find the first floor undergoing construction, but the library will remain open and disruptions will be kept to a minimum. To learn more about the project and ongoing status, please visit the Firestone Renovation website.
  • Increased access to information: Over the summer the Library successfully progressed a major shared collections initiative with its partners (Columbia University, New York Public Library) in ReCAP (Research Collections and Preservation Consortium). Beginning this term, library patrons will have access to a further five million items from the Columbia and NYPL collections via the Princeton University Library catalog. Requests for ReCAP materials are quickly processed; typically with delivery in one to two days. Princeton is the first institution to test and “go live” with this shared collections service.
  • Staff appointments: A number of new staff members have joined our library team over the past few months, including a new manager for the sciences library, two digital infrastructure developers, finance research and labor economics librarians, and metadata librarians for Arabic and Spanish/Portuguese. In addition, two new posts have been created to support the goals and objectives of the Library: a communications manager and an organizational effectiveness manager. The former has been hired to develop a strategic communications plan which facilitates a unified information flow both internally and externally, while the latter has been tasked with helping to ensure we continue to recruit and retain the best staff and build strong and effective leadership and management teams.
  • New communications outreach: To provide timely updates about library news, we will be launching an e-newsletter this fall along with a number of other outreach initiatives.

We look forward to working with you during the 2017-18 academic year.

With kind regards,

Anne E. Jarvis
Robert H. Taylor 1930 University Librarian