University of Minnesota Libraries 2023 Impact Report
Over the past year, the Libraries has really hit its stride, as our leadership team of Associate University Librarians — Jody Gray, Research; Dr. Evangela Oates, Student Success; and L. Angie Ohler, Collections and Content Strategy — completed their first year. They’ve accomplished a great deal — including reorganizing their areas and hiring new staff to align our service areas to our strategic priorities and Impact 2025. By focusing on these priorities, we expand access to information, strengthen research and teaching, and enrich communities throughout Minnesota, the region, and the world.
We provide a wealth of research services to faculty and graduate students, including access to digital archives and artifacts and support for data management. We also conduct and publish our own research. This year, when the National Institutes of Health implemented a new policy for requiring data management and sharing plans, our staff stepped up by providing training, 1-1 consultations, and key resources to help U of M researchers comply.
We continue to strongly impact student success in a number of ways, one being our various programs to reduce textbook costs for students. The potential savings if every student took advantage of these resources was $6.5 million in FY23 alone. Another successful program has been the use of our Virtual Reality Studio. This past year medical students used the studio to help them efficiently and accurately diagnose and treat patients.
We continue to provide timely Interlibrary Loan services to campus and our collaboration with the Big Ten Academic Alliance is making great progress towards the Big Collection Initiative. When fully realized, the networked collections of the Big 10 will make it the third largest library collection in the world. Construction began this year on our new Collections Facility, which is slated to open in January 2025, while staff continue the complex planning to migrate collections to the new facility.
This year, we also hired our first Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility, Patricia Izek.
Meanwhile, Minitex — an information and resource sharing program of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and the University of Minnesota Libraries — continues to provide critical library resources to libraries and patrons across Minnesota, western Wisconsin, and North and South Dakota.
There’s so much more to say, and I urge you to browse this report for more about the Libraries accomplishments this past year. Thank you so much for your support of the Libraries, as we look forward together to 2024.
University Librarian and Dean of Libraries
McKnight Presidential Professor