Dean’s Welcome

I have been thinking about the definition and role of the Academic Library, both in general and in particular for East Carolina. In the last decade, developments in printing and publishing technology and the rapid growth and availability of electronic information have wrought incredible changes in academic libraries and the delivery of services to our students and faculty. Research that used to take weeks and months poring through printed indices and retrieving sometimes hundreds of books and bound journals, can now be done in weeks if not days or hours—and often without physically coming to the university library itself.  What we sometimes forget is that obtaining and maintaining those electronic databases, journals, and e-books requires the hard work and expertise of highly skilled and experienced librarians, who just like the librarians of yesteryear who painstakingly built, organized, preserved and protected the great research libraries we revere and remember. And, just as vital as ever are library buildings themselves.  Less space in them may be devoted to shelving books and even less to printed journals, but they are still important and integral to the success of our students and faculty.  Providing safe, comfortable and invitingspaces coupled with state of the art technology, information retrieval services, and knowledgeable, approachable and proactive librarians and staff will always be important. Readers, moreover, still need a quiet reflective space and access to the collections.  Joyner Library provides all of these—and we invite you to visit, virtually and in person.