University Libraries
Annual Report



The 1997/98 year has been rewarding. We continue to build on many of the successful projects and programs begun last year. Transformations in higher education are dictating immense changes in the way libraries deliver information and respond to user needs. We continue to be responsive to these changes and some of the things we have done during this period of time indicate our commitment to meet the challenges of the new environment in higher education.


Teaching and Learning

Strategic Direction 3.1: In our undergraduate programs, we will help all students reach their full potential by providing a multifaceted, supportive learning environment in which we strive for both disciplinary competence and education of the whole person.

University Libraries has maintained an active, visible front in providing a teaching and learning environment for the academic community. Our increased presence in the classroom is due in part to the increased awareness of faculty and students eager to learn how to access information through structured databases and the Internet. Access to full text electronic research materials has increased and has been instrumental in librarians offering classes to the university community on utilizing these new tools. In addition, we have continued many traditional instructional avenues through library tools, one-on-one assistance at public service points, and tutorial training in using major online tools such as DIALOG. During the 1997-98 year, we have focused on numerous instructional activities that have played a major role in the educational experiences of Virginia Tech students.

  • Participated in the instruction of 500 faculty in 23 Faculty Development Initiative (FDI) sessions focusing on electronic reserve, electronic theses and dissertations, and copyright
  • Taught 675 instructional sessions for 10,500 students during the 1997/98 academic year
  • Provided 20 tours and one-on-one training for faculty, staff, students, and the general public on services and use of the Special Services Lab
  • Collaborated with the veterinary medicine faculty in teaching two courses (Victoria Kok, Veterinary Medicine Librarian assisted in the teaching of two courses in the college, the Profession of Veterinary Medicine and Fundamentals of Business, Law and Ethics).
  • Selected an authority control vendor to provide enhanced subject access and cross references for online catalog searching
  • Provided staff development workshops, credit courses, and conferences that included a variety of different skills, trends, and issues to position the staff to better serve the university community
  • Introduced to users electronic publications of the Association for Computing Machinery through the VIVA consortium
  • Borrowed through interlibrary loan services 631 books and obtained 1,230 journal article photocopies for 412 undergraduate students

Statistics Related to Teaching and Learning



      Bibliographic classes taught


      Number of participants


      Bibliographic guides for students


Training, workshops, conferences for staff & faculty

20 workshops
185 attendees





Research Competitiveness

Strategic Direction 3.2: To enhance Virginia Tech's status as a major research university and center for graduate education, maintaining its position among the top 50 such institutions in terms of sponsored research expenditures (top of those without medical schools) and among the top 10 in industrially supported research.

Virginia Tech plays a major role in advancing research in numerous fields of endeavor. The university is playing a key role in the building of the country's first smart road; 21 U.S. patents were awarded to Virginia Tech researchers; sponsored research grants accounted for $1.6 million awarded by outside agencies at the beginning of the 1998 calendar year. Through its collections, services, and outreach programs, the University Libraries is assuming a key role in assisting the university in maintaining this type of research competitiveness.

Top Ten Database Services

Encyclopaedia Britannica
Info Trac
Cambridge Scientific Abstracts
IDEAL Electronic Journals
MUSE Electronic Journals
Periodicals Contents Index (PCI)

Collection Statistics



Purchased Serials




Computer Files




Audio Tapes, Cassettes, CD's




Film & Video



Users Services Statistics 1997-98

Reference/Informational Queries



Humanities/Social Science current periodicals

Science current periodicals

Humanities/Social Science Reference Room

Science Reference Room

In-House Use

Microforms Use

ILL Borrowing









Tech Connect

Consulting questions

Electronic questions

Distributed software





Outreach and Economic Development

Strategic Direction 3.3: We will position the university as the leading provider of outreach services in the Commonwealth of Virginia by reconceptpualizing and restructuring the service component of our land-grant mission.

The University Libraries recognizes that higher education has a leadership role to play in developing a globally literate citizenry and workforce. As the largest university in the Commonwealth, University Libraries' collections, services, and especially its staff, represent a great research source within the state and nation. The libraries play a unique role in helping the university community reach out beyond the Blacksburg campus. Our collaboration with other higher education institutions, such as the University of Virginia and George Mason University, continues to develop a broad-based offering of electronic resources to students both on and off campus.

