University librarians look to the future while preserving Iowa history Oct. 28 in Des Moines

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

In the not-too-distant past, living in Des Moines meant there were more than 100 miles between you and the vast collections at University of Iowa Libraries. But changes in the ways information is discovered, shared, and used are transforming university research libraries and opening access to anyone with a computer.

The next Hawkeye Lunch and Learn in Des Moines will offer an insider’s view of University of Iowa Libraries as a statewide resource focused both on meeting the needs of 21st century students and researchers and on collecting and maintaining historical materials.

In a joint presentation, John Culshaw, university librarian, and David McCartney, university archivist, will speak on “Embracing the Future and Preserving the Past: The 21st Century Research Library,” at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 28.

The popular Hawkeye Lunch and Learn series draws capacity crowds monthly to the John and Mary Pappajohn Education Center, 1200 Grand Ave. Guests are invited to bring their lunches—desserts and drinks will be provided. The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited. RSVP online.

University Libraries took a huge leap forward with the opening of the Learning Commons in the Main Library in 2013. The library’s main floor was transformed into a tech-infused space for students to work independently or in groups with library staff available for expert-level assistance with academic and research issues.

At the same time, a number of projects have focused on digitizing collections to make them accessible to those outside of Iowa City. The Iowa Digital Library is a treasure trove of images, documents, and other digital content including thousands of online manuscripts, maps, fine art, historic newspapers, and scholarly works.

These collections continue to inform 21st century researchers as a vital part of the history of the university as well as the state of Iowa, Culshaw says.

University Libraries leadership and commitment to providing free public access to information available from the federal government was recognized with a “Library of the Year” award from the U.S. Government Printing Office in 2014.

The Hawkeye Lunch and Learn series offers monthly events in Des Moines and Iowa City designed to connect Iowa communities, university faculty, and government and industry leaders. The Provost’s Office of Outreach and Engagement sponsors the series. Upcoming events in Des Moines include:

  • Nov. 20: Sally Mason, UI President, “The University for Iowa: A Legacy of Service and Engagement”
  • Dec. 16: Jon Winet and the Digital Studio for Public Arts & Humanities

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, contact the Office of the Provost in advance at 319-335-3565.