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Eric Bartheld
Indiana University Bloomington Libraries
ebarthel@indiana.edu
812-856-4817

Last modified: Wednesday, January 27, 2010

IU Bloomington libraries named top in the country

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 27, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Bloomington Libraries have been recognized by peers as the top university library in the country, a national library association announced Tuesday, Jan. 26.

Wells Library

Photo courtesy of IU Libraries

Wells Library

The Association of College and Research Libraries yesterday named the IU Bloomington Libraries winner of its Excellence in Academic Libraries Award in the university division. The annual award recognizes the accomplishments of librarians and other library staff who work together to support the mission of their institution.

IU will receive $3,000 from sponsor YBP Library Services and will celebrate with a public reception this spring, at which the president of the library association will make a presentation.

"Receiving this honor is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our librarians and staff at every level," said Carolyn Walters, interim Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries. "At a time when the nature of libraries is changing so swiftly and dramatically, this award is welcome recognition that we are not only responding to these changes in a positive way, but also leading by example."

IU has been at the forefront of projects that range from digitizing books to supporting instruction by providing easier access to online journals. In January, the university received $2.38 million from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a library-led project to create software to manage the complex transactions of acquiring and tracking library materials. Librarians are helping faculty members publish online journals not only to provide broad or "open" access to those journals but also to provide faculty the flexibility to achieve their own scholarly goals.

Information Commons

Photo courtesy of IU Libraries

IU Bloomington students work in the Information Commons of the Herman B Wells Library.

"The IU Libraries excel in performing the vital function of assisting our faculty, students, staff and citizens of the state of Indiana in their pursuit of knowledge," said Provost and Executive Vice President Karen Hanson. "This award confirms what the university community has long known -- that our libraries are among the nation's best."

An accomplished team of librarians select, manage and grow Bloomington's research collections, which include more than 6.6 million books and materials in more than 350 languages. The materials support every academic discipline on the Bloomington campus, with an emphasis in the humanities and social sciences. Collections also include journals, maps, films and sound recordings. Users can access more than 692 databases, 60,315 electronic journals and 816,255 electronic books, as well as locally developed digital content.

The Association of College Libraries, a division of the American Library Association, is a professional association of more than 12,000 academic librarians and other interested individuals. For more information, see http://www.acrl.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/index.cfm.