Category Archives: Member Institutions

Economic Impact of Stony Brook

Stony Brook University has released an economic impact study. It is worth the read. Among the findings:

* In total, Stony Brook University’s impact on the Long Island economy amounts to $4.65 billion in increased output, or gross regional domestic product, and 59,859 jobs.

* The economic impact of Stony Brook University accounts for almost 4 percent of all economic activity in the Nassau/Suffolk counties region, and roughly 7.5 percent of total jobs in Suffolk County.

* The regional economy receives $4.7 billion from the state’s direct investment of $207.2 million in tax dollars. This represents a 2,300 percent return, or an economic gain of $23 for every dollar the state invests.

The Value of Academic and Research Libraries

Testimonials from campus-based researchers have been trickling in. More are needed. Please help in this effort by finding a friendly library user who is willing to avow their support for the importance of your library.

This is an important project that needs your help. Review the initial draft poster and an out-of-state testimonial.

Here are some examples of received testimonials.

“We rely on access to these resources to provide the most current information for our students and our faculty in their class work. But perhaps most importantly the ability to use medical databases effectively is essential to Evidence Based Medicine which is the standard of practice now in the medical field. Without the ability to train our students in this critical skill, we would not be able to prepare them adequately for practice after graduation,” Emily Davidson, Physicians Assistant Program, York College/CUNY.

“Library access has been transformative for both me and students – we can teach our students how to do scholarly work, as well as keep our teaching and research in touch with cutting edge advances. I felt like I have emerged from the Dark Ages! The fact that we couldn’t previously afford – and still can’t afford full access – highlights the problem – especially in science – that information has become so expensive that it’s essentially unavailable to small institutions like us. We can’t do our work without the ability to access the work of others,” Leah Olson, Assistant Professor of Biology, Sarah Lawrence College.

“Our library is a living fount of knowledge. It offers the best collection of organized information to aid students. Consequently students can access our print and electronic collections with confidence that they are using bona fide academic resources. Although the Internet seems quick and all pervasive, students using our library soon learn the difference between quality information and Internet clutter,” Matthew Hendley, History Department Chair at SUNY Oswego.

“I use the library to research articles published in the area of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. I often download peer reviewed articles published from Journals such as the Journal of Magnetic Resonance, Chemical Physics and Physical Review. These articles allow me to learn about techniques that the community has developed as well as results that have been published in areas relating to our laboratory’s effort. Without the library, I could not easily connect to the work of my peers around the globe,” Greg Boutis, Assistant Professor of Physics at York College, CUNY.

Please keep the testimonials coming. Email me at

The SUNYLA Raquette

The weather in Potsdam could not have been better for the 40th annual conference of the SUNY Librarians Association. United around the theme of “making a raquette [racket]” for SUNY librarians, conference attendees were treated to an interesting a diverse program and a long distance keynote address from Dr. Joe Janes – in real-time from the University of Washington in Seattle.

Read more about the conference, view pictures from the event and get caught up through the conference blog.

I would like to applaud conference organizers – including Joe Petrick, President of SUNYLA, and hosts, including Marianne Herbert and Rebecca Thompson – for a very successful conference, and thank those who attended my presentation on the economic role of academic libraries.

Regents Want Your Suggestions



The Regents Advisory Council on Libraries (RAC) is seeking input from the library, museum and archival communities by March 31 on a proposed new budget and legislative initiative for 2009-2010. This new funding initiative is called “The New York Digital Collection.” The goal is to create a statewide platform to promote the use of digital technologies to broaden and enhance access to our local, regional, and New York State cultural heritage institutions.

A draft discussion paper representing the thinking to date on the “New York Digital Collection Initiative” concept is now posted on the Regents Advisory Council website at Please
visit the site, read the latest version of the discussion paper and share your ideas for strengthening the proposal.

Please send all ideas, comments, suggestions and questions in writing to Jill Hurst-Wahl, Regents Advisory Council member at . If you would like to discuss the project with her in more detail, please send a message to this email address and she will contact you.

Members of RAC met with members of the State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) recently to discuss the possible inclusion of a broad range of cultural institutions, including archives, historical societies and museums. The draft discussion paper reflects the outcomes of that discussion.

The Regents Advisory Council on Libraries, established in 1894, advises the Board of Regents regarding library policy, works with the officers of the State Education Department in developing a comprehensive statewide library and information policy and makes recommendations to
the Regents concerning the implementation of the program. For more
information on the purpose and goals of the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries, visit .

New Member: New York Academy of Medicine


The New York Academy of Medicine has joined NYSHEI as an associate member.

