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Cornell University Library Report

submitted by:
John M. Saylor
Associate University Librarian for Scholarly Resources and Special Collections

ALA Summer 2011 New Orleans LA

Technical Services Big Head Report From Cornell

The Technical Services Big Heads Report from Cornell may be found at\


Femi Cadus has been appointed as the Edward Cornell Law Library Director, effective July 1(she will actually start in late August ). For the past three years, Femi has served as the Associate Librarian for Administration at Yale Law School. She succeeds Claire Germain.

On February 16th, Curtis Lyons became the Harriet Morel Oxman Director of the Catherwood, Hospitality and Management Libraries and Angela Horne, the new Associate Director of the three libraries.


John M. Olin Library, Cornell's main library for the humanities and social sciences, is 50 years old. On Monday, Feb. 6, 1961, the library opened its doors for the first time after seven years of planning and a $5.7 million construction price tag. The “Libe,” as Uris Library was known then, had served the campus for 70 years, but the collection had long outgrown the space, with books stacked in the clock tower. The Libe was closed and would reopen in 1962 as the undergraduate library.  As the first library in the country to be purpose-built as a research facility, Cornell's President Deane W. Malott considered Olin the single greatest accomplishment of his tenure (1951 to 1963). “We have built many other buildings on this campus,” he wrote, “and we will build many more, but none is or will be so important to the university’s capabilities or so descriptive of its character as this one.” Although there were critics of the new building, dubbed a “vulgar modernization” by the former dean of architecture, it became extremely popular, with  35-40% of the university community entering its doors on the heaviest days of use.  Food and drink were forbidden, but smoking was allowed, a practice that now seems all the more incredible given that the library had no sprinkler system. Today, we are in the midst of a project to provide life safety systems throughout the 240,000 sq. foot building. In the past fifty years much has changed.  Gone are the days of sports coats and ties on men and  a massive card catalog that was the first thing to be saved in the event of a disaster.  Gone, too, are closed stacks, pneumatic tubes, and punch cards. But Olin remains a vital place for research and study, with between 3,000 and 11,000 visitors a day at peak academic times. During Cornell Reunion weekend of June 2011, we celebrated Olin Library’s 50th anniversary with a fabulous exhibit (see

The University Archives are celebrating their 60th year.

Materials Budget

The endowed portion of the materials budget for Cornell University Library will be held harmless from anticipated budget cuts for FY 2011/12.  The University has provided no additional funding to the general purpose allocation for materials.  The Library is exploring ways to provide additional resources of its own to the materials budget.  The endowment payout which we thought would be reduced will be the same as last year (i.e. no increase or decrease).  We do not yet know about the budgets for the state college libraries.

The National Resource Centers, funded by the US Department of Education's Title VI program, have had their funding cut nearly in half.  The centers provide money for library materials and other needs for the Echols (Southeast Asia) and Wason (East Asia) Collections.  The Echols collection stands to lose $34,000 in materials funding alone if other arrangements cannot be made and the Wason collection could lose over $40,000 if the entire materials portion of the NRC money is cut.  Currently the East and Southeast Asia programs are trying to mitigate the effect of the cuts on collections, but because over 65% of the NRC money covers salaries, all other costs on the budget are looking at deep cuts in order to save jobs.

Library Strategic Planning

In February,the Library approved a 5-year strategic plan: Toward 2015: Cornell University Library Strategic Plan, 2011-2015. The plan was developed by a Library Strategic Planning Team with extensive input from faculty, staff, and students (for the Team charge and membership as well as related strategic planning links, see The Library is now in the process of prioritizing the goals and objectives set forth in the plan.

