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Dean’s Update: Essential Roles

A short week ago we were all worried about the wrath of Sandy, and unfortunately many of our readers and staff were addressing power outages, fallen trees, and flooding.    I hope none of you, your families, and homes were severely affected by the storm, and that we all are back to our routines by now.   This storm set precedent for the Libraries as an “essential” service during a campus emergency.

We have been encouraged this past month by other votes of confidence in the Libraries' contributions to advance the University’s mission.  The first solicitation letter sent to select alumni identified a “matching gift” opportunity made by Michael Hagerty and his family, requesting support of the renovation of the W. W. Hagerty Library building, named in honor of his father, the late President of Drexel University.  Response has been encouraging as we prepare for the launch of the design phase meeting on November 9 with the architects awarded the contract.    One of the responses linked us with Nancy Lewis ‘98  who wished, along with her four siblings, to name a study room after her parents, Orval and Rachel Lovett '47, both Drexel graduates.   Learning from her about the story of these two alumni, we were inspired to kick off our Oral History program, Tales of the Dragons.   Equipment has been acquired and procedures designed to record the history of Drexel through the words of those who lived it—our first effort, an hour interview with the Lovetts is being transcribed through use of automated software and will be available as part of the Libraries’ University Archives in coming months.

October represents almost the first half of the fall term, by nature full of the excitement of the new academic year.   Articles in this issue of In Circulation describe the Personal Librarian program, focused engineering instruction sessions, service improvement efforts, and new acquisitions to our diverse electronic collections.

Until we shifted to our “essential” role due to a storm and paused to summarize this October for you, it seemed like just another month at the Libraries. But once again, we find life in the Libraries is not without its rhythms of activities to serve Drexel students and partner with its faculty and staff.

Danuta A. Nitecki
Dean of Libraries

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