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CRL News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Dear CRL Library Director,

Now that the new academic year is underway, I want to share with you some new developments at CRL: 

  • More and faster digital access:  Over the summer we upgraded CRL's platform for Web delivery of CRL collections.  The CRL Digital Delivery System is now more easily navigable, and can accommodate the rapidly growing digital content we are generating ourselves and through partnerships.  The now 5.5 million pages of CRL materials scanned on request for researchers at member institutions suggest that the day when all CRL collections are delivered electronically is not far off. 


  • Identity management:  CRL has now implemented Shibboleth and is now a registered service with InCommon. Users at institutions that are members of the InCommon federation are now automatically authenticated to access restricted materials hosted by CRL.


  • Digital Global Resources:  The Area Microform Projects, longstanding cooperative programs developing area studies collections based at CRL, have now all adopted digitization as a means of preserving and making primary source materials available to researchers.  These projects, now re-branded “Area Materials Projects,” henceforth support both digital conversion and microform as means of capturing at-risk source materials.


  • STE Journal Access:  In 2012 CRL significantly expanded access for members to current and recent STE journal titles through a partnership with the Linda Hall Library of Science, Technology and Engineering.  In FY 2014 LHL filled almost 12,000 requests for articles from their holdings for CRL libraries, an increase of 7% over the prior fiscal year.  North Carolina State, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign were the highest university users; also among the top ten users were St. Olaf College and Carleton College


  • Government Information:  The April 2014 forum Leviathan: Libraries and Government Information in the Age of Big Data gave CRL a new strategic framework for preserving government information.  One element of the Leviathan agenda is to focus on preserving materials produced by unstable, repressive and corrupt governments.  In July the Carnegie Corporation of New York awarded CRL funding to preserve and post to the Web key historical government documentation from ten nations in Africa and the Persian Gulf where the integrity of the public record is known to be at risk.   More information about this project as it develops.


  • People at CRL:  Yesterday James Simon, Senior Director for International Resources, was promoted to CRL Vice President of Collections and Services.  James is now responsible for CRL departments that build and care for CRL collections and that directly serve our constituencies:  Access Services, Stack Management, Facilities, and Technical Services.  James will also continue to be responsible for collection development and international resources.  James has done a singular job of advancing CRL interests and visibility over the past ten years by building and managing CRL relationships with important partners, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Library of Congress, Linda Hall Library, and the Law Library Microform Consortium. 


  • Judy Alspach has been promoted to Global Resources Network and AMPs Program Manager, and will take a larger role in coordinating and supporting the area materials and Global Resources projects.   Virginia Kerr, formerly Digital Programs Manager, was promoted to Head of Communications and Development, increasing her oversight of CRL external communications and taking a larger role in membership development. 

I hope these developments interest you and I appreciate your continuing participation in and support of CRL.  Your institution’s participation makes CRL more effective as an organization, and increases our capacity to acquire, preserve, and provide our community access to critical materials for original research. 

My very best wishes for success in the new academic year.


Bernard F. Reilly

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