January 14, 2010
WOOSTER, Ohio - The Five Colleges of Ohio, Inc. - a consortium consisting of Denison University, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, Ohio Wesleyan University, and The College of Wooster - has been awarded a two-year, $600,000 grant by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to integrate digital resources into the curriculum.
The grant, "Next Steps in the Next-Generation Library: Integrating Digital Collections into the Liberal Arts Curriculum," recognizes the continuing transformation of academic libraries through digital technologies and the critical importance of ensuring that liberal arts college libraries remain integral to their institutions' academic programs and to student learning. "We are grateful that the Mellon Foundation has so generously acknowledged the potential of this project to advance collaborative librarianship and the academic use of local digital collections," said Susan Palmer, executive director of the Five Colleges of Ohio. "Our 15-year partnership with the Mellon Foundation has been invaluable in enriching the liberal arts experience for all members of the five-college community."
The five objectives of the grant are to (1) help faculty to identify, build, and integrate digital collections into their courses through a partnership with librarians; (2) enhance access to scholarly endeavors of both faculty and students; (3) create a professional development program for library staff to enrich their technological sophistication and implement innovative efforts; (4) establish a digital infrastructure to improve support for new initiatives; and (5) develop a portal that will function as a gateway to digital collections and a site for accessing digitization procedures and training documents.
The emphasis will be on digital collections centered around faculty research interests, materials from the colleges' special collections and archives, and student publications. "The grant will provide free and open access to digital documents that were once only available on our individual campuses, sometimes to a very limited number of people," said Mark Christel, project director and director of libraries at The College of Wooster. "Digital publishing is an important next step for college libraries and taking that step collaboratively, with our outstanding Ohio Five partners, seems like the perfect way to proceed."
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