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Harvard College Library-Report of Nancy M. Cline

Aligning with the Priorities of the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Aligning Priorities


Looking back over the past year, we found that many of the Library’s initiatives aligned closely with the framework of the priorities outlined by FAS Dean Smith in April. They are:

  • Addressing the quality of our students’ experiences while at Harvard
    As a student’s academic experience can be so completely enriched by taking advantage of Harvard’s extensive library resources, library staff reach out to students even before classes begin, offering programs to first year, new graduate, and incoming international students such as open houses, tours, and orientations to introduce them to the Library and to make a connection with them. The Library provides services that resonate with students’ preferred modes of communication, such as Ask Us Live, as well as relevant learning opportunities, such as teaching students how to incorporate multimedia into course assignments. Library staff have become collaborators in the development of the General Education courses and research tools delivered across the Internet.

  • Strengthening our commitment to teaching and learning
    Through our involvement in collaborative efforts to develop General Education courses, HCL is working to provide enhance resources for teaching and learning. We continue to develop our capacity to create learning tools with wide-reaching effect like the Poetry@Harvard web site. Our collections digitization program is making library materials, such as the rare, early 17th century Quechua vocabulary housed at Tozzer Library, accessible to students no matter the time, the date, or their location on the planet.

  • Reshaping our physical environment in support of our expanding academic mission
    When, where, and how students study and learn are all being assessed, and the Library is incorporating what is learned into consideration as it furnishes, rebuilds, and redefines library spaces. In response to changing needs, the Library is installing additional scanners, providing groups study spaces, and mixing soft seating with more traditional library fittings. A survey of library teaching spaces was conducted across HCL to help decide how to best enhance and envision these spaces for future needs.

  • A balanced nurturing of existing and emerging intellectual communities
    Inherent in the Library’s mission of supporting research and teaching is determining how it can best use its resources to fulfill its commitment to providing collections and programs that support more traditional academic pursuits while at the same time addressing research needs associated with newer arenas of scholarship. To this end HCL continues to support existing courses of study, such as the Classics, as well as those that are newly emerging, such as the Islam on the Periphery program. Ancient, rare Chinese texts as well as 20th century pictographic ethnic Naxi manuscripts, all from Harvard–Yenching Library’s vast collections, have been digitized this past year. Loeb Music Library continues to collect not only Bach and Mozart, but also Global Pop and Salsa. In these ways the Library strives to meet the challenge of supporting the range and breadth of Harvard’s vast academic offerings and research and teaching interests of its community.