New academic year / new partnerships

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Welcome to the 2010-2011 academic year. We at CRL hope that this will be a successful and productive time for you and your staff.

Last April, at CRL’s Council of Voting Members meeting, I observed that the faltering economy makes library cooperation an imperative. We believe that it is particularly important now for organizations with comparable missions to work together so that the return on your investment is not diluted by redundancy or competition. I now want to report briefly on some new relationships we have since forged to create important synergies and benefits for CRL libraries.

New Partners

First, I am happy to report that seven academic libraries have become members of CRL since July 1:

  • Arkansas State University
  • University of Central Florida
  • Olivet Nazarene University
  • University of Northern British Columbia
  • University of the South
  • Utah State University
  • Williams College

Because CRL is a partnership, rather than merely a service provider, these new CRL libraries bring not only new support to CRL collection-building and services.  They also bring new perspectives, knowledge and expertise that will help guide and enrich CRL activities.

New Partnerships

I am happy to report that CRL has formed important new partnerships with the Law Library Microform Consortium, the Greater Western Libraries Alliance, and The British Library.  These relationships will enable CRL libraries to better support research and teaching in several major fields.

International Law, Government and Politics Through a new partnership with the Law Library Microform Consortium (LLMC), CRL is expanding its preservation footprint and making new primary source digital collections available to CRL libraries. CRL and LLMC are combining expertise and resources to identify, preserve, and provide digital access to important, at-risk primary sources in the fields of international law, government, and politics. For example, CRL and LLMC have already begun to identify and digitize important primary legal texts from Haiti and colonial Africa.  Beginning this month, researchers have access through CRL libraries to the online LLMC-Digital database.  This database includes over 20 million pages of legal and government-related materials from all world regions.  More information on the CRL-LLMC partnership is at

Global Water Global warming and climate change have brought new attention to the issues surrounding the use, supply, and management of water in academic, policy, and business communities. On October 21st and 22nd CRL and the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA) will hold a forum for librarians, scholars, and archivists, entitled Global Water: 2010 and BeyondOn day one, scholars and public policy experts will describe new and emerging lines of water-related research, and will survey the types of documentation and data upon which such research relies. And librarians and archivists will discuss the challenges encountered in preserving and ensuring access to traditional and electronic source materials on water supply and use.  On day two librarians and archivists will explore and formulate ways to improve support of water-related research and policy-making.  Attendees must register in advance of the forum.  For registration and the forum agenda, go to

Engineering and Technology Another GWLA initiative recently became the newest Global Resources program. The Technical Report Archive and Image Library (TRAIL) digitizes, archives, and provides persistent and unrestricted access to U.S. federal technical reports. TRAIL focuses on government-issued reports in engineering, nuclear science, health and safety, and other scientific and technical fields. Project participants have now scanned more than 1.9 million pages of public domain technical reports, including materials from the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, National Bureau of Standards, U. S. Bureau of Mines, and other agencies. CRL provides logistical, communications and financial management support to TRAIL, and we encourage CRL libraries to join and support this important digitization effort.  More information on TRAIL is at

The Middle East, Persian Gulf, and Islamic Studies Dissertations and theses from universities outside North America are a longstanding CRL collecting focus.  Scholarship at the major UK universities is a cornerstone of global research today, and access to that scholarship is vital to graduate and postgraduate researchers in the CRL community.  CRL is now working with The British Library to provide electronic access to theses from British universities through EThOS, a program funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC).  Because of the intense scholarly interest in the Middle East and the Islamic world, CRL recently sponsored the digitization of several hundred UK theses in these areas, which will now be available online through EThOS. 

Our efforts are all intended to expand the scope and diversity of source materials available to scholars through CRL libraries.  I hope you consider our recent efforts worthwhile, and that these new resources benefit your community in a time of austerity.  Meanwhile, many thanks for your continued support of CRL and its collections.

Bernard F. Reilly
Center for Research Libraries