Library Review and Consolidation

Engineering Library

The Engineering Library’s transition is well underway to become Cornell’s second virtual library joining the Physical Sciences Library that lead the way last year. These libraries work collaboratively with the Mathematics library to support the engineering, mathematical, and physical sciences.  The process to fully realize dynamic virtual libraries is still under development but much progress has been made.
The 2010 Recommendations of the Advisory Committee to Re-envision the Engineering Library called for enhancing the electronic collection, providing effective study space and computer access, and reconsidering the role of librarians.  In the last two years through a number of devices including reallocation from operations savings, the budget for materials has been augmented and the online collection strengthened considerably.  The librarians are engaged in building the vision and structure for the virtual library, working with many groups to take advantage of larger discovery and access projects and to build custom specialized discovery tools for the needs of the researchers.  These efforts are leveraging off work started by the Physical Sciences Library.
By the end of June, the physical collection will have been relocated from Carpenter Hall with the majority moving into 24-hr access storage. About 25,000 monographs that have circulated in the last five years will remain on central campus.  The library’s former main reading room is now open 24/7 with key card access as a study area and computer lab to anyone with a current Cornell ID.  The Librarians will remain in their Carpenter offices and continue to assist users as in the past, enhancing their outreach efforts, and building and stewarding the substantial and growing electronic collection.    
Details, updates and background are available on the Engineering Library’s website <>.

Management, Labor, and Hospitality libraries

Consolidation planning and implementation for these three libraries continued with the hiring of Curtis Lyons as Director and Angela Horne as Associate Director. An analysis showed that ca. 70% of each library's collections can be consolidated into the Catherwood Library with the remainder going to the Annex. A new organizational structure will combine staff engaged in research, instruction, outreach, and collection development into a single department under Ms. Horne. The consolidated structure will place greater emphasis on digitization, digital delivery, e-books, e-reserves, data acquisition and storage, and specialized consultation services. Full consolidation of staffing and collections will be complete by July 1, 2012.

Fine Arts Library

The second report on the Fine Arts Library was written by a committee co-chaired by Bonna Boettcher and Lily Chi that was charged with developing a vision for the Fine Arts Library in Rand Hall that would aspire to be a world-class, future-oriented fine arts and design library, . The report lays out findings and recommendations that are firmly based on a hybrid library consisting of physical books and journals as well as digital tools and resources.  There is also a terrific FAQ and Fact Sheet Fine Arts Library to Move to Rand Hall: Fact Sheet and FAQ (Feb 2011) 

Entomology Library

A report from the Entomology Library Transition Task Force, co-chaired by Marty Schlabach, Mann Library, and Bryan Danforth, Entomology Dept, is at .  It outlines steps for building a significant digital collection and for integrating the nearly 40,000 volume Comstock Library collection into Mann by summer 2012.  The co-chairs met with Janet McCue, Anne Kenney and Max Pfeffer, Associate Dean from CALS, to review the report and recommendations.The report reveals how effectively faculty and library staff have worked together to address key issues.  Next steps are being planned by the Mann Library Virtual Library Task Force and other library staff.

Collection Analysis

We hired our first-ever collection analyst in November 2010, the position was increased to full-time (through the end of the 2CUL grant) in January.  Initial emphasis has been on collection and analysis of data to support 2CUL cooperative collection development in four global resource areas. Other important projects are improvements in Borrow Direct transaction data handling, developing a more systematic approach to COUNTER data collection and analysis, and enhancement of usage reporting to selectors for both print and e resources.

Digitization & HathiTrust

We continue to collaborate with Google in digitizing CUL's collections. To recap, the partnership supports the Library’s long-standing commitment to make its collections broadly available and the university’s goal to increase the impact of Cornell beyond campus boundaries. So far, we have digitized approximately 300,000 books including materials from Mann, Entomology, Lee Library (Geneva), Adelson (Ornithology),  Engineering, Math, Physical Sciences, and Vet. We recently began a new phase of digitization to include materials from ILR, JGSM, and Hotel libraries. 

CUL joined the HathiTrust and currently represents the fourth largest collection with 311,000 digital books. 


