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Millie Jackson's Pride in Libraries' Collections

Dr. Millie Jackson, Senior Associate Dean for University Libraries, began her career working in Special Collections at Michigan State University.

“The head of the collections there taught me about the importance of the collections we acquired and the access to information that we provided,” she said. Today, Dr. Jackson thrives on the fact that academic libraries are constantly evolving to meet patron needs. “One of our highest values in academic librarianship is providing access to a diverse collection of services and resources that meet the needs of the academic community.”When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, providing access took on a whole new meaning.

“The biggest challenge in the beginning was closing our buildings and limiting access to print collections as well as study space,” said Dr. Jackson. “With other libraries nationwide also closed, we were unable to borrow items through interlibrary loan for our faculty and students for several months. Fortunately we are a partner in Hathi Trust ,a collaborative project between academic and research libraries to preserve over 17 million resources, and we were able to activate temporary access to all of our print holdings included in the digital repository on an emergency basis.”While University Libraries was able to provide digital access to works that we own in print through Hathi Trust, the millions of other digital resources in our collections allowed students and faculty to continue their research from a distance.

In the summer of 2020 we were able to start lending physical materials again through our Grab N’ Go curbside pickup service, and when the University piloted face-to-face classes during the summer, University Libraries also participated as one of the campus units offering other in-person services. “Libraries are the heart of the academic community. We support all students and faculty with our collections and with our spaces. Donations are used to enhance collections and meet the needs of scholars, especially where specialized materials are concerned. We have been able to procure many items we might not have been able to budget for, thanks to the generosity of our donors,” said Dr. Jackson.

University Libraries is fortunate to have accrued numerous endowments that support our collections over many years and is thankful for the generosity of those who have given. “There’s no easier way to support all students and faculty than to make a gift to University Libraries. When making an endowment, donors should know that the funds are put to good use and support the research, education, and curricular needs of current and future students and faculty.” Just as a rising tide raises all boats, your gift to University Libraries supports the success of all students and faculty for generations to come.

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