University Libraries
Annual Report



The 1996/97 year has been productive for the University Libraries. While we continue to carry out many traditional services of providing information access and resource materials to the university community, we have also had to deal with an environment that is changing even faster than we may have anticipated. We need to be responsive even more immediately to change. Some of the things we have done during this period of time reflect our response to this changing environment.


Teaching and Learning

The University Libraries continues to support the teaching and learning mission of the university. President Torgersen stated in the President's Message 1997 in the President's Report 1996 - 1997: "Virginia Tech is laying the groundwork today to become a leader in the global knowledge industry, and we are transforming how we teach, and how students learn, and how we interact with our many constituencies through exciting and innovative communication and instructional technologies." The libraries' increasing role in classroom teaching and one-on-one services demonstrates our commitment to be a part of the change agent to make the transformation that President Torgensen speaks to. Looking back during the 1996-97 year, we have done numerous activities, created new services, and collaborated with other campus units in contributing to the transformation of the educational experience of Virginia Tech students.

  • Provided TechNet help sessions, in collaboration with other Information System's units, for students in the fall 1997 fall term, and for transfer students in the spring term
  • Created a special library web page for extended campus students which uses pictures to show them exactly how to configure their web browser to use library resources by being authenticated on the Virginia Tech network
  • Created two group study rooms to provide facilities for students working on group/team projects
  • Implemented a full service electronic reserve system for faculty to deposit materials and for students to access through the campus network
  • Improved some 95,000 catalog records to provide additional information to the user community
  • Participated in teaching sessions on ETD policies, procedures, and Electronic Reserve in the Faculty Development Initiative (FDI)
  • Provided a variety of in-house training opportunities through workshops and conferences to enhance the skills of all library staff including courses on communication/customer services and leadership/management
  • Redesigned the library web page to a new format that is easier to use and access
  • Established a Lobby Information Desk to provide library users with information at their initial point of entry into Newman Library and to provide instruction and technical assistance in using the twenty-eight Macintosh computers located in the lobby area
  • Incorporated electronic resources and research strategies into the library's basic instruction program geared toward Freshmen English Program
  • Taught some 648 classes for 10,994 students during the 1996/97 academic year

Statistics Related to Teaching and Learning



      Bibliographic classes taught


      Number of participants


      Bibliographic aids (handouts)


Training, workshops, conferences for staff & faculty

26 funded

Circulation (including renewals)




Research Competitiveness

Crucial to supporting the university's research agenda is providing an internal research infrastructure of which the University Libraries must play a key role. The libraries through its collections, services, and outreach programs is playing a key role in assisting the university in maintaining its competitiveness in the area of research.

Top Ten Databases
by Use

Wildlife & Fisheries
Social Science Index
Government documents

Collection Statistics



Purchased Serials




Computer Files




Audio Tapes, Cassettes, CD's




Film & Video


Outreach and Economic Development

A cornerstone of the university's strategic planning for the year 2001 is to develop outreach programs. The libraries play a unique role in helping the university community in reaching out beyond the Blacksburg campus. Through our collaboration with other doctorate granting institutions such as the University of Virginia and George Mason University, we have introduced many electronic sources to both our on and off campus students. University Libraries lends more items to Virginia libraries than does any other library in the state thus supporting higher education and research throughout the Commonwealth. The Scholarly Communications Project has gained a national reputation for production of scholarly online publications, and four new journals were added to the growing list of the Project's publications. Our achievements and efforts in reaching out and assisting with the economic development of the region and the state have included numerous activities this past fiscal year.

Statistics Related to Outreach and Economic Development

Interlibrary loans to other institutions


New Media Center


      Total Users


      Total Classes


Special Services, use of the facility


Information Technology

To support the university's goal to become one of the leading innovators in advanced communications and information technology for instruction, research, and outreach, the libraries has made notable contributions during the 97 fiscal year:
  • Advanced the prototyped digital image database and scaled it up to a production-oriented ImageBase with nearly 3000 full identified images including access to the Norfolk & Western and Earl Palmer's Appalachia photographs, and papers and manuscripts form the local history collections, and VPI Women's collections
  • Redesigned the EReserve homepage at
  • Implemented the use of electronic thesis and dissertations at
  • Installed the Logicraft LANCD software and server that accommodates up to 48 CDs which improved access to important databases through the library's TCPIP network to 11 workstations
  • Automated FTP services to assist Technical Services in several key projects, OCLC Recon, Marcive and Autographics which improves access to government documents
  • Initiated a project to provide subject keyword access to electronic journals automatically generating Web pages without the need for ongoing personal HTML maintenance
Information Technology Statistics

Digitizing Images


Number of computers in library


Number of direct links to VTLS in public areas


Tech Connect

                                      Consulting questions

                                      Electronic questions

                                      Distributed software





New World Wide Web Sites

    International Newspapers

    EReserve homepage at

    VTOnline: homepage for all classes with any online
      component; early drafts

    Civil War Online at University Libraries' Special Collections
      for the Development Fund Campaign

    1995/96 Annual Report for Scholarly Communications
      Project and Special Collections

