Current Status Report - September 2011
Text in red denotes new activity since previous status report.

Provide appropriate library support for faculty and students in all fields of study

Action Taken

    Improving Collections and Information Resources

  • Added $1 million in FY 03 to the library’s base budget to improve acquisitions support, and stabilized collections funding by indexing to academic publishing inflation rates
  • Established new consortial relationships with other Ivies and with Rhode Island academic libraries to improve access to collections at other universities
  • Improved collections in targeted areas (humanities, anthropology, public health) to align with the PAE
  • Increased overall serials holdings from 20,000 in FY02 to approximately 75,000 in FY11
  • Continued to expand Brown’s digital resources, providing access to more than 320 databases, over 48,000 full-text electronic journals, and more than 534,000 e-books
  • Acquired and cataloged the David E. Pingree collection, a unique resource of 25,000 volumes on the study of mathematics in the ancient world (especially India)
  • Acquired several major financial data sets to support teaching in economics, finance, and entrepreneurship
  • Developed an online system to simplify searching and borrowing books owned by other libraries
  • Added $50,000 in FY07 and $200,000 in FY09 to the library’s base budget to expand critical collections in high-priority areas of study
  • Extended the open hours for the John Hay Library and the Friedman Study Center
  • Offered borrowing privileges free of charge to Brown alumni as well as online access to 5,000 journals
  • Continued to expand digital access to Brown’s unique signature collections; for example, over 20,000 digital images of the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection are now available online
  • Using input gathered from the faculty in fall 2009, systematically reviewed the serials collection and repurposed funds to more effectively meet user needs and enhance support in targeted subject areas
  • Launched work to process 6,500 linear feet of “hidden” archival and manuscript collections, funded by a $141,455 grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission
  • Developed and implemented a statewide database, funded by a $228,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, to assist researchers in locating materials about the history of Rhode Island
  • Published a new and updated edition of the History and Guide to Special Collections of the Brown University Library
  • Filled gaps in targeted collections by acquiring back files of several journals in the sciences as well as historical newspapers
  • Acquired several major databases of historical government publications that support a broad range of disciplines
  • Initiated pilot projects in targeted departments to enable faculty to directly select and order library materials as a way to improve the timeliness and effectiveness of selecting resources

  • Updating Library Facilities

  • Completed targeted cosmetic improvements to the Orwig Music Library and Rockefeller Library
  • Opened new Library Collections Annex (10 Park Lane, off-site storage facility) on April 1, 2005, to accommodate the transfer of volumes and enable the library to repurpose on-campus space for user needs; approximately 890,000 volumes at the Annex as of June 2011
  • Opened Susan P. and Richard A. Friedman Study Center in the Sciences Library in January 2007, funded by a $4-million donation from Susan P. Friedman ’77 and Richard A. Friedman ’79
  • Began planning for a reorganization of the space and services within the Rockefeller Library to meet the contemporary needs of students and faculty, including creating space on the first floor that integrates technology and library services in a comfortable and collaborative learning environment
  • Created a comfortable reading area for the East Asian Collection on the third floor of Rockefeller Library where faculty and students can easily use Chinese, Japanese, and Korean materials
  • Created additional study space on Level A of the Rockefeller Library, funded by a grant from the Joseph Drown Foundation
  • Began planning for a renovation of the John Hay Library reading room to recapture the grand space of the original design
  • Opened the Walter L.S. Bopp ’35 Seminar Room in the John Hay Library, funded by a donation from Walter S. Bopp ’73 and Peter D. Bopp ’78
  • Completed renovation and opened new reading room on the first floor of the Rockefeller Library, funded by a donation from Laura and David Finn P’70, P’76, P’77
  • Completed renovation of the undergraduate and graduate computer clusters and study spaces on the second floor of the Rockefeller Library
  • Equipped all 14 floors of the Sciences Library with wireless Internet access
  • Completed construction of Science Resource Center in the Sciences Library
  • Consolidated and relocated microform collections to a renovated space on Level B of the Rockefeller Library, and installed new readers/printers and scanners to improve access
  • Installed new state-of-the-art exhibit cases in the John Hay Library, funded by a $200,000 grant from the Champlin Foundation
  • Collaborated with the Dean of the College, the Division of Biology and Medicine, and others to open the Science Center on the third floor of the Sciences Library
  • Upgraded the seating and lighting in the Rockefeller Library lobby and implemented fire safety upgrades in the Rockefeller and Sciences libraries
  • Completed renovation and opened new study space on the fourth floor of Sciences Library, adding 96 seats for users
  • Expanded and upgraded the lobby of the Rockefeller Library, making the area more welcoming as well as enhancing security
  • Created additional study space on Level A of the Rockefeller Library
  • In collaboration with Facilities Management, conducted a planning study to re-examine space use in library facilities to further enhance the libraries as technology-enabled learning centers

