Boston College Libraries—Annual Overview

The year was characterized by several key changes. For academic support we shifted to a broader approach that included scholarly communication, digital scholarship, interactive instruction and partnering in project-based teaching and learning activities with faculty and students. Our undergraduate use of special collections ranks among the best in all research libraries, with approximately 10-15 percent of undergraduates having used our Burns materials.

We also reorganized to create ongoing support for processing special collections, digitizing selective content and are currently implementing a plan for dedicated and ongoing support in the processing and digitization of our Jesuit and Catholic materials.

While the Library Strategic Plan of 2010 has been a success by most measures, and has been tweaked each year, this past year was also punctuated by a "re-envisioning" exercise to reassess our strategic priorities, identify new directions and generally recommit to our proposition of "adding value beyond discovery". This process remains ongoing. Some outcomes for the coming year include a marketing plan, some organizational changes to better support digital scholarship and a close look at our role with data management on campus.

We continue to collaborate widely, and most recently with the integration of ITS services in the O'Neill Library and the new Center for Teaching Excellence. We hope to continue to solidify these relationships and achieve a seamless integrated suite of services for all our users, from idea formation to scholarly product to learning outcomes. We firmly believe that the Library has an integral part in all academic activities on campus and can and should assume the responsibility for selectively leading many of these initiatives.

In summary, we very much support the goals of the University and welcome partnerships from all areas, including Student Affairs, ITS, Advancement, Facilities, Auxiliary Services, Athletics and of course all academic departments. We like to characterize and assess our value by always keeping in mind four basic questions: 1) is it good for our users? 2) Is it good for BC? 3) Is it the right thing to do? And finally, 4) is it sustainable?

By asking these questions of ourselves we hope to keep perspective, commensurate with the institutional mission of BC, as well as best serving the entire BC community.

As always, your input is recognized, valued and utilized.

Have a safe and prosperous summer. See you in the fall!

Tom Wall
University Librarian