About the University of Chicago Library
Welcome to the University of Chicago Library
We put Library users at the center of all we do and are here to empower you with deep and rich collections, extensive expertise, innovative programs, and diverse spaces. We are committed to cultivating an inclusive community, enhancing access to scholarly resources, advancing digital scholarship, engaging locally and globally, and excelling in a changing environment. It is our mission to work with you in the pursuit of intellectual discovery, rigorous learning, and global engagement.
Whether you are on campus or working remotely, we encourage you to reach out to Library staff members to let us know how we can collaborate with you to advance and share knowledge, to innovate, and to build a better future. Wherever you are, the Library is with you.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement
The University of Chicago Library believes that a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment builds a stronger, more creative community where we broaden approaches to our work and make better decisions. We encourage open and honest discussion, reflect on our assumptions, and actively seek viewpoints beyond our own. We welcome different perspectives as they challenge and motivate us to learn and respect the uniqueness that we each bring to our shared endeavors.
Library Fact Sheet for 2021-22
Academic year 2021-22 featured two notable transitions at the Library. In Autumn Quarter 2021, we welcomed UChicago faculty, students, and staff back to our spaces in large numbers, following an early-pandemic period when patrons relied heavily on remote access to library resources and online services. The vast majority of our pre-pandemic services were reopened in Autumn 2021, accompanied by enhanced or reconfigured offerings that met the evolving needs of our researchers and students.
In April 2022, Torsten Reimer began his tenure as University Librarian and Dean of the University Library. In FY23, under his leadership, we are investing in organizational development and planning for space and collection development. Based on these two critical enablers, we are refreshing our approach to academic engagement, for example, by planning for enhanced services for the College population, which has grown substantially over the past years. We are also enhancing our research services, especially around scholarly communications and research data. The Library has a key role to play, not just with regards to curation of digital research outputs but also in helping faculty and students to manage and share them effectively. Finally, we are developing a broader strategy for civic engagement, working in coordination with the University in FY23. Our Library is built around the idea that access to information services is making the world a better place.
By the Numbers
- 9th largest academic library in North America
- 12.8 million volumes in print and electronic form
- 72,040 linear feet of archives and manuscripts (59,463 linear feet of archival and 12,577 of manuscript material)
- 324 terabytes of born-digital archives and digitized collections
- 103,243 print volumes circulated to 12,562 unique individuals, including 44,187 volumes that were made available through the Library’s Paging & Pickup service
- 7,592 rare books, manuscripts, or archives consulted in the Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center reading room
- 7 million electronic articles delivered
- 675,000 uses of electronic books
- 25,000 uses of streaming media
- 416,887 downloads of 3,996 items from the institutional repository Knowledge@UChicago
- 17,525 pageviews of the Black Metropolis Research Consortium’s archives portal since its launch in March 2022
- 13,194 filled Scan & Deliver requests
- 8,332 requests filled from Big 10 libraries
- 8,272 requests filled from Ivy Plus libraries
- 10,772 other filled Interlibrary Loan requests
- 25,526 items on course reserve for 1,331 classes
- 9,213 questions to librarians
- 9,253 attendees at instructional sessions
- 893,682 entries into Regenstein and 32,997 entries into Crerar by UChicago community members
- 3,541 passes provided to researchers unaffiliated with the University during periods when access was restored to visitors when pandemic conditions permitted
- 1,918 unique researcher visits to the Special Collections reading room
- 1.8 million visits to the Library website
- 700,000 visits to the Library catalog
- 3,347 visits to 4 exhibitions in the gallery during the 145 days that it was open
- 120,815 unique visits to the Special Collections web exhibitions
*Library ranking is based on the most recent data available (for 2020) from the Association of Research Libraries. All other data date from June 2022.
The Library builds and preserves research collections that support the present and future needs of its faculty, students, and staff. Thirty-eight percent of titles in the Library’s collections are in languages other than English, supporting faculty research with a global impact and making the Library a mecca for international scholars.
