University Library Flourishes Under Morner’s Leadership
UNH Promotes Librarian to Dean of the Library

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 said.

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.