Library invited to join prestigious Association of Research Libraries

Outside of McHenry Library
The invitation followed a rigorous ARL review of the UCSC University Library over the past year.

The University Library at UC Santa Cruz has accepted an invitation to join the Association of Research Libraries, effective January 1, 2022. The ARL is a nonprofit membership organization of more than 120 libraries and archives at major public and private universities, federal government agencies, and large public institutions in the United States and Canada. It serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas and is a catalyst for collective action to create, share, and sustain global knowledge.

The membership of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) voted to invite the UC Santa Cruz Library to join ARL as the 126th member during its fall meeting, held Sept. 28–Oct. 6.

“Over the past 30 years, scholarship, teaching, and learning have changed tremendously,” said University Librarian Elizabeth Cowell. “How we absorb and disseminate information has been revolutionized. Libraries are not what they used to be. All this change means that serving library patrons is best done through intentional collaborative efforts. ARL gives us a stronger voice in the efforts to achieve barrier-free access to information. This election is a great honor for our team and for the university as a whole.”

The invitation followed a rigorous ARL review of the UCSC University Library over the past year.

The UCSC University Library is one of the smallest general libraries in the University of California system, but it has shown itself to be a research innovator. The library shares with other academic libraries a commitment to intellectual freedom and the widest possible access to information. This commitment is reflected in the library’s open stacks, active interlibrary loan service, systemwide online catalog, and a robust website linked to other sites and databases. The campus library also fosters mutually beneficial partnerships with libraries at other UC campuses. The UCSC Library is also part of the California Digital Library, founded by UC nearly 25 years ago to take advantage of emerging technologies that were transforming the way digital information was being published and accessed.

The library’s manageable size and relative youth — it was founded in 1965, the year campus opened — have allowed it to grow responsively with the campus and to innovate and adapt with agility to new information technologies, always with an eye on strengthening our academic and research enterprise. 

“Our library is integral to our entire enterprise,” said Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Lori Kletzer. “Our goals are aligned — access and discovery, research and scholarship, diversity and student success. That’s not by accident. This alignment and the research our library team enables make our whole operation click. Our library is a place where students and faculty burst through boundaries. This recognition is wonderful and well-deserved.”