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center is home to the Library’s rare books, manuscripts, and the University of Chicago Archives. Highlights include:
- A comprehensive collection of print editions of Homer’s works
- The Goodspeed New Testament Manuscript Collection
- The Ludwig Rosenberger Library of Judaica
- Editorial files of Poetry: A Magazine of Verse and the papers of its founder Harriet Monroe
- The Chicago Jazz Archive
- The John Crerar Collection of Rare Books in the History of Science and Medicine
- Papers documenting groundbreaking scholarship at the University, including 21 Nobel Prize winners such as Enrico Fermi, Saul Bellow, S. Chandrasekhar, Ronald H. Coase, George Stigler, and James Cronin
- Papers of other scholars, including Edith Abbot, Allison Davis, Clifford Geertz, Norman MacLean, and Janet Rowley
- Records of the University and its predecessor institutions from the 1850s to the present
- Collections of significant Chicago individuals, institutions, and events, including civil rights activist and journalist Ida B. Wells, photographer Vivian Maier, printing company RR Donnelley, and the 1893 and 1933 World’s Fairs
The Library digitizes its own collections in order to provide greater access, preserve at-risk materials, and enable new forms of digital scholarship. One hundred subject-based collections, 56 archival collections, and 158 early manuscripts have been made accessible online, with items ranging from 4th century Egyptian manuscripts to early editions of the Maroon student newspaper to maps of Chicago before and after the Great Chicago Fire. Many more individual titles are available via our Library catalog and through our participation in the international digital preservation repository, HathiTrust.
The University of Chicago Library serves its users from six locations at the heart of campus, providing faculty and students with rapid access to its collections, research and study spaces, and diverse services.
- The John Crerar Library for science, medicine, and technology
- D’Angelo Law Library
- Eckhart Library for mathematics
- The Joe and Rika Mansueto Library
- The Joseph Regenstein Library for humanities, social sciences, business, and special collections
- The Social Work Library
The Joe and Rika Mansueto Library was opened at the heart of campus in 2011. Designed by renowned architect Helmut Jahn, the Mansueto Library has been recognized with a Distinguished Building Citation of Merit by the American Institute of Architects’ Chicago chapter and a Patron of the Year Award by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. It features a soaring elliptical glass dome capping a 180-seat Grand Reading Room, state-of-the-art conservation and digitization laboratories, and an underground high-density automated storage and retrieval system. The Mansueto Library speeds scholarly productivity by allowing for the retrieval of materials in a median time of 3 minutes through use of robotic cranes.
The Library marked 10 years of the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library during FY22. A virtual event entitled The Architectural Impact of the Mansueto Library, put the renowned Jahn-designed building into an international context among its peers, and highlighted how it was also a reflection of Chicago’s modern structural style. During Spring Quarter 2022, a film was produced to showcase the Preservation Laboratories in Mansueto. The 15-minute documentary explores conservation and digitization activities through the lens of the Library’s rich collections. The film is available online on the Library’s YouTube page as well as its website. The Library’s alumni and benefactor engagement program, both in FY21 marking 50 years of the Joseph Regenstein Library and in FY22 marking 10 years of Mansueto, have led to significant increases in donor activity, particularly a 30% increase in lapsed giving with donors renewing their philanthropic support.
Library Strategic Directions, 2020-2023
Below are six strategic directions the Library is pursuing for years 2020-2023, and selected services and initiatives undertaken in pursuit of those directions in FY21. These areas of emphasis have allowed us to build on the Library’s historical strengths, while innovating to expand the Library’s role as a hub that connects UChicago faculty, students, and staff in the exchange of information and the creation of knowledge.
1) Cultivate an Inclusive Community
Build an inclusive organization that cultivates and values diversity, recognizing the strength that it brings to our community and operations.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Team: The second cohort of the Library’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Team, reporting to the Library Leadership Council, provided support and made recommendations to advance the Library’s Strategic Directions with respect to DEI, including but not limited to education and development opportunities across all levels of the Library and its community. The Team:
- Identified and prioritized areas for action by Library leadership in response to the findings and recommendations from the Ingrid Wallace Presents report Advancing Diversity.
