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WVU Libraries Asimov Collection Recognized by American Library Association

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
September 12th, 2007

WVU Today, September 12, 2007

Science fiction fans will be delighted to know the West Virginia University Libraries features a nationally recognized Isaac Asimov Collection.

The American Library Association (ALA) recently named the WVU Libraries’ ensemble of Asimov books and items its Digital Collection of the Week. The ALA spotlights the collection in the current issue of AL Direct, its online newsletter.

An exciting exhibit of the collection, put together by Libraries staff, is available at

Harold and Beth
Rare Books curator Harold M. Forbes and Web Services librarian Beth Toren show some of the more than 600 books, games, audio recordings, videos and wall charts included in the WVU Libraries’ Isaac Asimov Collection. The collection and its digital exhibit was recently recognized by the American Library Association.

The electronic exhibit features images and descriptions of some of the more than 600 books, games, audio recordings, videos and wall charts included in the collection.

“We are sharing a unique resource globally,” said Beth Toren, Web Services librarian. “This is the ideal of the information age. People from all over the world are leaving messages in the guest book, and I get Asimov reference questions from all over the planet from people of all ages.”

Asimov, probably best known for his short story, “I, Robot,” and his trilogy, “Foundation,” was a prolific writer of both science and science fiction. Readers dubbed Asimov “The Great Explainer” because of his skill at making complicated subjects easy to understand.

The Asimov Collection at WVU Libraries began in 2002 when alumnus Larry Shaver donated more than 600 Asimov books, games, audio recordings, videos and wall charts.

While a buzz surrounding the collection already existed, interest exploded after the digital exhibit launched in 2004.

Today, people from around the globe regularly sign the site’s guestbook, while Asimov fan sites direct readers to the WVU Libraries’ digital exhibit.

In addition, several other Asimov collectors have donated rare books and portions of their collections to the Libraries.

“This has been one of the WVU Libraries’ most successful examples of the importance of our digital projects in helping readers and researchers locate the resources they seek,” Rare Books curator Harold M. Forbes said.

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