  • Applying Information Technologies

  • Introduced new library technologies, including an audio streaming service, electronic course reserves, real-time “chat” and text-messaging services, software that allows users to search for information across a number of different databases simultaneously, and software to create, manage, and present digital images across campus using the Internet
  • Launched the Center for Digital Initiatives in FY04 to publish in digital formats, increase access to Brown’s special collections for use in scholarship and teaching, and offer consulting service to library and academic units; more than 96,000 new digital objects created as of June 2010
  • Established procedures with the Graduate School to allow for the submission of electronic and multimedia theses and to ensure their long-term preservation and access
  • Outfitted or upgraded 150 technology-equipped classrooms on campus to enable faculty to utilize multimedia effectively in teaching; ($1.3 million spent FY03–FY075)
  • Purchased and installed a real-time video capture system to broadcast academic speakers and events across the network
  • Enhanced Josiah by including links to full-text from Google Books when available and by adding more self-service features (e.g., online options to enable users to renew books, request items, and initiate digital delivery of journal articles from the Annex; dynamic Book Locator that provides a user with the floor and aisle location information as well as online maps directing them to their specific book)
  • Developed customized Web-based course pages for nearly 400 courses directing students to resources most relevant for their classes
  • Partnered with the Open Content Alliance to begin building a freely accessible library of digital materials
  • Received $194,000 Mellon Foundation grant, together with the Society of Architectural Historians, MIT, University of Virginia, and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, to create a digital library of still and dynamic images for research and teaching in the field of architectural history and its related disciplines, and enable researchers to contribute and catalog their images to this digital collection through a Web interface
  • Awarded Mellon Foundation grant to develop a Web-based citation parsing service to improve access to campus scholarship by enhancing the functionality of the Directory of Research and Researchers; the open source service is available at
  • With Gabriel Taubin (Engineering), Andy van Dam (Computer Science), and Massimo Riva (Italian Studies), utilized a collaborative seed grant of $90,000 from the Office of the Vice President for Research to develop a prototype multi-user, gesture-enabled display surface to allow sophisticated interaction with digital scholarly media
  • Awarded $200,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities Collaborative Research program to enable the Women Writers Project (a unit within the Center for Digital Scholarship) to produce an interconnected collection of scholarly articles exploring the cultural geographies of women’s literary reception between 1770 and 1830
  • Implemented core components of the Brown Digital Repository and worked closely with several groups across campus to begin ingesting materials into the BDR
  • Launched service to enable users to access Josiah (the library’s online catalog) and information about library hours, locations, computer availability, etc. from mobile smart phones
  • Began steps to implement new discovery service to provide unified and simplified access to a broad array of library resources
  • Began work on a single service for requesting delivery of articles regardless of where the content may reside (from the Annex, on-campus stacks, or from another library via interlibrary loan)
  • Collaborated with campus stakeholders on policies and workflows for use and growth of the Brown Digital Repository
  • Began planning for the development of a Digital Scholarship Lab, a new technology-rich space to pioneer research, development, and deployment of scholarly applications which leverage the use of a large video wall and touch-enabled devices to display multimedia content, funded in part by a grant from the Sidney Frank Foundation


  • Developed assessment measures and indicators in order to track progress toward achieving academic enrichment goals
  • Launched the Library Advisory Council to involve distinguished Brown alumni in library assessment and planning, and hosted 16 advisory council meetings to study collections facilities/space, technology, and digital initiatives; submitted reports to President Simmons
  • Realigned the work duties of nearly half of the library staff in order to better support the PAE and maximize new library technologies
  • Appointed Harriette Hemmasi the new Joukowsky Family University Librarian, effective September 1, 2005
  • Surveyed faculty and students for feedback on library service quality; results used in continuous service improvements
  • Created and filled a position to lead the library’s work in expanding and cultivating external relationships, stewardship, and grant writing
  • Collaborated with Advancement to develop a case statement and campaign brochure to reflect the library’s most critical needs for the campaign
  • Collaborated with the Office of Institutional Diversity and EEO/AA Office to develop a diversity action plan for the library; held diversity workshops for staff
  • Records management steering committee submitted University-wide guidelines on the efficient and systematic creation, receipt, maintenance, accessibility, use, and disposition of academic, business, and administrative records (print and electronic)
  • Completed a thorough review of the library’s operations, reduced staffing in areas where efficiencies could be achieved, and reallocated staff to new/emerging areas of higher priority (e.g., digital services, digital scholarship, e-sciences)
  • Formed a student advisory group to gather feedback and ideas from undergraduates about ways to improve library services and spaces

Action Needed

  • Meet campaign targets for increased support of collections, technology, and emerging needs
  • Continue to assess the changing needs of faculty and students and be responsive in aligning the library’s resources and services to support the PAE
  • Work with the Office of Sponsored Projects and CIS to create a digital archive of the University’s scholarly output
  • Implement campus-level digital repository services for library, teaching, and research materials
  • Work with Vice President for Research and University Counsel to develop copyright and intellectual property rights expertise on campus and provide guidance to faculty and students
  • Engage in campus-wide planning to identify ways to effectively support areas of distinction, including multidisciplinary initiatives
  • Review and implement as appropriate and feasible the recommendations of the library space planning study to improve library spaces and offer a variety of high performance learning environments to meet the diversity of individual and group study needs


  • Provost
  • University Librarian

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