- Collaborated with the DEI graduate fellow to conduct an internal scan of Library awareness, practices, and initiatives related to DEI.
- Served as a point of contact for DEI feedback or suggestions.
- Advocated for the implementation and use of community agreements or a code of conduct at major Library staff meetings.
- Provided input on Library training programs and recruitment practices.
- Made connections with the campus Diversity and Inclusion Leaders and Committee Heads group.
- Participated in trainings focused on antiracism and diversity from the Racial Equity Institute and AORTA (the Anti-Oppression Resource and Training Alliance).
Collections: The Library continues to prioritize seeking ways to diversify collections, exhibits, programming, and services. This year’s exhibitions featured a reprise of the Black Metropolis Research Consortium retrospective exhibit, an exhibit on Japanese and Japanese-American culture and relations in the South Side called Nikkei South Side curated by our Japanese Studies Librarian, Ayako Yoshimura, and an exhibition on the life of art historian Paul Moses. Finding aids were also created for the Slavery in North America Collection, the Indentured Persons Collection, and the Mrinal Sen Papers to enhance the discoverability of these collections.
Book Groups Exploring Diversity: Librarians Holiday Vega and André Wenzel led a public discussion series called Diverse Books & Open Conversations that invited the community to read and discuss Bedrock Faith by Eric Charles May and They Called Us Enemy by George Takei. Aaliyah Johnson, A’Nya Harrison, and Maatkara Wilson of Regenstein Circulation were awarded funding for a Juneteenth Book Club Celebration by the Office of the Provost that discussed Conjure Women by Afia Atakora. The Library’s Read Write Publish group led by Elizabeth Edwards and Holiday Vega discussed The South Side and met with its author, Natalie Moore.
2) Empower Faculty and Students with Library Services, Collections, and Spaces
Advance state-of-the-art research, teaching, and engaged learning by implementing innovative and inclusive services and reimagining library collections and spaces.
Tailored Mixed-Modal Instruction: The Library resumed in-person instruction programs for courses in FY22, offering opportunities for faculty to bring their students to our campus libraries to work hands-on with the rich materials in our collections. In collaboration with faculty, librarians also visited classrooms to provide tailored instruction on the critical use of information resources for assignments. Building on our experiences with online learning during the pandemic, our librarians continue to offer some virtual programming, including webinars and interactive learning modules for courses in Canvas.
Teaching: Librarians teach a variety of classes, among them:
- An Introduction to Data Management class open to the campus community.
- D’Angelo law librarians instruct students in the first-year Legal Research and Writing course and as guest presenters in other Law School courses. The law librarians are also the instructors for the Advanced Legal Research course and co-teach the Introduction to Legal Research and Writing in the U.S. Legal System for LLMs course.
- The biomedical librarians, along with several Department of Medicine faculty, instruct fourth-year medical students on how to craft search queries, appraise, and synthesize medical literature in the ASAP (Ask-Search-Appraise-Perform) clerkship. The ASAP curriculum offers immersive, hands-on learning through embedding students into an educational support team that provides just-in-time clinical evidence to our inpatient clinicians. The ASAP clerkship expands the work of the UChicago Educational Support Team for COVID-19 started in March of 2020 by a team of clinical librarians, clinicians, and medical students to answer queries from frontline clinicians.
Hosting Instruction in Special Collections: The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center held 150 undergraduate and graduate instruction sessions using rare books, manuscripts, and university archives. Four courses were taught entirely in Special Collections, including the inaugural Chicago Visiting Scholar Program in Paleography and the Book class Printed Book in the West: Evidence and Interference from Bibliography and Book History.
Specialized Point-of-Need Services: Librarians provide point-of-need services to faculty, students, staff and researchers in a wide range of fields and locations, such as medical students on clinical rounds at the Medical Center, law students preparing for interviews with prospective employers, and Chicago Booth faculty and students teaching and taking business and economics courses in Hyde Park. The D’Angelo Law Library staff also provide support for the Law School’s 18 legal clinics that give law students hands-on experience addressing real-world legal issues in transactional, litigation, and law policy practice. Students and faculty are also able to schedule consultations with librarians for personalized in-depth research assistance. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when on-site services cannot be provided, in-depth research assistance continues using Zoom and other tools.
