CRL Update: Annual Meeting and Government Data

Friday, May 10, 2013

Many thanks to all who participated in the 2013 CRL Council of Voting Members meeting, held by webinar on April 19.  In case you missed the event, here are some highlights: 


Three new members were elected to the CRL Board of Directors

Lars Schoultz

William Rand Kenan, Jr., Professor of Political Science, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Virginia Steel

University Librarian, the University of California at Santa Cruz and newly appointed University Librarian, UCLA

Xuemao Wang

Dean and University Librarian, the University of Cincinnati

Elected to second terms on the CRL Board were: 

Richard Fyffe

Rosenthal Librarian of the College, Grinnell College

Susan Gibbons

University Librarian, Yale University

James Grossman

Executive Director, American Historical   Association

Susan Martin

Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University of Tennessee

New Officers of the Board of Directors are:

Chair:  Richard Fyffe, Rosenthal Librarian of the College, Grinnell College

Vice Chair:  Leslie Weir, University Librarian, University of Ottawa

Secretary:  Janice Welburn, Dean of University Libraries, Marquette University

Treasurer:  Scott Waugh, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, University of California, Los Angeles

We are deeply indebted to Sarah Michalak, who has now completed her second and final term as the chair of CRL’s Board of Directors.  Under Sarah’s leadership, CRL grew its services and its resources significantly.  At this moment in CRL’s history, the chair’s role has been particularly demanding, as the Board put in place a more structured and formal governance framework for CRL, creating a standing investment committee and investment policy, and a process for the regular review and evaluation of the executive.  I myself have benefited both as CRL’s president and personally from Sarah’s guidance, outstanding judgment and understanding of the research libraries world. 

We also thank Deborah Carver for her extraordinary service during the past three years as Treasurer.  Deborah quickly mastered the financial complexities of an organization of 270 institutional members that acts as an umbrella for over a dozen autonomous programs and projects.  Her attention to the management of those finances was a model of good stewardship. 

The State of the Center 2013

My report on the state and future of the Center covered: 

CRL digitization, archiving and collection development in four major domains:  News, Law and Government, the History and Economics of Agriculture, and the History of Science, Technology and Engineering.

New support CRL is providing for member library investment in collections, in the form of data on archives, venues for the sharing of expertise, and licensing of e-resources. 

The large reservoir of digital content and metadata that CRL has been amassing in the past few years, through digitization of materials requested by researchers and through systematic collection-by-collection digitization with partners like the Law Library Microform Consortium.  We must make provisions for managing those shared resources, which now amount to 16 million pages and are growing, in ways that will benefit CRL libraries. 

A link to the audio and slides of the report, and to other documents relevant to the meeting, is on the meeting site.

Next Year

CRL’s dedication to the survival and integrity of primary historical sources remains steadfast.  We continue to identify and implement ways to support CRL libraries in an environment where documentation and evidence are electronic rather than physical. More and more, CRL’s role is to organize and support collective action on the part of our libraries in critical areas. 

One area of particular concern is the realm of government information, where the landscape of production and distribution has changed radically in recent years.   As official records and communications become predominantly digital, new ways must be found to ensure that the documentation of government’s workings and government-produced data continue to be available to researchers. 

CRL’s 2014 annual meeting will bring together representatives of NARA, the Government Printing Office, and other appropriate parties, and members of the research library community, to determine what role  libraries, collectively and individually, can and should play in ensuring the preservation and future accessibility of government records and publications.

Future messages will give you details as the program for the meeting develops.  For now, please mark your calendar for the meeting, on April 24 and 25, 2014 and plan to join us in Chicago for what should be a useful and informative set of conversations. 

Many thanks for your continued support, and for participating in CRL.

Bernard F. Reilly
President (2001-2019)
Center for Research Libraries