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Virginia Commonwealth University to Become 125th Member of ARL

VCU James Branch Cabell Library, image by Robert Benson, courtesy of VCU Libraries

At its Fall 2017 Association Meeting held October 3–4 in Washington, DC, the membership of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) voted to invite Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Libraries to join as the 125th member, effective January 1, 2018. John E. Ulmschneider, university librarian, accepted the invitation.

“We are delighted by this invitation to membership by ARL and its recognition of our work as a major research library system,” said Ulmschneider. “VCU Libraries looks forward to helping create the future of research libraries and research librarianship in partnership with ARL and its members. We welcome the professional growth opportunities offered by ARL membership to the talented library faculty and staff who have brought the VCU Libraries to this point. We have much to learn from the ARL community and I am confident we also have much to contribute to the work of ARL.”

VCU president, Michael Rao, stated, “Membership in the Association of Research Libraries is an immense honor and advances VCU’s mission as a major urban research university. We look forward to joining with this distinguished community of research libraries from across the US and Canada.”

The vote to approve VCU’s membership followed a review of the university library that considered both qualitative and quantitative documentation and a site visit. The review process included an examination of the breadth and depth of collections, uniqueness of research resources, services to the library’s community, potential contributions to scholarship, and leadership in the library and information science profession. The review committee noted in particular the sustained growth of the institution and its support for the library.

“The Association of Research Libraries welcomes Virginia Commonwealth University as the 125th member of ARL,” said Mary Ann Mavrinac, president of ARL and vice provost and Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly dean of the University of Rochester Libraries. “The Association looks forward to collaboratively shaping the future of the research enterprise with VCU Libraries.”

About the Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 123 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL’s mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at ARL.org.

About Virginia Commonwealth University and VCU Libraries

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban, public, research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research, enrolling over 31,000 students across its campuses. Located in the heart of Richmond, the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, VCU offers 41 doctoral, 72 masters, 3 professional, and 62 baccalaureate degree programs. Thirty-two of VCU’s graduate and professional programs are ranked by U.S. News & World Report as among the best in the nation, with 20 programs ranking in the top 50; sculpture and nurse anesthesia are ranked No. 1. Sponsored research funding totals over $270 million, placing VCU among the top 100 research institutions in the United States. VCU Health represents the five health sciences schools of VCU, the VCU Massey Cancer Center, and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center and Level I trauma center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, MCV Physicians, and Virginia Premier Health Plan. For more, visit www.vcu.edu and vcuhealth.org. VCU Libraries consists of James Branch Cabell Library on the Monroe Park Campus, Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences on the MCV Campus, the Community Health Education Center (a free library for hospital patients and others), the VCUArts Qatar Library at VCU’s campus in Doha, Qatar, and other auxiliary operations. For more, visit library.vcu.edu.