Graduate Student Research Data Management Focus Groups: In 2021, two science librarians conducted focus groups of Biological Sciences Division and Physical Sciences Division graduate students and postdoctoral fellows on research data management practices, including the types of data collected, collection methods, and the organizing, managing, and storing of data, as well as which data services, participants used or would like to use.
Career Advancement: Librarians provide a wide variety of career-related services, for example providing the Graduate Career Development Resources Collection, training career advisors at UChicago Grad in career research and working with the History Department on workshops and events designed to increase the marketability of PhD students.
Support for Fellowship Applicants: The Library is collaborating with UChicagoGRAD and the College Center for Research and Fellowships (CCRF) on programming and new services to support applicants for national fellowships (Fulbright, Truman, NIH, Mellon Mays, etc.), along with teaching students the skills necessary for developing successful research proposals, including developing research plans and identifying archives and collections abroad. The Library collaborated with CCRF staff on several workshops on remote research opportunities and online research strategies.
Library Graduate Student Fellowships: The Library provides UChicago graduate students opportunities to expand their professional horizons and enhance their development as scholars. Fellows learn about careers in academic libraries and archives through hands-on work conducted under the mentorship of a UChicago librarian, while simultaneously pursuing their individual research and teaching interests. During the most recent academic year, five fellows each focused on distinct areas from exhibition research and design to diversity, equity, and inclusion to application of geospatial information tools in digital collections. The John Crerar Foundation supports a fellowship in the history of science. This year's fellow did research on the history of women in astronomy and collaborated in planning an upcoming Library exhibition.
TechBar and One Button Studio: A partnership between the Library and IT Services provides walk-up support for IT issues, equipment loans, and workshops in a joint training space on the first floor of Regenstein Library and an easy-to-use video studio that allows users to produce high quality video in two simple steps on the A Level. Through a strategic partnership between the Library and IT Services, the Academic Technologies Solutions has offices on the A Level. In addition to their support of the One Button Studio, Academic Technologies provides expertise in the University’s Learning Management System, Canvas, A/V technology and classroom support, and the Center for Digital Accessibility.
Exhibitions: The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center presents gallery exhibitions and creates web exhibits each year. Faculty, students, and alumni are among the guest curators for these exhibitions that engage the public in an exploration of scholarly subjects, illustrated by the Library’s rare and unique materials and general collections. Recent gallery and web exhibitions included The Black Metropolis Research Consortium and ReFraming Graphic Medicine: Comics and the History of Medicine. During FY22, all Special Collections web exhibits received 120,815 unique visits.
3) Advance Digital Scholarship
Increase the University’s scholarly impact by building spaces, services, and technologies that facilitate digital approaches to creating, analyzing, preserving, and openly sharing research.
Data Acquisition and Management: Librarians assist faculty in acquiring or creating text and data corpora to support their research, and support research grant applications by helping them address funder requirements for data management plans, for access policies, and for data deposit. The Library is piloting a new data acquisition fund to actively purchase datasets of interest. In 2021-22, the Library invited students to apply for its inaugural Library Data Award to support their research. Fern Ramoutar, a PhD student at the Booth School, and Varun Kapoor, a PhD student in Economics, won the award; the Library purchased mobile coverage map data for 2010-2022 to support their research exploring whether places with increased access to the internet witnessed a concomitant increase in violence.
Technical Infrastructure for Faculty Research: The Library provides technical infrastructure for faculty research such as the OCHRE Data Service in the Oriental Institute and the ARTFL Project (Project for American and French Research on the Treasury of the French Language).