Wherever our students are located, to be academically successful, they need access to the rich and varied resources of the University Libraries. One of our major achievements this academic year was to provide to all extended users authenticated access to the licensed library databases. The library is committed to equalizing access to information to all Virginia Tech students regardless of whether they are in Abingdon, Norton, or Arlington. To achieve that end we have:

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

Strategic Direction 3.4: We will enhance the university's status as one of the leading innovators nationally in the application of advanced communications and information technologies in instruction, research, outreach, and administrative support.

"From computing to engineering to business to the humanities to the arts, technology influences how we learn and do, and it hastens change in our learning and doing as the technologies themselves rapidly evolve" (Cross Cutting Initiatives: Case Studies Focusing on the Future April 1988, p. 6). To respond and to support the university's status as a leader and innovator in the development and use of informational technologies, the University Libraries:

  • Shifted our training focus for staff and library faculty from an emphasis on Windows applications to web site development
  • Introduced automated electronic delivery of photocopied articles directly to the desktops of researchers through the World Wide Web, thus avoiding the use of surface mail and reducing delivery time by several days; delivered 1,524 photocopied articles to 387 Virginia Tech researchers using this new service
  • Replaced and improved the design and functionality of the EReserve system
  • Migrated the Scholarly Communications Project from NetXt to Sun Netra and incorporated two supplemental servers
  • Created two new web pages to introduce users to the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) Resources ( and Maps, GIS and Cartographic Data resources (
  • Added over 8000 images to the VT Image Base ( with the support of the VIVA consortium
  • Developed a marketing brochure for the ILLiad system to promote it nationally
  • Created an electronic journals database on the library web page
  • Integrated technology into instructional activities such as using Lotus ScreenCam for demontrations of databases, and using the World Wide Web as a presentation tool for instructional sessions
  • Designed and initiated a database project to study trends in current periodical usage
  • Acquired site license for the Special Services Lab for Zoom-Text software to be included on VT-NET CD ROM and distributed to all students

Internationalizing the University

Strategic Direction 3.5: 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.

Virginia Tech recognizes that students need to develop skills and knowledge that are global. The University Libraries through its diverse collections plays a key role in educating and informing our students about how other people think, and how other cultures work. We have helped to provide international enrichment through collaborating in a USDA grant project, assisting in the hosting of the 3rd International Meeting of the VTLS User's Group, and establishing and moderating a listserv (VETLIB-L) to foster cooperation and the exchange of ideas among veterinary medical libraries world-wide. Other specific achievements this past fiscal year are:

Interdisciplinary Cooperation

Strategic Direction 3.6: We will encourage interdisciplinary collaboration within the university to create knowledge that addresses the needs of society; at the same time, we will increase strategic partnerships with K-12 schools, other colleges and universities, businesses, industries, and state and local governments to find solutions to problems of the rapidly changing world.

The University Libraries exists to provide research and instructional support to the academic colleges and to support the overall goals and missions of this land grant institution. Providing a variety of instruction -- one-on-one tutorials and reference help, and team teaching with college faculty -- is fundamental to the common good of all disciplines. The College Librarians who are in each of the seven academic colleges help the libraries promote this spirit on interdisciplinary cooperation and collaboration.

  • Cooperated with the Cadet Corps in a joint museum venture: the Cadet Corps will curate the 3-D objects (uniforms, swords, etc.) and the libraries' Special Collections will curate documents
  • Planned joint survey of university art holdings with the Art Department
  • Collaborated with the History Department in developing a web site and exhibition: Timeline of Virginia Tech History and minority history at Virginia Tech
  • Cooperated with more than 40 libraries in the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) to reduce interlibrary loan costs and labor by providing fee reciprocal borrowing
  • Teamed with the Center for Academic Enrichment and Excellence (CAEE) to offer instruction for transfer and first year athletes
  • Managed and housed the TechConnect Lab in cooperation with the Computing Center

At A Glance

New Development Position Filled

Albert T. Hamilton has been appointed as associate director of development for libraries and university programs. This joint position will be responsible for soliciting major gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations for the University Libraries. He will work closely with the dean of University Libraries, the university staff, faculty members, and volunteers. Hamilton joins Virginia Tech from Tennessee Technological University, where he was associate executive director for university advancement responsible for alumni relations and all fundraising programs.

