Paper No. 8
Presentation Time: 10:15 AM
GEOSCIENCES IN THE IDEAL PHYSICAL/DIGITAL UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA SCIENCE LIBRARY
The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) is the only high-latitude doctorate-granting institution in North America and is home base for many research and instructional activities in the geosciences as well as the biosciences. UAF has an urgent need for a new science library to relieve a serious space crunch, to permit consolidation of science materials, to provide for learning and other intellectual activity, to promote information literacy, to facilitate access anywhere to selected digital information resources, and to respond to major new research programs and funding acquisition. However, as the new University of Alaska Science Library (UASL) cannot be realized for at least seven years, probably in a renovated existing building, there is time to design and plan for an ideal facility. Particular attention is devoted to geosciences information materials and services. Although an independent special library at UAF serves specific needs in the Geophysical Institute and International Arctic Research Center, the main library system is responsible to the considerable amount of geosciences research, instruction and service outside those entities. Specific features of UASL were determined by two primary research activities. First, a special questionnaire was distributed individually to all UAF geosciences personnel to determine their perceptions concerning library materials and services in this new digital age. Second, the very substantial amount of contemporary research and thought on academic science libraries of the future, as reported in the print-form and online literature, was thoroughly reviewed. In addition, the UAF Science Librarian contributed personal views, based on many years in science and in Alaska's nature, concerning science information philosophy and literacy and certain physical and aesthetic qualities of the ideal UASL. The resulting description is a first essential, to inform administrators and UASL's potential constituency, to enlighten architects, and to guide fund-raising efforts. Beyond that, it will be instructive to other geosciences and biosciences information professionals who are facing similar urgencies in their own institutions.