Support for the Proposal for a Virtual Library from the Council of Library Directors (COLD)



RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate California State University (CSU) support the proposal of the Council of Library Directors (COLD) to develop a “shared virtual library in order to provide universal access to students and faculty,”;and be further

RESOLVED: That the Executive Committee of the Academic Senate CSU send this support resolution to the Council of Library Directors.

RATIONALE: It is envisioned that the CSU Virtual Library will provide students and faculty with a single portal from which they can access the shared resources of the CSU Libraries regardless of their home campus. This vision for a Virtual Library that provides universal access to all CSU students, faculty and staff certainly is in concert with the mission of the CSU which stands upon the principle that students from all socio-economic levels and all geographic locations should have access to education.

Further, the technological systems now exist to fulfill the vision of linking library resources and services for the benefit of the aggregate academic communities of the CSU.  Every CSU library today has a strong electronic presence with many resources and services online—some of which are held uniquely by a campus. The CSU Virtual Library will unite the shared disparate resources allowing future students and faculty the ability to search the combined electronic journals, electronic databases, electronic books, streaming media, repositories, digital archives, and catalogs of the holdings of libraries. These can then be interwoven and leveraged with jointly managed services and support. Additionally, new resources will become available that include learning objects and instruction modules that can be integrated into online instruction and embedded into learning management systems. From this single portal, library users will be able to request electronic document delivery, have a virtual reference consultation with a librarian when assistance is needed, and have books sent from one campus library to another.  Since only 5% of information is digital, this latter service will continue to be of value for many years to come.

The importance and significance of this virtual library is that it supports all students and faculty wherever they are in the CSU system. Everyone will be able to benefit from and use the shared resources of our collective CSU Libraries through a common interface.  Libraries which have collections that are broad and deep substantially improve research and education. Faculty are attracted to and retained by campuses that provide extensive scholarly resources so that they can excel in teaching and research. Students become engaged in learning when their understanding is deepened and enriched by exposure to a wider world of knowledge.  An engaged student is more likely to persist in their education.

Approved Without Dissent May 8-9, 2008

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