    Guidelines for Editors of Electronic Journals


Internationalizing the University

In an increasing global community, Virginia Tech recognizes the need to incorporate an international dimension into the education of students. As stated in the academic agenda in the Update to the University Plan, 1996-2001, strategic direction 3.5 is : " We will more fully integrate an international dimension into the university's major programmatic endeavors, in order to prepare the entire university community for full participation in the global society of the next century." University Libraries has helped to provide international enrichment through its collaboration in a USDA grant project, employment of international students in the library, and its diverse collections. Other specific achievements this past fiscal year are:

Interdisciplinary Cooperation

Our public services to the university community are primarily based on interdisciplinary cooperation with the academic colleges. All of our activities in providing classroom instruction, collections, and information access are fundamental to the common good of all disciplines. Our College Librarian Program attempts to bring library activities and academic and research efforts together. We have this past fiscal year made several notable efforts to promote interdisciplinary cooperation.

  • Increased the number of college librarians in some of the larger colleges in order to facilitate greater cooperation and collaboration with faculty in those colleges
  • Revised the collection development model to have the collegiate librarians in the various colleges fully vested with the responsibility of building the collection and working with the faculty in those colleges

Faculty and Staff Achievements: Publications, Presented Papers, Conference Attendance 1996-1997

John Cosgriff's book, Turbo Genealogy: An Introduction to Family History Research in the Information Age has been published by Ancestry Publishers in Salt Lake City. Carolyn Cosgriff co-authored the book.

Eileen Hitchingham was conference co-chair with Wayne Donald for the CAUSE/CNI Southeast Regional Conference: Teaching and Learning in Cyberspace. September 12-13, 1996, Roanoke, Virginia. She also was panel moderator for The Student View of Technology in Instructionat the conference.

Diane Kaufman co-authored with Deanne M. Drewes, Michigan State University, a chapter, "Using Student Employees to focus on Preservation Awareness Campaigns," in Promoting Preservation Awareness in Libraries: A Sourcebook for Academic, Public, School, and Special Collections, edited by Jeanne M. Drewes and Julie A. Page, published by Greenwood Press, 1997.

Tamara Kennelly's article, "Personalizing Membership Appeals: The Key Contact Program," appeared in Archival Outlook July 1996, volume 12.

Victoria Kok presented a poster session entitled, "Veterinary Medical Librarians: Their Emerging Roles in International Cooperation" at the 14th Symposium on Veterinary Medical Education, in Athens, Georgia, July 1-2, 1996. She presented a poster session entitled, "Globalization of Veterinary Medical Library Services""at the 97th Annual Meeting of the Medical Library Association, in Seattle Washing, May 1997.

Edward F. Lener and Flora G. Shrode co-authored the article, "Ready Reference Web Sites in Earth and Physical Sciences," which was published in The Reference Librarian no. 57, p. 203-213. Mr. Lener was also named co-editor of the "STS Signal", a semi-annual newsletter of the ACRL Science and Technology Section.

Edward F. Lener has co-authored with Pam Buchman, "Investing in the Future of Libraries: Recipients of the VLS Scholarship," published in Virginia Libraries, July/August/September, 1996, volume 42 (3).

Buddy Litchfield hosted a meeting of the Eastern Regional VTLS Users' Group at the CEC, April 9-10, 1997. There were over 100 representatives from Libraries using the VTLS system to discuss ongoing issues with the current system as well as the new Virtua System.

Gail McMillan received the following grants:

U.S. Dept. of Education, FIPSE Program, "Improving Graduate Education with a National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations," with John Eaton, Ed Fox, Gail McMillan, 1996-99.

SURA, "Development and Beta Testing of the Monticello Electronic Library Thesis and Dissertation Program," John Eaton, Ed Fox, Gail McMillan, 1996-97.

Gail McMillan gave the following invited presentations:

"Copyright and Electronic Reserves" for the ACRL EReserves Section at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting, Jan. 11, 1997.

"Progress toward the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations" for the ACRL Science and Technology Sections meeting at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting, Jan. 10, 1997.

"Electronic Theses and Dissertations: Unlocking Access to Graduate Research" at CAUSE/CNI Southeast Regional Conference: Teaching and Learning in Cyberspace, Sept. 12, 1996, Roanoke, VA.

"VT Scholarly Communications Project," preconference workshop organizer and presenter for CAUSE/CNI Southeast Regional Conference, Sept. 11, 1996, Virginia Tech.

Margaret Merrill and Susan Ariew were appointed co-editors of the VASLA Bulletin (Virginia Special Libraries Association) for the next two years. (1997-1999)

Linda Richardson was awarded a grant from the Anne U. White Fund of the American Association of American Geographers Research Grants Committee to participate in a library/archives research project during summer 1997 in London, England.

Larry A. Thompson's article, "Pedestrian Road Crossing Safety" was published in the Journal of Planning Literature, vol. 11, No. 2 (November, 1996).

Ginger Young received a ReachOUT Grant for $5,750 to set up a cholesterol awareness web site.



Editor, Donald J. Kenney
Associate Dean of Administrative Services

Assistant Editor & Layout
Linda D. McGraw

Special thanks to all the Department Heads for their contributions.

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