Volume 25, Number 3, 2003

SOLINET and HBCU Library Alliance Collaborate with Grant from the Andrew W. Mellom Foundation

by: Kate Nevins, SOLINET

SOLINET and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Library Alliance received a $160,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a collaborative project to assess needs and develop a program to increase the effectiveness and visibility of libraries at the nation’s historically black colleges and universities. The twelve-month project will promote the role of the librarian on each campus and advocate for total integration of libraries into campus programs for teaching and learning.

With the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and SOLINET, the HBCU Library Alliance will identify what it means for a library at an HBCU to be integrated into teaching and learning processes and determine what HBCU libraries need to be able to do this effectively; gather input from the HBCU community and the academic library community about the role of the library in teaching and learning; and develop an educational program that will improve the skills, knowledge, and ability of HBCU librarians to enable them to integrate their libraries more effectively into their institutions’ teaching and learning missions.

HBCU libraries serve as unique and indispensable gatekeepers for history, culture, and the African-American experience. Created by the deans and directors of these libraries after an historic meeting in October 2002, the alliance seeks to ensure excellence in HBCU libraries through the development, coordination, and promotion of programs and activities to enhance members’ collections and services. Current Steering Committee members are Loretta O’Brien-Parham, Director of the Harvey Library at Hampton University, Va; Janice Franklin, Director of the Library and Learning Resource Center at Alabama State University; Tommy Holton, Dean of Libraries at Dillard University, La; Emma Bradford Perry, Dean of Libraries at Southern University and A&M College, La; and Elsie Stephens Weatherington, Dean of Library and Technology Services at Virginia State University.

Founded in 1973, SOLINET is a non-profit membership organization serving more than 2300 libraries of all types and sizes in ten Southeastern states and the Caribbean. SOLINET offers member services, OCLC services, preservation and access services, electronic databases, library products, workshops, and consulting.