“NYAM is an institution of national renown. I am thrilled they have decided to join our growing NYSHEI family. Personal thanks are owed to Library Director Janice Kaplan for contributing the reputation and prestige of the Academy to NYSHEI. Like each new membership, Ms. Kaplan’s decision to join advances the goals of all NYSHEI institutions,” said NYSHEI Executive Director Jason Kramer

In January of 1847, The New York Academy of Medicine Library was founded with the gift of a three-volume set of Medical and Physiological Commentaries, by Dr. Martyn Paine (founder of the Medical College of the University of New York City). By the time the Library opened its doors to the public for the first time in October of 1878, the collection had grown to contain over 6,000 volumes and numerous journal titles, and was already well on its way to becoming one of the foremost private medical collections in the United States. The Library enjoyed its most dramatic growth spurt during the last part of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, increasing its collection largely through personal and institutional gifts including the collections of the Medical Journal Association, New York Hospital Library and the medical books of the New York Public Library.

Also noted for its rich historical and rare book collections, the Historical Collections of The New York Academy of Medicine were established in 1928 when the Academy purchased the Edward Clarke Streeter Collection, considered one of the finest private rare medical libraries in the world. This collection of 1,200 volumes provided the core of the rare book collection.

By the 1950′s, the Academy had established itself as the public medical library for New York City.

From 1969 through 2006, the Academy Library entered a long-standing relationship under contract with the National Library of Medicine as the Regional Medical Library (RML) for the Middle Atlantic Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.

In 1996, the RML became the headquarters for the National Online Training Center, having served as the Eastern Regional Training and Information Center since the mid-1980′s. The National Online Training Center continues to provides training programs in online literature searching for librarians and health professionals at sites throughout the United States.

In an effort to preserve its resources for future generations, the Library operates its own on-site book and paper conservation laboratory. Officially instituted in 1985, the Gladys Brooks Book and Paper Conservation Laboratory is a state-of-the-art facility which employs techniques as new as ultrasound and as old as pulp-making to keep fragile historical materials intact. Taking its role as cultural custodian seriously, the Academy Library supports an active program of courses and workshops for many local library consortia and schools of library science. Here the book conservators share not only their technical knowledge, but also the importance of preservation for all library collections.

Today, The New York Academy of Medicine Library houses the second largest medical collection open to the general public in the United States, following that of the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, MD. The main collection consists of over 750,000 volumes, more than 400 current journal subscriptions, and a variety of electronic resources. The cornerstone of the Library’s Historical Collections is the Malloch Rare Book Room, which contains about 35,000 rare and important books, manuscripts, archives and artifacts documenting the history of medicine, science and other health-related disciplines (about 32,000 of these date from 1700 BC to 1800 AD). These materials are supplemented by an in-depth collection of secondary resources. All in all, if you were to put all of the Library’s materials side by side they would stretch for over 14 miles! And all of this is available for use as part of the Academy’s commitment to enhancing the health of the public.

In addition to providing access to its collections, the Library continues to seek new ways to offer and enhance the services that it provides to a growing variety of users, and continues to play a vital role in the health care community of New York.

STM Survey Results

In early December NYSHEI undertook a survey of its member libraries to determine not only which STM (scientific, technical and medical) electronic databases are currently held, but also to gain a glimpse of which databases NYSHEI library directors most desire to access with assistance from state funding .

The purpose of the survey was informational and advisory. The results will be used in NYSHEI efforts to help state decision makers understand the demand for STM databases within the academic and research library community as spelled out in the ARIA (Academic Research Information Access) proposal for state funding

More than half of NYSHEI library directors participated in the survey investigating current access and desire to gain access to twenty-five (25) leading high-end electronic databases serving STM interests. The list included full-text journal sources, e-book sources, and research tracking indices. ScienceDirect, ACS Publications, CINAHL and BioOne topped the list of the most commonly held databases among survey respondents. Each surpassed the fifty percent level, with ScienceDirect the leader as available at eight-eight (88) percent of respondents libraries.

When asked what databases they would like to see made available with state funding, the responding library directors listed the Web of Science and Scopus (research tracking indices), Wiley Interscience Journals and Science Direct (full-text journal sources), and Elsevier E-Books as the top five on the wish list. Each of these databases had support of greater than forty (40) percent of the respondents.

Participants were asked also which databases they would be willing to lease on a cost-share basis (local funds matched with statewide funding). The top five choices were Web of Science, ScienceDirect, SciFinder, Scopus and ACS Publications. Wiley Interscience, Books 24×7 and Elsevier E-Books, Springerlink and BioOne were the second cluster with the most interest.