2CUL Partnership

The website is a

Southeast Asia Collaboration

Through this new formal arrangement, Cornell’s two Southeast Asia librarians will work with faculty and students at Columbia, offering in-depth reference services. They will also work directly with Columbia’s librarians, providing advice on collection development and selecting materials. Cornell will provide improved access to materials in multiple languages, including Burmese, Filipino, Indonesian, Khmer, Lao, Malaysian, Tagalog, Thai and Vietnamese. Columbia will continue to maintain and enhance its English language resource collection.See the press release at

Web Archiving

We signed a contract with the Internet Archive for their Archive-It service ( Archive-It allows us to crawl and capture snapshots of web sites, which are then both made publicly available through the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine ( and also delivered to the Library as part of our permanent digital archive. We will be using this service in several ways: first, to capture and preserve on a regular basis the web space, including resources such as the Cornell Chronicle, course catalogs and descriptions, and research sites; second, to work with faculty to identify and capture external websites that are important to current and future scholarship; third, to capture immediately both Cornell and outside web sites that are of interest and at risk due to loss of funding or other changes. As part of our 2CUL effort with Columbia University, we will be using the service to jointly identify and capture resources for scholars at both institutions. The cost of the service is being split by CIT and CUL, and our initial $8,000 contract runs through June 2012.

POOF! The PreOrder Online Form

POOF! was described in the January 2011 and now is in production see the website at for more information.

Non-Disclosure Agreements

Cornell University Library may be the first major private research library to explicitly go on record that it will no longer sign publisher contracts that include non-disclosure (NDA) clauses.    Our new policy is available at: &nbsp; The Faculty Library Board and the Provost fully endorsed this position. The following private institutions have indicated their commitment to similar terms: Brown, Columbia, Duke, Emory, Johns Hopkins, MIT, and NYU. Fellow travelers among public institutions include the universities of Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia.  By communicating this position well in advance of license negotiations and by having other institutions insist on similar terms, we are hopeful that more publishers will join the ranks of those who have already waived NDA clauses.  They include the American Institute of Physics (AIP), American Physical Society (APS), ASTM International, American Society for Microbiology (ASM), American Chemical Society (ACS), Bloomberg, Cambridge University Press, EBSCO, Elsevier, IEEE, Institute of Physics (IOP), Knovel, Oxford University Press, Proquest, Sage, SPIE, Taylor & Francis, and Wiley. From here on out, any new and renewed license submitted containing a non-disclosure clause will not be signed but will be referred to John Saylor, AUL for Scholarly Resources and Special Collections, for further negotiation. We have already put this new policy into action---deferring a renewal on one contract until the NDA clause was removed and foregoing another publication because the publisher would not remove the non-disclosure clause.

Patron Driven Acquisitions

A FAQ describing our successful Patron Driven Acquisitions in the Physical Sciences and Engineering  program with MyiLibrary is at\

Alumni Access

The Alumni Access Task Force was formed in January 2011 and is chaired by Virginia Cole. The charge is below with a report due by the end on June 2011

Charge The Library Task Force on Alumni Outreach will investigate the current state of and recommend future directions for the library’s service-related outreach to alumni.  Over the next year, the Task Force will:  

  • recommend policies and means for communicating with alumni about access to collections and services.  This includes access to print collections and databases (free and licensed);  reference services (including research-on-demand, Ask-a-Librarian, and tools for managing research, including RefWorks); document delivery;  CIT’s alumni-related policies;
  • review other university library websites to determine best practices and make recommendations for enhancing the current “Library Services for Alumni” web pages,;
  • craft guidelines for adding content to & maintaining the “Library Services for Alumni” web pages
  • other service-related issues that arise in the coming year that might have a direct impact on services for Cornell alumni.

CuLLR (Currated List of Library Resources

The CuLLR (Currated List of Library Resources) team is charged to design and implement a process whereby print and electronic resources in the library catalog (in the form of metadata), are extracted in accordance with the subject areas for a given unit library. These resources may then be annotated by the unit library to identify the subject areas for which the resource is useful and other attributes.  The CuLLR data will then be incorporated on a given unit library website as desired by the unit library.

