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  October 7, 2002

UConn Joins Boston Library Consortium

The University of Connecticut Libraries have become a member of New England's most prestigious library association of academic and research libraries, the Boston Library Consortium.

"UConn faculty, staff, and students will see immediate benefits from the library's membership in the BLC," said Brinley Franklin, director of University Libraries, "including next-day delivery of interlibrary loan materials requested from consortium members, as well as access to and borrowing privileges at member libraries."

UConn also expects to join the consortium's virtual catalog project in 2003. This will provide online access to members' holdings and the ability for users to request delivery of library materials directly from other consortium libraries.

The consortium includes 16 libraries located in Massachusetts: Boston College; Boston Public Library; Boston University; Brandeis University; MIT; Massachusetts State Library; Northeastern University; Tufts University; the libraries of UMass at Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, Lowell, and the UMass Medical Center; Wellesley College; Williams College; and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Brown University Library and the University of New Hampshire Library are also members.

The consortium's executive director, Barbara Preece, says UConn brings many strengths to the consortium.

"UConn's collections will add to the breadth and depth of library resources available to consortium members and contribute to the support of graduate programs and research," she says. "UConn's special collections are robust and well supported. The libraries will also bring staff expertise to the overall effectiveness of the consortium. Of particular note are the skills that library staff bring, and UConn's active program in assessment of its services, as well as the active participation of many staff in professional activities."

UConn was accepted into the consortium after rigorous review of an application that included a statement of strengths and a visit from a four-member review team. The review team met with library staff, toured the libraries, and spoke with Chancellor John D. Petersen, who articulated the University's commitment to a strong library program as essential to the success of a major research university.

The consortium is involved in a number of strategic initiatives that complement and supplement initiatives already underway at the University of Connecticut Libraries, including a round-the-clock reference service, digitization of some collections, direct delivery to patrons, electronic resources, and information literacy initiatives.

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