Special Collections Department
Scholarly Communications Project
Physical and digital collections grew! More clients served! Services expanded and improved!
More clients served!
Services expanded and improved!
The staff of the Special Collections Department and the Scholarly Communications Project made tremendous achievements, expanding access to online library resources and providing superior library services to local and remote clientele this fiscal year. Electronic resources available from the Scholarly Communications Project increased radically this year and experiments evolved into new resources and services that the local university community as well as Internet users have come to expect from the University Libraries. Online class materials grew from eight classes in the spring of 1995 to 130 in the fall of 1996. The first forty graduate students submitted electronic theses and dissertations for Graduate School approval and these ETDs received full library processing and timely Internet access worldwide. Six new journals were added to the publications roster, and five editors have contacted SCP about additional works they would like published electronically. Developing new initiatives for the Information Systems' strategic plan resulted in the founding of the VT Digital Libraries group and stage-one development of a digital image database (complete with images and identifying data).
The Special Collections Department staff concentrated their time and energy this year on improving access to its unique materials and rare resources, and used a relatively small portion of the budget to increase the size of its physical collections. More students were employed to assist in routine collection processing, digital image scanning, and HTML markup. Through closer interaction with the Scholarly Communications Project, equipment, software, and expertise were more readily available to the department. The Reading Room was open nearly 2000 hours, providing professional-level reference services and research assistance to walk-in clients. A wealth of new finding aids and scanned images were made available on the World Wide Web, improving access for remote Internet users as well as local clients and generating numerous additional e-mail inquiries.
With increased responsibilities and important staff losses by both the Project and Special Collections, personnel resources were stretched; our time was often fragmented and tasks begun could not always be completed. However, the staff at the Scholarly Communications Project and the Special Collections Department expanded access to online library resources and provided superior library services to local and remote clientele. (Please, also see "Personnel Highlights.") These expanded online library resources and services are outlined in the following pages.
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