Mann Library Virtual Library Task Force
Mann Library Virtual Library Task Force is developing an implementation plan to create subject-specific virtual libraries, with particular focus on Entomology.  The intent is to give users a single site for discovery of print and electronic content on all aspects of entomology, pulling together digital content from numerous commercial and open access sites, as well as identify library services that are applicable to the specific user communities.  The model will then be applied to Lee Library, NYS Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva, NY as well as other disciplines within the University.

Scholarly Communications, Open-Access & Publishing

Cornell Open-Access Publication Fund

The Cornell implementation of the Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity is the Cornell Open-Access Publication Fund The fund was established in September 2009 and  is jointly supported with $25,000 from the Provost and $25,000 the Library.  To date there have been nineteen formal applications for use of the funds. We have funded thirteen at a total cost of $8076.39. Fifteen applications were for articles in life science journals, 3 in earth science, and one in music. The applications that were not funded either did not meet our requirements that there be no alternative source of funding or that the journal be a "pure" open access journal, the music journal did not have a fee structure but only requested donations.

arXiv Sustainability

arXiv moved to Cornell in 2001, and is operated and maintained by Cornell University Library. The Library is committed to maintaining arXiv as an open access service, free to submitters and users alike. However, we believe that as a public good, arXiv should be supported by those institutions that use it the most. In an effort to address the long-term sustainability of this critical open access repository, the Library has developed a collaborative business model based on income generated by contributions from the institutions that are the heaviest users of arXiv. 

Background information about this effort and updates can be found at:

Project Euclid

Cornell University Library continues its successful partnership with Duke University Press in the collaborative operation of Project Euclid ( Euclid currently hosts 64 journals and nearly 1.5 million pages of published research in mathematics and statistics. 70% of the content on Euclid is openly accessible. Euclid continues to be an entirely self-supporting operation. At the Special Libraries Association 2011 Annual Conference, Project Euclid was awarded the PAM Division Award, given to honor work that demonstrably improves the exchange of information within physics, mathematics, or astronomy, and which enhances the ability of librarians to better serve their patrons.

Library-Press Collaboration

Representatives from Cornell University Library and Cornell University Press have begun regular meetings to discuss areas where the two units might jointly address the needs of the University regarding publishing and scholarly communications.

The third book in the series Signale: Modern German Letters, Cultures, and Thought (jointly published by Cornell University Library and Cornell University Press in electronic and print formats) was published in February (see; the next title is expected out in July and two are in the queue for fall 2011. Signale titles are now available for purchase from the Google eBookstore and in Amazon Kindle editions. Beginning in 2012, Signale books will be among the Cornell titles available in JSTOR’s new books program (see Signale's editor, Peter Uwe Hohendahl, a senior Cornell faculty member in German Studies and Comparative Literature, is the recipient of a three-year grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support publication in the series through 2012 and to develop and implement a plan for its economic sustainability (see

Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL)

CUL has agreed to join the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) , with Mary Ochs, Mann Library, as Cornell’s lead.  BHL is a “consortium of 12 natural history and botanical libraries that cooperate to digitize and make accessible the legacy literature of biodiversity held in their collections and to make that literature available for open access and responsible use as a part of a global ‘biodiversity commons’ “. The initial focus for Cornell will be digitizing titles from the Entomology Library rare collection and contributing to BHL.  160 volumes are already digitized and ready to be added.

Major Collections & Exhibitions

Special Collections

The Division of Rare and Manuscripts opened a new exhibition "Animal Legends: From the Trojan Horse to Godzilla" which will remain on veiw through September 30.  Preparations are underway for the fall opening of the exhibition "By the Dawn's Early Light: American Photography 1839-1889."  This exhibition will celebrate the Division's acquisition of more than 17,000 19th century American photographs, which will come by gift from a collector over the next five years.

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