New Carpet for the Art/Architecture Library

While most people were thinking about summer fun such as the beach, a little sunshine, or relaxing around Blacksburg, the Art & Architecture library staff were moving approximately 62,000 books and journals that had to be pulled, boxed, labeled, and stored for the installation of new carpet for the library facility in Cowgill.

Renovations for Newman Library

Beginning in early May 1998, major renovations for the replacement of the tile floor and new lighting for the first and fourth floors was accomplished during the summer and early fall. The entire microforms collections and services had to be relocated as well as a major portion of the books and journal collection in one wing of the fourth floor. To capitalize on the move and in anticipation of the changes that the new ACTIC facility will bring to Newman, the Media Center was moved from the second floor to the first. Major renovations were undertaken to accommodate a new combined media and microforms area that is now called the Center for Alternative Media (CAM). In addition to new floors and lighting in the Interlibrary Loan and Photocopy area, renovations of this area also were done. The new floor and lighting has vastly improved the appearance as well as the convenience for library users.

Addison Introduced

The Name the Catalog Committee announced the winning entry for the name of the web version of the catalog to be ADDISON. Known to his friends as Add or Addison, William Addison Caldwell was the first student to enroll in Virginia Tech, which was then called the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College. This name was chosen from 206 entries, after substantial discussion, debate, and analysis, because it 1) has a specific connection and value to Virginia Tech and the southwestern Virginia community; 2) it conveys a certain sense of dignity and class; and 3) it was an opportunity to celebrate those ordinary individuals who, while never attaining fame or fortune, lead good, honorable, and kindly lives. Since the person submitting this entry chose not to include their name, the Dean decided to apply the prize money to a commemorative book or books which will highlight the unique qualities of Virginia Tech, Southwest Virginia and the Southern Appalachian region. Further, as a way of officially announcing the web interface and the new name for the online catalog, the committee has been charged with planning a celebratory event for Fall 1998.

Faculty and Staff: Publications, Papers, Awards 1997-1998

Susan Ariew's article, "The Internet and the English/Language Arts Teacher," was published in the Winter '98 issue of the Virginia English Bulletin, 48(1).

Mary Hansbrough was named editor of the Virginia Library Association's newsletter, the VLA Newsletter, effective January 1998.

Tamara Kennelly published an article, "Merchants of Thought Meet the Many-Headed Hydra of Speculative Fiction," in Virginia Libraries, 43(2) (April/May/June 1997). Her article, "Celebrating Blacksburg's Bicentennial," appeared in Library Friends, 2(2)(spring/summer 1998).

Vicki Kok and Dr. Blair Meldrum's Outreach Grant Proprosal "Prevention of Plant Poisonings in Livestock and Pets" was funded by V.P.I.& S.U. in December 1997. The information from this research program will be in CD-ROM format available to the public in November 1998.

Harry M. Kriz gave the invited presentation "ILLiad: the Strategic Solution for Automating Interlibrary Loan," at the American Library Association Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., June 27, 1998.

Harry M. Kriz, with former Virginia Tech employees M. Jason Gover, and Kevin C. Ford, published "ILLiad: Customer-focused Interlibrary Loan Automation" in the Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery and Information Supply, 8(4),(1998).

Gail McMillan and Joanne Eustis's article "Libraries Address the Challenges of Asynchronous Learning," was published in the Journal of Asynchronous Learning, 2(1), March 1998.

Gail McMillan, with Edward A. Fox, John L. Eaton, et al., published "Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations: An International Effort Unlocking University Resources," D-Lib Magazine, Sept. 1997;

Gail McMillan gave a number of invited presentations including the following:
CAUSE 97, Orlando, Dec. 3rd, "Technology Initiatives and Organizational Change: Higher Education in a Networked World," with Joanne Eustis.
Asynchronous Learning Network 3rd International Conference, New York, Oct. 4th, "Libraries Address the Challenges of Asynchronous Learning," with Joanne Eustis.

Laura Katz Smith's article, "A Mold by Any Other Name: One Librarian's Battle Against a Mold Bloom," appeared in College and University Libraries, 4(2) fall 1997. She also published, "Preserving Your Water and Fire-Damaged Papers and Memorabilia," in Library Friends, fall/winter 1997 and "A Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections of the Preston Family," in the Smithfield Review (May 1998).

Ginger Young, College Librarian for Human Resources, received a ReachOUT grant to mount a low cholesterol 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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