Welcome to Mann Library!
As the Interim Director for Mann Library, I can’t help but think of what a whirlwind these past few months have been – and how they have given both new meaning and a new understanding to “Welcome to Mann Library”. For students, Mann Library has been affectionately known as ‘Club Mann’, a physical place to go to study and engage with knowledge. For many faculty and staff, Mann Library is a place to go to discover something new in our collections, find a hidden quiet spot for some intense focus, or maybe attend a book talk, exhibit reception or other public event. We hope that in the near future, we can return to enjoying our physical space, but these past few months have shown that Mann Library is more than a physical location. It always has been.
Our staff make Mann Library an incredibly vital campus resource, and it has been remarkable to watch library staff pivot and rethink the delivery of our services in the wake of the pandemic. It wasn’t always easy, but at the forefront of our minds were our goals to support the teaching and research mission of the university – and, by pursuing those goals with enthusiasm, the library became a virtual hub of discovery. I can say without hesitation that moving to a remote environment has shown how resilient and special the staff at Mann are. Our librarians hosted multiple workshops via Zoom including sessions on citation management and conducting literature reviews, we assisted with the printing of PPE’s through our MannUfactory, our evidence synthesis team assisted university wide taskforces to find and review literature regarding public health and safety for returning to campus, and staff learned new skills to help make our digital resources including research guides and special lecture recordings meet vital accessibility requirements.
Though we are not yet physically back in our building, we continue to offer our highly knowledgeable team of experts who can help scholars with their research for projects of any size or scope, whether a short paper, a thesis, or a major research project involving thousands of citations and reams of data. Our instruction team can help students understand the changing information landscape and become more critical consumers of information – and faculty can make a request for instruction to learn how we can help their classes. We continue to offer an outstanding library collection in agriculture, life sciences and applied social sciences both in our stacks and online through our many partnerships including the Biodiversity Heritage Library and Hathitrust.
Our exhibits and events have moved online as well, and we hope you’ll take a moment to view our virtual exhibits. They are a great way to explore important topics in science and history, learn a little more about the Library’s outstanding special collections, and get to know the important work that Cornell faculty and students are doing in a wide variety of fields. We plan to offer an online program of book talks by the faculty of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Human Ecology. Look for the schedule of events that we publish early each semester so you can mark your calendars.
We invite you to explore, discover new things, develop new ideas, and bring learning to life… and if you have suggestions for us, please be sure to get in touch. We welcome your questions and your feedback.
Best wishes for a productive academic year,
Sara E. Wright
Interim Director, A.R. Mann Library
Ithaca, New York 14853 USA