Photo by Tom Kojcsich, University Marketing.

In major recognition of its support of research, VCU Libraries joins Association of Research Libraries

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The Association of Research Libraries has voted to invite VCU Libraries to join as its 125th member, effective Jan. 1, 2018. John E. Ulmschneider, university librarian, accepted the invitation.

“We are delighted by this invitation to membership by ARL and its recognition of our work as a major research library system,” Ulmschneider said. “VCU Libraries looks forward to helping create the future of research libraries and research librarianship in partnership with ARL and its members. We welcome the professional growth opportunities offered by ARL membership to the talented library faculty and staff who have brought the VCU Libraries to this point. We have much to learn from the ARL community and I am confident we also have much to contribute to the work of ARL.”

VCU president, Michael Rao, Ph.D., said that membership in the Association of Research Libraries is an immense honor and advances VCU’s mission as a major urban research university.

“We look forward to joining with this distinguished community of research libraries from across the U.S. and Canada,” he said.

VCU Provost Gail Hackett, Ph.D., lauded the ARL decision.

“We are proud of VCU Libraries and its commitment to the engagement of our faculty, staff, students and the greater community in innovative teaching, learning and research,” she said. “This membership is a testament to the great work of our library community toward our institutional mission of excellence.”

The vote to approve VCU’s membership followed a review of the university library that considered both qualitative and quantitative documentation and a site visit. The rigorous review process included an examination of the breadth and depth of collections, uniqueness of research resources, services to the library’s community, potential contributions to scholarship, and leadership in the library and information science profession. The review committee noted in particular the sustained growth of the institution and its support for the library.

ARL membership represents a significant milestone in the emergence of VCU as one of the country’s leading research institutions, Ulmschneider said. The University of Virginia and Virginia Tech are the only other member institutions in Virginia.

“The Association of Research Libraries welcomes Virginia Commonwealth University as the 125th member of ARL,” said Mary Ann Mavrinac, president of ARL and vice provost and Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly dean of the University of Rochester Libraries. “The association looks forward to collaboratively shaping the future of the research enterprise with VCU Libraries.”