Provost Review of the Library

Every five years, the Provost conducts a review of the Libraries at NCSU. Today marked the major day of review, with library director Susan Nutter giving an open presentation, and holding two closed sessions to discuss library performance. I was able to sit in on the presentation, and learn about how the Libraries have progressed the past few years. For the most part, NCSU has improved and remained a major player in innovation and service among its peers. The only place where the library seemed lacking was in its collections, where it is unable to financially keep up with its peers, and Duke and UNC. However, it’s clear that services, and an exceptional staff help make up for the difference.

Something I found troubling however, relates to the rising cost of scholarly information. Currently, NCSU, UNC, Duke, and NCCU collect materials collaboratively. Currently, 71% of the materials among these four schools are held only at one institution. With a unique borrowing system, members of each university community can borrow materials from any of the other three at no cost, and quite easily. But with the move towards more and more electronic resources, this system may become difficult to maintain. Licenses that allow for multi-institutional use are far out of the price range of the TRLN system. If costs do not go down, it will be increasingly more difficult for the system to work because the libraries cannot currently share electronic materials.

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