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President's Message — Collections and Access

Bernard F. Reilly, Jr.
President, The Center for Research Libraries


In this fiscal year-end issue of Focus we report a number of positive developments. The membership growth and heavy use of Center collections and electronic resources we experienced this year attest to the increasing value of the partnership.

New acquisitions made under the purchase proposal and shared purchase programs increased and diversified the constantly expanding corpus of resources available to scholars and researchers at Center member institutions. Maintaining a vigorous pace in cataloging and accelerating our fulfillment of ILL and document delivery requests this year, moreover, enabled us to narrow the distance between Center collections and their users.

Building upon the agenda outlined at our 2003 conference and workshop Preserving America's Print Resources (PAPR), we expanded the Center's JSTOR print holdings and began to disseminate information on cooperative print archiving nationwide. To promote archiving on a wider basis we initiated work on auditing and certifying digital archives, under funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Certification of repositories for digital content may prove to be a way in which the Center can support members' management of resources, preservation and diversification of scholarly resources.

Development of Center collections and services is guided by the Collection and Services Advisory Panel (CSAP). This year we welcomed a new chair of CSAP, Joyce Ogburn, Director of the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah. I want to thank and acknowledge here outgoing CSAP chair, Edward Shreeves, Director of Collections and Information Resources at the University of Iowa Libraries. Ed provided exemplary leadership of CSAP during a critical period when Center services and collections were rigorously assessed and positive new directions set for the Center. The work and planning that CSAP did under Ed's leadership will inform the Center as an organization for many years to come.