Chancellor Charles R. Bantz
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September 2011

A library is the heart of the academic community. It is a place where librarians and archivists preserve, organize, and disseminate knowledge. Increasingly, it is a place without walls.

As technology makes information more easily available, and as the role of books in life and learning continues to change, libraries like IUPUI's are focusing more and more on preserving and creating access to collections of rare and unique materials.

One such unique repository is the new online collection of the full run of the Indianapolis Recorder (1899-2005). The University Library will introduce the digital collection to the Indianapolis community on Sunday, September 25, 3:30-5:30 p.m., at the Indiana Landmarks Center, 1201 Central Avenue in Indianapolis. There will be a public reception and panel discussion to commemorate the rich history of the Recorder.

Gifts to the IUPUI Impact Campaign make accessibility to digitized online resources like the Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper Online Collection possible.

The project was funded by a grant from the Indianapolis Foundation Library Fund, a Central Indiana Community Foundation affiliate. The Library Fund is forward-thinking in its interests and support for the local library community and has been the primary funder of the University Library's growing program of digital scholarship.

One of the challenges in creating online collections is the issue of copyrights.

The Recorder collection was made possible through the support and collaboration of business leader William Mays (Mays Chemical Company), who bought the Recorder in 1990, and his niece, Carolene Mays, who was publisher and general manager from 1998 to 2010. The Mays family gave the library permission to digitize the full run of the newspaper from 1899 to 2005, thus making more than a century of African American history accessible to the world.

CONTENTdm, the software used to preserve and deliver fragile historical online content allows researchers to conduct full-text searches—including names, events, dates, and more. Over the past 10 years, the IUPUI University Library has partnered with Indianapolis organizations to produce more than 60 distinctive digital collections.

The IUPUI University Library, thanks in large part to philanthropy, is looking to the future of libraries in other ways as well. Even as digital collections are creating a library without walls, the library is reconfiguring its physical space to better accommodate the evolving educational needs of students and other patrons.

The new 2120 Learning Lab, for example, was funded through philanthropic gifts from individuals and the local business community. RJE Business Interiors worked with the IU Architect's Office and the library's Client Support Team to design the space. Funding for equipment came from the Indianapolis Foundation's Library Fund. Other contributors were the AT&T Foundation, Barnes & Thornburg LLP, Bedel Financial Consulting, Herff Jones, Inc., and Indiana Orthopaedic Hospital. Designed especially for information literacy classes, the space allows students to learn to navigate electronic resources using the classroom's wireless access and mobile workstations, a configuration that makes it possible to quickly rearrange furniture and equipment to accommodate an array of teaching and learning styles.

Another philanthropy-driven project, Learning Spaces III, will redesign a large public area on the library's fourth floor. It builds on the success of Learning Spaces I and II, where dull corridors were transformed into attractive, highly functional meeting and work space for students. These projects were led by RJE Business Interiors and coordinated by Rowland Design, Maregatti Interiors, and CSO Architects, all national leaders in the design field. If you walk the corridors connecting the Education/Social Work and Business/SPEA buildings, you will experience Learning Spaces I and II.

Philanthropy has also supported the library's Diversity Scholars program. This offers undergraduates a year-long paid opportunity to learn about library science through a mentored program of in-depth research, as well as collection development and the creation of special exhibits and events. The scholars work 20 hours per week, rotating through various library operations. They also research and design multicultural exhibits for the public areas of the library, and several have implemented major service projects.

To support such transforming projects, you can make a gift to the IUPUI University Library. Check out the opportunities at http://www.ulib.iupui.edu/ or http://impactcampaign.iupui.edu/. The IUPUI University Library, at 755 W. Michigan Street, serves the people of Indiana as well as the university population. Any state resident with a valid I.D. is eligible for a borrower's card.


Chancellor Charles R. Bantz
 

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