Knowledge@UChicago: The Library leads an initiative, in collaboration with IT Services, to maintain and expand a digital repository that preserves and shares the scholarly, creative, and administrative assets of the University. Knowledge@UChicago is now home to research articles, dissertations, and locally published journals and has begun to accept scholarly datasets to ensure that research is citable, reusable, and archived for the long-term. The Library has developed processes that allows researchers to automate their deposits into Knowledge@UChicago so that it can become an integral part of their research workflow. This repository saw an increase in deposits from departments across the university during the COVID-19 period. Starting in Spring 2021, the Library began working with the Social Sciences Division to create an MA Thesis Archive collection. Students in Computational Social Sciences (MACSS), the MA Program in the Social Sciences (MAPSS), and the Committee on International Relations (CIR), now make their theses publicly discoverable in Knowledge@UChicago and learn about open access publishing and copyright in the process. Next steps in the collaboration include migrating historical theses from these programs and reaching out to the alumni to encourage them to let us make their research available beyond campus.
Chicago Unbound: An online repository for scholarship by the Law School faculty is maintained by the D’Angelo Law Library. It unites the record of scholarship produced at the Law School in one online platform, making it accessible to a world audience. The repository also includes the journals published at the Law School, lectures and events, student works, and historical publications of the Law School. Starting in 2020, D’Angelo has added conference materials to Chicago Unbound, starting with the Earl B. Dickerson Centennial Conference celebrating the first African American to earn a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. Visitors have downloaded more than 10 million PDFs of articles and other items to date.
Center for Digital Scholarship: The Library’s Center for Digital Scholarship (CDS) provides services that facilitate the analysis of complex data, the visualization of theoretical and spatial relationships, and the sharing and preservation of research results. The Library has begun planning for a new space for the CDS on the first floor of Regenstein Library that will provide state-of-the-art technologies and support scholarly exploration and collaboration. CDS provides digital scholarship consultations on topics such as open access publishing (including use of our Open Journal Platform service), grant collaborations on digitization; use of Omeka (a digital exhibition tool) for class projects; digital preservation, data rescue, data management tool recommendations, and scholarly communications-related issues such as copyright and publishing in the University’s institutional repository, Knowledge@UChicago. The Center also offers access to an overhead scanner for digitizing materials for text mining, creating digital collections, and other scholarly projects. Center staff are available to train users on the equipment and provide consultations on digitization best practices.
Digitization: The Library’s Digitization Unit increases access to our collections and facilitates research and teaching on campus and around the world by digitizing important and rarely held paper-based and media collections using both in-house capabilities and vendor services. We digitize archival collections, manuscripts, and published materials requested by scholars, students, and librarians, and our experts provide consultations to faculty, students, and staff on how to pursue their own digital projects. Among the items digitized in FY22 are logbooks documenting the specifications of astronomical photographic glass plate negatives housed at Yerkes Observatory, historical maps of Chicagoland, and masters and doctoral theses submitted to the School of Social Service Administration, 1929-1958. In addition, the Gregorian Chant Digital Manuscript Collection was made available online.
Text and Data Mining Support: During the pandemic, the Library increased its support of text and data mining through services such as ProQuest’s TDM Studio, which make current and historical newspapers, news wires, trade journals, and other highly desirable content available for text analysis. This content had been highly requested but was previously unavailable due to copyright and technical limitations. The Library seeks to negotiate text and data mining rights whenever it acquires new digital resources and has a Text and Data Mining Guide to help faculty and students with tools and resources available for their text and data mining project. The Library also purchased perpetual access to the Web of Science XML holdings backfile from 1900 - 2021 and the Web of Science Expanded API, which allow for text and data mining of all data points from over 12,000 journals indexed within Web of Science. In Spring 2021, the Library also began participating in Ithaka’s Constellate beta program, which empowers librarians, faculty, and other instructors with the skills needed to teach text and data mining, including programming with Python. It makes available most of the content from JSTOR, Portico, and other services for text and data mining purposes. We had 12 participants in Constellate’s May & July Text Analytics courses, including librarians, faculty, PhD students, and Humanities Division staff who support digital humanities. This training has allowed the Library to more effectively engage with faculty and staff on their text and data mining needs and to direct them to the resources needed based on both their research topic and level of knowledge with programming languages used for TDM.
