University Library Flourishes
Under Morner’s Leadership
UNH Promotes Librarian to Dean of
Contact: Lori Wright
UNH Media Relations
Oct. 6, 2005
DURHAM, N.H. – When Claudia Morner became university librarian
10 years ago, the Dimond Library at the University of New Hampshire
was a tired and crowded building, branch libraries needed updating
and the library had minimal collections in multimedia and just a
CD ROM network index for finding articles. Now, the University Library
has hundreds of online databases and thousands of electronic journals
and the multimedia section loans out more than 15 percent of the
library’s total circulation.
In recognition of Morner’s leadership, the provost has made
her dean of the University Library, a change that recognizes the
central importance of the library to the university’s academic
programs and brings UNH closer in line with its fellow institutions
in New England and around the country.
“It is a nice recognition for the whole library. What we’re
doing is important to the university and the academic mission,”
Morner has overseen and directed technological and building enhancements
that have highlighted the library’s central importance to
the academic programs at UNH. She headed the $19 million renovation
project between 1996 and 1998, which added 500 seats, 350 computer
outlets, a new map room, data center and $400,000 worth of electronic
resources to the existing library. Since then, the library has won
a number of excellence awards, including the Library Building Award
from the American Institute of Architects.
“It is hard to imagine that when I first got here there were
no online databases, no electronic journals and most teaching faculty
did not have Internet connectivity or e-mail. The most visible and
significant accomplishment during my time here has been the renovation
of the Dimond Library,” Morner said.
In 2002, the Dimond Library at UNH became a member of the Boston
Library Consortium, an elite group of 19 universities that shares
resources between libraries. As vice president-president elect of
the consortium’s Board of Directors, Morner has a leadership
role in fostering the development of services for students and faculty
at the member universities.
The University System of New Hampshire recently awarded a two-year
$310,000 grant to UNH, Keene State University and Plymouth State
University to digitize noncopyrighted material, make more manuscripts
available online and allow cross searching of databases. Software
will link databases to Blackboard and allow faculty to digitally
direct students to databases that are pertinent to the subject matter
of each course.
“I am proud to say that my leadership has helped raise significant
private funding for the University Library. I am constantly advocating
that the library is a strong player and presence on campus, and
this title change is another indication that the library is central
to the academic mission,” Morner said.