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Press Release: Greater Western Library Alliance [May 14, 2024]

Greater Western Library Alliance Adds Two New Members

May 13, 2024. The University of Alabama Libraries and the University Libraries at the University of South Carolina have been invited to join the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA). The GWLA membership approved this action through a vote conducted at the spring membership meeting in April.

GWLA is a dynamic, effective, project‐oriented consortium of research libraries headquartered in Missouri with the majority of its member institutions located in the central and western United States. GWLA is recognized nationally as a leader in the transformation of scholarly communications and a facilitator in the application of new information technologies.

"We are very excited to welcome the University of Alabama Libraries and the University Libraries at the University of South Carolina as our newest members!" GWLA Executive Director Joni Blake said. "With this addition, GWLA members now comprise 42 research libraries across 21 states. "

To be considered for GWLA membership, an applicant library must be classified as a Research University (High or Very High Research Activity) by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, have distinctive collections, services, and expertise that add depth to the Alliance, and meet quantitative measures related to the library's materials budget and ratio of students to library faculty and staff.

According to Michael Levine-Clark, Dean of the University of Denver Libraries, "The chance to explore some of the University of Alabama's deep and rich special collections was a highlight of the visit. We were particularly impressed by the Libraries' commitment to exploring the university's difficult history through projects such as "The History of Enslaved People at UA, 1828-1865."

The University of Alabama Libraries is honored to expand cooperative affiliations by joining with organizations of similar vision and mission who comprise the membership of GWLA. Established in 1831, The University of Alabama is a Carnegie R1 research university, receiving this prestigious recognition because of their research and development expenditures, award-winning faculty, state-of-the-art laboratories, and research centers. GWLA membership will provide faculty, researchers, and students of The University of Alabama expedited access to research collections that complement and enrich their collections.

Under the guidance of University President Stuart R. Bell and Executive Vice President and Provost James T. Dalton, the University of Alabama boasts a student population of nearly 40,000, spanning across 13 colleges and schools, encompassing 40 academic departments and offering over 200 majors. In 2023, The University of Alabama set a new record, enrolling 8,279 students that comprise the largest freshman class in the University's history for the seventh year in a row. Included in the student body were a record 1,142 National Merit Scholars, with the freshman class alone having 300 National Merit Scholars.

In 2023, University Libraries contributed significantly to teaching, learning, and discovery, fulfilling 21,003 information transactions, both in-person and remotely, conducting 998 information literacy sessions attended by over 18,000 students, curating 6,362,006 volumes, 277,000 journals, and providing our stakeholders 651,640 ebook downloads, and 2,842,523 database full-text downloads. Our extensive digital collections grew by 44,000 archival Items digitized in 2023 as well.

University Libraries maintains memberships in the Association of Research Libraries, the Center for Research Libraries, HathiTrust, the Coalition for Networked Information, LYRASIS, and the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries. Additionally, as the oldest public university U.S. Government Documents Regional Depository in the country, University Libraries serves all Alabama libraries and the public.

"I am proud that our membership application has been approved, granting the University of Alabama Libraries the opportunity to join the Alliance," expressed Dr. Donald Gilstrap, Dean of University Libraries at the University of Alabama. "We eagerly anticipate contributing to a vibrant community of forward-thinking partners who are reshaping the landscape of research libraries. Membership in GWLA will foster student success, interdisciplinary collaboration with fellow research universities, and facilitate effective solutions to the challenges of modern scholarly communication."

GWLA Chair and Dean of University Libraries at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Maggie Farrell noted, "As a new member, the University of South Carolina will enhance the collective through their extensive special and unique collections. This will strengthen primary research for our member institutions."

Founded in 1801, the University of South CarolinaŚColumbia is the state's flagship university and the largest, most comprehensive institution in an eight-campus state system. The University is one of only 40 public universities to earn the Carnegie Foundation's top-tier designations in both research activity and community engagement. The University of South CarolinaŚColumbia has well-regarded programs in an array of fields, including medicine, law, education, engineering, social work, pharmacy, public health, arts and sciences, nursing, and business administration. About 32,000 students are enrolled on the Columbia campus with more than 8,000 students in graduate and professional programs.

University Libraries has five physical facilities and serves the graduate and undergraduate programs of all schools and colleges save for the Schools of Law and Medicine. Holdings include approximately 4 million physical volumes, 1.5 million ebooks, and distinctive collections that span from natural history to American literature, from state and regional history to one of the nation's largest film archives. University Libraries is a member of the Association of Research Libraries, the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries, the Eastern Scholars Academic Trust, and other major research library organizations.

"We at the University of South Carolina Libraries are grateful to our GWLA colleagues for their vote of confidence in us," said David Banush, Dean of Libraries at USC. "The success of research libraries rests on a foundation of collaboration. We are eager to begin working with GWLA leadership and colleagues to explore new ways of serving our communities in novel, efficient, and effective ways that help advance the research ecosystem."

About The Greater Western Library Alliance

The Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA) is a dynamic, effective, project‐oriented consortium of research libraries headquartered in Missouri with the majority of its member institutions located in the central and western United States. GWLA is recognized nationally as a leader in the transformation of scholarly communications and a facilitator in the application of new information technologies. For additional information, visit the GWLA website or follow GWLA on Facebook.

About The University of Alabama Libraries

The University of Alabama Libraries is a system of four separate discipline-related libraries and provides the foundation for the research enterprise for the University of Alabama. In addition to robust Special Collections, digital and traditional print collections of over 12 million volumes, and access to 277,000 full-text journals, University Libraries provides academic software, computing resources, digital media production tools, and other cutting-edge technologies to aid in student creativity. For More information, visit www.Libraries.ua.edu , and follow University Libraries on Facebook, X, formerly known as Twitter , and Instagram .

About University of South Carolina Libraries

University of South Carolina Libraries fosters innovative, inclusive learning and world-class research by connecting people, comprehensive information resources, and expert services at the point of need. The Libraries support the teaching, research, and learning of USC faculty and students through a commitment to robust development of four strategic pillars: providing innovative information services for the university community, supporting the growth of the research enterprise, supporting academic success for all, and preparing our people for the future. For more information, visit our website and follow us on social media.


Summary: The University of Alabama Libraries and the University Libraries at the University of South Carolina have been invited to join the Greater Western Library Alliance. The GWLA membership approved this action through a vote conducted at the spring membership meeting in April.
Publication Year:2024
Type of Material:Press Release
LanguageEnglish
Date Issued:May 14, 2024
Publisher:Greater Western Library Alliance
Company: Greater Western Library Alliance
Permalink: https://librarytechnology.org/pr/30087/greater-western-library-alliance-adds-two-new-members

DocumentID: 30087 views: 702 Created: 2024-05-14 09:32:45 Last Modified: 2024-07-19 03:28:44.