Undergraduate Research: The Library continues its partnership with the College Center for Research and Fellowships (CCRF) to help undergraduates succeed in research opportunities on campus and beyond. Librarians offered workshops and research consultations for undergraduates and College alumni applying for national fellowships including the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, and Yenching Academy scholarships. In addition, the Library collaborated with the CCRF on the College Summer Institute in Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, which offers students opportunities to engage in original research with UChicago faculty focusing on primary source materials in libraries, museums, and archives around Chicago.
Transformative Agreements with Publishers to Provide Open Access: With a commitment to knowledge equity, the Library has entered into several transformative agreements with publishers to provide open access publishing opportunities for faculty, students, and staff. These agreements increase visibility of University of Chicago research by making the articles freely available to all and allow our scholars to retain their copyright to articles published within eligible journals. In FY22, 113 articles from 17 publications were made open access due to the transformative agreements the Library has negotiated and funded. These agreements are supported directly by the Library as well as through our partnership with the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA). Additionally, the Library has contributed financially to initiatives that enable academic and nonprofit publishers to publish journals and monographs in innovative open access models.
4) Enhance Access to Scholarly Resources
Connect scholars with resources at the point of need by developing a user-centered, content-rich, integrated discovery environment and by providing fast and convenient access and delivery services.
Library Catalog: The Library provides a catalog that supports discovery of traditional library materials while also providing access to new services, such as Scan & Deliver. Innovative use of dynamic linking technologies allows us to enhance the catalog with links to external collections such as HathiTrust and enriched information such as tables of contents, so that patrons have a central hub for exploring the widest variety of resources available to them.
Library Website: The Library’s website provides streamlined access to search tools for articles, journals, and databases, and connects related collections, tools, and experts, making it easier for users to take advantage of the wealth of information and services offered by the Library. The Library’s web design specialists ensure that the Library website is designed to meet the needs of the faculty, students, and staff, and that it meets current web accessibility standards in order to facilitate use by patrons with disabilities.
FOLIO: Experts from UChicago Library have played a vital role in shaping the development of FOLIO, the new open-source library management system that was implemented at UChicago Library in January 2022. This community-driven initiative to develop a next-generation, open-source library management system supports our acquisitions, cataloging, and circulation operations. The project is remarkable for the breadth and depth of the partnership, including peer institutions, libraries, and consortia from around the globe, and commercial library vendors.
5) Extend the University’s Impact through Local and Global Engagement
Engage with local and global partners to extend the University’s impact on pressing challenges in our city, nation, and the world.
HathiTrust: The UChicago Library participates in a partnership of more than 120 major research institutions and libraries working to ensure that the cultural record is preserved and accessible long into the future. The HathiTrust Digital Library, a digital preservation repository and highly functional access platform, provides long-term preservation and access services for public domain and in-copyright content from a variety of sources, including those digitized by Google, the Internet Archive, Microsoft, and in-house partner institution initiatives. While library resources were unavailable physically, HathiTrust operated an Emergency Temporary Access Service that provided access to all of UChicago’s collections that are in the Library – around 40 percent of the collection.
Ivy Plus Library Confederation’s Web Archiving Program: The UChicago Library participates in this program, which archives copies of important and endangered websites from around the world. To date, 32 sites have been archived, covering topics and countries ranging from #MeToo and the women’s rights movement in China to independent news sites on Turkish affairs.
Chicago Collections: The UChicago Library is a major partner with other universities, libraries, and museums in the creation of an online portal, Explore Chicago Collections, which documents the rich history and culture of the Chicago region and facilitates access to archival collections about Chicago for both researchers and the general public. Our Special Collections holdings on the site include 356 finding aids and 1095 images.
The Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC): The BMRC is a Chicago-based membership association of libraries, universities, and other archival institutions that documents and makes accessible collections relating to African American and African diasporic culture, history, and politics, with a specific focus on materials relating to Chicago. UChicago serves as the current host institution of the BMRC with the Library providing oversight of the staff and technical infrastructure for the collaboration. The BMRC pivoted during the pandemic to online engagement with the Black community in Chicago by conducting a Needs and Assets Assessment Survey and then creating a series of online workshops to teach archivists about diversifying their collections and to teach community members how to care for and archive their own legacy materials. With support from an ALA American Rescue Plan grant funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Consortium offered workshops on using Black historical collections to Chicago Public School teachers in summer 2022. And with support from a grant from the Mellon Foundation, the BMRC created educational resources and public programming for potential donors and archivists that encourage the caretaking of a more diverse historical record. It also re-envisioned the BMRC’s searchable database of Black historical collections and launched a new online gateway in March 2022.
