March 24th, 2015
West Virginia University Libraries has been granted membership in the Greater Western Library Alliance, expanding the reach of both organizations and giving researchers easier access to a multitude of resources.
“Being a member of the Alliance will immediately benefit WVU faculty and students by giving them access to a wider array of special collections and resources,” Provost Joyce McConnell said. “It also will open the door to many more projects and partnerships with other member institutions.”
Membership in the Alliance, approved at the organization’s spring membership meeting earlier this month, will bring faster access to research collections complementing the WVU Libraries’ own collections.
WVU Libraries Dean Jon Cawthorne said WVU Libraries will gain peer partners for grants, professional development and special projects. Although WVU is outside the Alliance’s previous geographic footprint, eight of the schools are members of the Big 12 Athletic Conference, and will add to the academic relations which the conference also fosters.
“I am delighted and humbled to join 33 library leaders who make up Greater Western Library Alliance membership,” Cawthorne said. “The vote for membership acknowledges the importance of our collections and resources to the greater academic world, and foreshadows our WVU’s future as an innovative and great institution.”
Richard Clement, dean of libraries at Utah State University and immediate past president of the Alliance, said, “We are thrilled to welcome West Virginia University Libraries as the newest member of the Greater Western Library Alliance. The WVU Libraries and Press bring outstanding people, resources, and innovative thinking that will help position the consortia for the 21st century.”
GWLA is consortium of research libraries at 34 institutions located in the central and western United States, nationally recognized as a leader in the transformation of scholarly communication, and a facilitator in the application of new information technologies.
Criteria for membership include land-grant university status, classification as a Research University (High Research Activity) by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and unique collections that can contribute to the consortium.
WVU Libraries include the Downtown Campus Library, the Evansdale Library, the Health Sciences Library, the George R. Farmer Jr. Law Library, the West Virginia and Regional History Center, West Virginia University Press, Charleston Health Sciences Library, Mary F. Shipper Library atPotomac State College and the Vining Library at West Virginia University Institute of Technology.
Cawthorne said WVU is committed to supporting the Libraries as a way to advance scholarship, creativity and interdisciplinary research. Over the last decade, WVU has invested $45 million in facility renovations. Budget support has also increased by 50 percent to $16 million during the same time period.