Designed to Deliver: Building a Digital Collection to Support Research

Safley, Ellen Derey
January 2006
IATUL Annual Conference Proceedings;2006, Vol. 16, p30
Conference Proceeding
For a university created from a scientific research institute, the importance of its library was essential for providing faculty with current literature. Yet, scientific and technical resources are some of the most expensive materials acquired by libraries. The 1980s and early 1990s was a very lean financial period. By 1998, the combination of a fundamental change in budgeting for acquisitions, the advent of digital delivery of information, and the rise in consortial purchasing arrangements created a surprisingly robust library environment. Within a twelve year period, a library previously deemed woefully inadequate became an asset to scientists and engineers needing scholarly resources. The electronic delivery of resources was such a fundamental change that it impacted the everyday use of the collections and the building. While this dramatic turnaround is hardly unique, the rapid adoption of electronic materials by researchers in combination with added services illustrates the importance of technological change in an academic library environment.


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