Message from Jay:
At social events when people learn I am the Director of Libraries at UMass Amherst, the most frequently asked question is “Why do we need a library since everything is now digitized?” It is impossible to deny that networked computing has changed libraries, academia, and our society over the past twenty years. Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, and Twitter are just a few examples. The importance of social networking in the recent political unrest in Egypt and other middle eastern countries is further evidence ofthe global impact networked computing is having. These changes make libraries more important than ever; with the exponential growth of available information on any given subject, librarians—who have always expertly curated information—are critical to information literacy. The transition from a print-based environment to one that is increasingly digital, demands that libraries transform themselves. The role of libraries in the print world—collecting, providing access to, and preserving our cultural heritage—does not change as we move into a digital realm. The role of libraries remains the same but we must take on new challenges in determining how to fulfill this role. As you read the Newsletter, you will get a glimpse of the ongoing efforts being made by staff at your UMass Amherst Libraries to maintain the best traditions of the print-based world while transforming ourselves into a world-class 21st century digital environment. Your financial contributions and your donations of significant collections are essential to our continued success. As always, we are deeply grateful for your support.
Director of Libraries