Council on UChicago/Community Relations: Historical, Contemporary, and Future: Marcia Walker-McWilliams, Executive Director of the Black Metropolis Research Consortium, is serving as an inaugural member of the Council, which has been charged by the University President and Provost with researching and preparing a report that reflects upon and illuminates the history and relationship between the University and the city’s South Side neighborhoods. The report will include recommended measures that will strengthen and promote existing and future mutually beneficial relations between the University and its neighbors.
Robert L. Platzman Memorial Fellowships: Since 2006, the Library has awarded 176 fellowships to visiting researchers from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Central America, South America, and Russia to support work on projects that require on-site consultation of Library archives, manuscripts, or printed materials.
6) Excel in a Changing Environment
Build an agile, creative, and inclusive organization that values diversity and encourages experimentation, collaboration, bold thinking, and cultural competence in order to meet the needs of the ever-changing academic environment.
Collections Partnerships: The Library is identifying and building local, regional, national, and international partnerships that strengthen its ability to deliver comprehensive collections and innovative and effective services. Currently, the Library participates in two consortial borrowing programs: UBorrow for material in the collections of the Big 10 Academic Alliance university libraries; and BorrowDirect for material in the collections of the Ivy League, MIT, Johns Hopkins, Duke, and Stanford university libraries. The Library is leveraging its membership in the Ivy Plus Confederation not only to obtain rapid access to the collections of the Ivy Plus libraries but also to promote efforts to collaboratively build collections that more effectively support the research endeavors of faculty and students in all the participating universities. The Ivy Plus is beginning a pilot program for collective print purchasing.
Rapid Interlibrary Loan: Beginning in FY21, the Library began using a service called RapidILL to more quickly obtain articles from other academic libraries—frequently within 24 hours. During FY22, 68% of our interlibrary loan requests for articles were filled through this service.
Electronic Access to Course Reserves: The Library has expanded electronic access to course reserve materials that were previously made available in print and DVD formats by securing electronic licenses and scanning materials in our collections for secure lending. This makes the material available to students anywhere even when the Library building is closed.
Polsky Exchange: Business and Economics librarians are providing research consultation services to entrepreneurs who are members of UChicago’s Polsky Exchange, advising them on how to access the market, industry, and product research they need to develop their business plans. This includes learning to define a target market through consumer demographics and market research as well as define competition by helping to locate company information and industry analysis.
GIS Hub: The Library’s GIS Hub, on the first floor of the renovated Crerar Library, intersects with the Media Arts, Data, and Design Center. Eight workstations in the Hub offer GIS software, including QGIS, GeoDa, and ArcGIS. Large, high-resolution monitors allow detailed visualization work. The Library’s GIS program continues to grow and offers several services such as consultations on gathering and exploring geospatial data, spatial literacy, and visualizing geographic information as well as workshops on using GIS data and getting started with the software.
Professional Development: Library staff pursue training and development opportunities that focus on expanding existing critical skills and building new expertise. This includes, as examples, inclusive pedagogy, emerging scholarly publishing models, funding agency research data policies and requirements, and leading hybrid organizations. They also build skills that allow them to be leaders in the development of new initiatives and programs, such as the open-source library management system FOLIO, in new strategies for circulating digital materials such as Controlled Digital Lending, and in resource sharing programs with the Big Ten Academic Alliance and Ivy Plus universities. Library staff members are also receiving training from the Racial Equity Institute that allows them to understand racism in its institutional and structural forms so that they are equipped to work for change.
For more information about our Strategic Directions and the strategies we will use to pursue them, visit https://www.lib.uchicago.edu/about/thelibrary/mission/.