‘It’s new to us” is a phrase that gets thrown around by editors in this cluttered media environment. It gets used most often when we stumble across some interesting news item that had been buried in one of our e-mail in-boxes or situated in some far-flung corner of an organization’s website and realize that the information — though no longer breaking news — still ought to be reported.
It’s not time to yell “stop the presses” but it is still “new to us.”
So it was a week or so ago when our editor was rummaging through the Princeton University website and saw an announcement of the appointment of Anne Jarvis as the Robert H. Taylor 1930 University Librarian. We knew that Karin Trainer, the former librarian, had retired. Even though we had done a cover story on Trainer in 2014, we had never reported news of her retirement. So we immediately thought this was a way to bring everyone up to date on the university’s library management and to mention that massive renovation and reconstruction program that even now is visible from Nassau Street.
The trouble was that the release was dated in April. But, we noticed with a quick glance, that the appointment was technically effective October 1. So not only would it be “new to us” but it also would be — more or less — actual news.
Not exactly. The release was dated in April, but it was April, 2016. And the effective date was October 1, 2016. Ouch.
So our story last week announcing Jarvis’s appointment came at a time when she was happily marking her first year in the position. Our apologies.
The least we can do is note that it’s been a busy year at the Princeton University Library. The 10-year renovation program of Firestone Library, the main building at the corner of Nassau Street and Washington Road, is continuing and is expected to be completed next year (2018, we should remind ourselves).
And the library has just completed what its website describes as “an extraordinary expansion of searchable content” as the result of adding 5 million new records through the launch of a Shared Collection Service developed by ReCAP (the Research Collections and Preservation Consortium), the collections preservation facility based at the Princeton Forrestal Campus on Route 1 and jointly owned and operated by Princeton, Columbia University, and the New York Public Library.
According to the website Princeton University Library patrons can now “search Princeton’s library catalog and seamlessly discover and request items from Columbia and NYPL’s ReCAP holdings in addition to Princeton’s own holdings. The launch of the Shared Collection Service is the culmination of a cooperative initiative to integrate the records of borrowable portions of the partners’ collections, stored separately at ReCAP. The three institutions worked together to develop a shared software system that allows for up-to-the-minute live information on the availability of ReCAP holdings.”
Said Jarvis: “The launch of the ReCAP Shared Collection Service is just the beginning of what’s possible for Princeton and our peer institutions when we work collaboratively to share our diverse and distinctive collections. This kind of innovative cross-institution library initiative is what allows us to remain at the forefront of meaningful content expansion.”
In other news from the library, Ian Bogus, the curator of preservation at University of Pennsylvania Libraries, has been appointed as the new executive director of ReCAP, effective November 13.
During the past eight years at Penn, Bogus developed a strategy for advancing preservation practices and designed a digital forensics system to assess and ingest born-digital archival materials. Before working at Penn, Bogus was head of Yale University Libraries’ General Collection Conservation, where he developed policies and procedures governing preservation and conservation of general collections materials and expanded the digital repository. Bogus has also worked in preservation at Rutgers University Libraries.