Dean's Update: Bringing Information to Life

Dean's Update: Bringing Information to Life
Jenny James Lee
April 2, 2015

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

Students turned a class project into an exhibit in the W. W. Hagerty Library that featured a “Humans of New York” style question and answer exchange with Drexel students. Sixty Drexel employees celebrated their achievement as authors or editors of books published in 2014. Over thirty faculty and staff across campus gathered to toast the end of the winter term prior to a ScholarSip conversation about trust. Nearly 200 students enjoyed a library coffee break during finals week. With grant funding, WHYY has subcontracted Drexel archive and cataloging expertise to help design a system for simpler access to its collected recordings of the popular program, Fresh Air. Community members in Mantua and Powelton Village will borrow iPads from a Lending Kiosk at the Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships.

These are among activities enabled by the University Libraries featured in this month’s In Circulation. Notice there is no mention of acquiring a collection of books or of teaching new students the latest tricks of searching for a data base or journal article. We still do both. But we no longer promote these as the defining characteristics of a library. We are testing a succinct statement that summarizes the Libraries value: “bringing information to life”

The excitement the Libraries brings to the Drexel experience is not the “stuff’ of libraries – shelved books, licensed electronic resources, historic artifacts, or technologies. Rather, it stems from what happens when Drexel learners, researchers, community residents and professional colleagues engage with information, build new knowledge and expand their own abilities. We see it when students share personal insights from a course assignment, employees create a book, people enjoy Terry Gross interviews, readers warm up with a cup of coffee, or neighbors explore information resources through new technologies they can borrow.

The Libraries—bringing information to life.

Danuta A. Nitecki, PhD
Dean of Libraries