What was learned from the survey is that there is a short list of STM databases that are a priority for most academic and research libraries. This is important in that it will enable NYSHEI to use specific examples in its lobbying efforts. For instance, while ScienceDirect means nothing to most state legislators, all will understand that most academic would benefit from state funding so that they can offer access by faculty, students and researchers to the world’s leading STM publications.

Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey. It should prove useful in explaining to state decision-makers what ARIA would mean to our constituents as well as our economic and workforce development.

New Member: American Museum of Natural History


The Research Library of the American Museum of Natural History has joined NYSHEI. Their decision to join comes at an opportune time. With growing membership rolls, and ascending credibility, NYSHEI is strengthened by each new member as our ability to advocate depends in part to the reflected prestige of our members.

The American Museum of Natural History is a nonprofit research institution chartered as a Museum and Library by the State of New York in 1869. Since that time the Library has grown into the largest natural history library in the Western Hemisphere. The Library’s primary function is to serve and support the work of the Museum’s scientific staff. The Library also serves scholars in natural history from around the world, as well as interested members of the general public. The Library’s holdings are comprised of a research collection, special collections, and digital collections.

Research Collection
The research collection is made up of more than 450,000 volumes, as well electronic resources and microform materials. Subject areas include anthropology, astronomy, geology, paleontology, zoology and, to some extent, exploration and travel, history of science, and museology. This collection provides a continuous record of the natural world dating back to the beginnings of Western science in the 15th century, and is particularly strong in the historical materials important to research in systematics.

In its early years, the Library expanded its book and serial collections mostly through such gifts as the John C. Jay conchological library, the Carson Brevoort library on fishes and general zoology, the ornithological library of Daniel Giraud Elliot, the Harry Edwards entomological library, the Hugh Jewett collection of voyages and travel, and the Jules Marcou geology collection. In 1903 the American Ethnological Society deposited its library in the Museum and in 1905 the New York Academy of Sciences followed suit by transferring its collection of 10,000 volumes.

In 1997 the Library incorporated the Richard S. Perkin Collection in Astronomy and Astrophysics of the former Hayden Planetarium. This collection consists of over 8,000 volumes, 55 journal titles, over 10,000 photographs, and archives dating back to 1934, one year before the opening of the original Hayden Planetarium.

Special Collections
The Library’s special collections consist of archival material relating to the history of the Museum, its scientists and staff, scientific expeditions and research, Museum exhibitions, education, and general administrative history. These archives also include personal papers and manuscript collections of individuals closely associated with the Museum and/or the history of natural science. In addition to textual material, are a large Photograph Collection, including several hundred lantern slides; the Film Collection, including viewing copies of some entries in the Margaret Mead Film Festival; and the Art and Memorabilia Collection, including paintings by Charles Knight, sculpture by Carl Akeley and the sweater worn by Roy Chapman Andrews on the Third Asiatic Expedition.

Digital Collections
An initiative to create digital collections was launched in 1999. The goal is to create an integrated database of natural history resources that can be used by researchers around the world. The pilot project of the Digital Library is focused on on the 1909-1915 AMNH Congo Expedition. This has provided the Library with the opportunity to create a prototype digital library that links published data to archival materials and specimens in scientific departments. The Digital Library Department provides additional information about current digitization projects. Funding for the Digital Library initiative is made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The Acting Director of the Library is Christie Stephenson

IDS Conference Recap


The 5th Annual IDS Conference was held at SUNY Geneseo on August 7-8, 2007. There were over 80 participants, representing 28 New York State academic libraries, including the CUNY Graduate Library and two private academic libraries.

The IDS Project is a cooperative resource sharing system designed to implement and evaluate a set of common transaction objectives, performance standards, policies, and procedures among participating libraries that will help optimize mutual access to the information resources in those libraries. IDS Project member libraries now total 22, with an additional ten libraries expected to join over the next year.

ILL librarians, staff, and administrators meet every year to assess the results of goals and objectives of the previous year and to review new goals and objectives for the coming year. The two-day conference includes speakers, presentations, demos and workshops, and a half-day pre-conference orientation for new member libraries.

This year the IDS Project also initiated the new Mentor Program, which consists of a group of experienced ILL applications and technical staff members who are committed to help new libraries get started in the Project. They will develop personal relationships with the staff in those libraries and be available to support them during their transition period.

The IDS Project website, which has a great deal of information about the Project can be accessed at

Sonja Landes
Head of Access Services
Milne Library
SUNY Geneseo