University of Calgary

U of C library

October 16, 2009

U of C joins ranks of great libraries

University Librarian Tom Hickerson led an 18-month campaign to join the Association of Research Libraries.
The University of Calgary has joined the prestigious ranks of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). The association works to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the communities they serve.

“It’s a great accomplishment for our young university to have built a great library in 43 years,” said Tom Hickerson, vice-provost (libraries and cultural resources) and university librarian. 

Alan Harrison, provost and vice-president (academic), called the membership a significant achievement for the library. “The ARL is the major collective voice for research libraries in the world,” he said. “When academics, researchers and university administrators want to find out what’s happening in university libraries, they turn to this association for the information.”

The ARL membership was the result of an 18-month campaign spearheaded by Hickerson.  He believed that the U of C was a worthy candidate because of its ranking by the Libraries Investment Index of University Research Libraries. The index is an aggregate measure of a university’s investment in its library, including materials expenditures and professional and support staff.

“Based on available statistical comparisons, the University of Calgary would rank among the top 50 university research libraries in North America and sixth in Canada,” said Hickerson.

Hickerson recognized the efforts of the staff of Libraries and Cultural Resources over the years that made the ARL membership possible. The university’s acquisitions budget also contributed to enhancing U of C’s collections by facilitating the augmentation of the library’s special collections, for example.

“We’re proud of our new membership in the Association of Research Libraries,” said Rose Goldstein, vice-president (research). “It’s an acknowledgment of the tremendous steps made to enhance our library, which, overall, provides support to the U of C as an important research institution.”

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