Dean’s Update: It’s a Wrap

Dean’s Update: It’s a Wrap
Jenny James Lee
June 3, 2015

[The Dean's Update is a column introducing each issue of the Libraries' monthly e-newsletter In Circulation.]

July marks both the end and the start of an academic and fiscal year. We are beginning to reflect on our past year as we are gathering information for the Libraries annual report, but perhaps more excitingly looking at what we aim to do the coming year. The stories in this issue of In Circulation reflect a little of both.

At Drexel, June marks the conclusion of the academic year and with that comes the excitement of celebrating accomplishments. In the Libraries, we are ecstatic with the impact of several finalizations.

As final exams begin, we will open the doors to a new reading room on the second floor of W. W. Hagerty Library. The space is the result of a renovation project begun April 14, 2015 that will bring more natural light from Market Street into the library’s interior and will provide attractive seating for twenty-five people. Also in support of students finalizing their courses, campus Business Services, USGA and the Libraries will provide coffee and snacks during late night hours of the 24-7 study period—a welcome response to a request voiced by students. The Undergraduate Student Government Association was terrific this year in focusing on the Libraries in a study of improvement opportunities and expenditure of funds; as a result, thirty mobile white boards were added to the Libraries. For those thinking that thoughts of graduation and spring fever hit the Drexel campus, just come by and see the many students still occupying seats in the libraries for hours on end.

These supporting gestures for students capture Drexel’s collaborative nature and are complemented by several offers of other support for the Libraries programs. The Library Advisory Group this quarter responded to discussions around balancing fund allocations for licensing and acquiring information resources; several faculty members were seen championing the Libraries services and resources at town hall meetings, the Faculty Senate, and social gatherings in recent weeks.

The Office of Research has demonstrated the availability of better analytics to identify Drexel’s research standing and faculty achievements that are a result of work upgrading the Faculty Portfolio program the Libraries is coordinating. Nearly a month’s work to prepare a detailed federal grant proposal [to IMLS] was finalized in time to meet the submission deadline this week by dedicated pre-award processing and calming encouragement from an Office of Research program administrator. We appreciate these finalizing moments of our friends’ generous support.

The greatest joys in academics come from witnessing the passage of students to alumni status. The Libraries staff congratulates our eleven graduating student employees who collectively have worked with us over twenty years. We also proudly applaud our administrative assistant, Tainesha Ware, who completes her BS in Health Services and Administration this month. I personally am honored to hood a PhD student from the College of Computing and Informatics this year, having witnessed, as faculty advisor, completion of her dissertation defense last week. There are a few bittersweet moments to academic completion however as we are seeing a few colleagues conclude a chapter of preparation at Drexel, move on to new professional positions and become members of the Libraries’ “former staff group.”

Next, to welcome summer.

Danuta A. Nitecki, PhD
Dean of Libraries