Message from Jay:
Anticipating the campus ten-year New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) institutional reaccreditationprocess in 2009 (originally scheduled for 2008 but postponed for a year due to campus circumstances), UMass AmherstLibraries initiated a “self-study” process to assess our progress since the 1997 review. The final Self Study Report included the usual documentation of goals, accomplishments, and statistical comparisons. Unique to our Report were two exceptional vision statements created in a collaborative process by Library staff – “Focusing on Undergraduates” and“Serving the Graduate and Research Mission.” In December 2007, a team of four distinguished library professionals visited the campus to evaluate the progress we have made in achieving our mission and to provide insight into our future directions. As Director of Libraries, I have to admit this process was very challenging – not unlike singing before the judges on American Idol or cooking for a panel of experts on Iron Chef. The External Review Team Report confirmed what I knew to be true – “One major strength is the existence of dedicated librarians and staff who have a significant commitment to the University and the Libraries.” The Report continues – “we observed a strong sense of respect among the various members of the staff and a great willingness to work together for the good of UMass Amherst students and faculty.”Again in this Newsletter, you will read of the amazing accomplishments of the UMass Amherst Libraries during the past semester. Please remember that each of these brief “sound bites” is the result of extraordinary efforts by an incomparable library staff. When you support the Friends of the UMass Amherst Libraries, your gift not only elevates us to the next level of excellence in collections, facilities, and services, it also demonstrates to the Library staff that you recognize and appreciate their individual efforts to serve the UMass Amherst community. On their behalf, I sincerely thank you.
Director of Libraries