Forum to address library

Students, staff and faculty can learn more about the future of the Chester Fritz Library at a session about academic libraries that is being hosted by the Provost Office.

Earlier this semester, students and faculty were concerned after the announcement that the library would be experiencing cuts.

For advice on addressing the needs of the library, the Provost has partnered with the Education Advisory Board, which works with universities across the country on library management affairs.

Matthew Pellish, Senior Director of EAB Strategic Research, will educate the campus community on the issues university libraries are facing and the solutions that some campuses are using.

Pellish’s presentation will not focus on the funding issues of the Chester Fritz Library, because that is already being taken care of by the Provost. Although funding is related to all aspects of a library, UND spokesman Peter Johnson said the session’s focus will be on concerns facing libraries in general.

“The session will not be about the Chester Fritz Library alone, but on libraries in general and continuing conversations about how we should be thinking about the future of the Chester Fritz,” Johnson said. “It will help us think about how to meet the needs of current and future faculty, students and staff.”

Johnson also explained one of the main concerns the library will be facing.

“Historically, we have thought of libraries as places to collect books, look at manuscripts and do research, but now people want 24/7 access to resources,” he said. “We have to figure out how to provide that online access while remaining fiscally responsible.”

In an email sent to the campus community on April 17, Provost Thomas DiLorenzo noted that this does not mean the library will stop supporting collections of books. The goal is to focus on the need for accessible online resources and find solutions that will work best for the UND community.

After the presentation, which will take place in the Gransberg Community Room of the Gorecki Alumni Center at 1:30 p.m. on May 6, DiLorenzo says the next step will be forming a detailed plan for the future of the Chester Fritz Library.

In addition to advice from the Educational Advisory Board, DiLorenzo encourages students and staff to provide their input on library issues. He thinks this will provide a view of every aspect of the library and ensure the right solutions will be found.

“The Chester Fritz Library has been successful in serving the faculty, students and staff in the past, and we want to make sure that it is successful in the future,” he said.

Emmy Erbes is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].