Baruch's Newman Library, Cited for its Service to
Diverse Populations, to Receive ACRL Award on
April 2 as the "Best" College Library in the Nation for 2003

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BARUCH COLLEGE, NEW YORK, NY (3/31/03) --- On Wednesday, April 2, at 4:00 p.m., the staff of The William and Anita Newman Library at Baruch College will receive this years Excellence in Academic Libraries award from the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). ACRL is the academic division of the American Library Association.

The award, informally known as The Best of the Best, is presented annually to one college library, which this year is Baruch Colleges Newman Library, as well as to one university library system and to one community college library.

Previous winners at the college level, in the four years since the award was initiated, were Oberlin College, Wellesley College, and Earlham College. This is the first time that an urban public institution has been cited as best college library.

Receiving an Excellence in Academic Libraries Award is a national tribute to a library and its staff for the outstanding services, programs and leadership they provide to their students, administrators, faculty, and community, said Mary Ellen Davis, ACRL executive director.

The Newman Library was cited specifically by the ACRL award selection committee for how well its staff pulled together with limited resources to meet the challenge of supporting the diversity of cultures, languages, and perspectives of the population it serves The selection committee salutes Baruch for its many exciting and innovative programs that furthered the mission of the college.

Arthur Downing, head of Baruchs Library and Technology Center, said, The award is a great honor for Baruch and for the City University of New York. ACRL is recognizing how well we serve diverse populations, which include our top-ranking business and public affairs faculties, a world class arts and sciences faculty, and students who are among the citys best. These are students who also work nearly full-time, live away from campus, and have very limited time on campus for scholarship outside of class. The award is a tribute to our students, our faculty, the great leadership of the college in President Ned Regan, the commitment of the City University and Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, the vision of William and Anita Newman, and most of all an extremely dedicated, imaginative, and hardworking staff.

Informed of its nomination several months ago, the library staff compiled an extensive self-assessment and provided certain outcome data: library use by students and faculty, satisfaction of the users, and student satisfaction across ethnic lines, among others. The library at Baruch is used by students from many language groups, which means, for instance, that the online guide to the library, found on the Baruch website, has narration available in nine languages. In a recent survey of undergraduates, the library ranked first among all services provided by the College, and it also received a recent award from the student government for its attention to the needs of students. Surveys of graduate students also show high satisfaction.

Among other innovations in response to student needs, the library has enabled students to access full-text research materials from 150 databases; provided laptops on loan for students who cannot afford computers; run workshops on evenings and weekend schedules; supported a live-chat and e-mail reference service for students doing research on line, as well as an online access to materials kept on reserve, which last involves getting permissions and scanning the texts. Other factors weighing in Baruchs favor and that of its library include a superb physical setting and excellent resources in both electronic and print formats.

Each winning library will receive $3,000 and a citation, to be presented at an award ceremony held on each recipients campus. The winners will also receive special recognition at the ACRL Presidents Program during the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference on Monday, June 23, 2003, at 1:30 p.m. in Toronto.

ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic librarians. ACRL's 11,000 members are comprised of individuals from a wide range of academic institutions, publishers and vendors who sell in the academic marketplace. ACRL enhances the effectiveness of academic and research librarians to advance learning, teaching and research in higher education. More information about ACRL's programs and services can be located on the Web at www.ala.org/acrl.html.

The Newman Library can be visited at newman.baruch.cuny.edu.

 

Vince Passaro,
Director of Public Relations
212-802-2916