The Purdue University Libraries system includes the divisions of Archives and Special Collections (ASC); Health and Life Sciences (HLS); Humanities, Social Sciences, Education, and Business (HSSEB); Physical Sciences, and Engineering and Technology (PSET). In addition, other areas within the Libraries include Collections Management, Circulation and Repositories, Resource Sharing, Resource Services, Instruction and Digital Program Services, and the Distributed Data Curation Center (D2C2). The Purdue University Press and the University Copyright Office report to the dean of libraries and the work of these units is integrated with and into the operations of the Libraries.
The strength of the Purdue Libraries reflects the core strengths of the University – agriculture, engineering and science and the professional schools of business, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine. The print holdings reflect the long history of collecting, both broadly and in depth, that support the core disciplinary areas. This focus continues in archives and special collections where the Flight Archives documents Purdue’s role from early flight to space exploration including the papers of Amelia Earhart to Neil Armstrong and Gene Cernan. The Goss Collection of Engineering and Transportation has outstanding materials that represent the history of engineering and transportation from the 16th century through the 20th. The Psychoactive Drug Research Collection supports pharmacological research in brain receptor absorption of medication to control Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
Purdue is committed to preparing its graduates to search out the appropriate and best information required to answer problems and create solutions. In that spirit, the Purdue Libraries embarked upon a comprehensive information literacy program including the creation of the first endowed chair in information literacy in the country in 2008. Information literacy is a collaborative endeavor between the disciplinary and Libraries faculties. Purdue is working to define newly emerging aspects of information literacy including data literacy so critical in the management of the massive amounts of data created by researchers.
Purdue Libraries faculty are collaborating with disciplinary faculty to develop methodologies and repositories for discovering, accessing, and sharing of data. The Purdue Libraries Data Curation Profile is a means by which a dialogue can be structured between a researcher and a librarian about data management needs of the researcher. Purdue Libraries is taking an international leadership role through DataCite and is assigning Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) to datasets to allow attribution and discovery.
A reconceptualization of spaces is taking place throughout the Purdue Libraries. Since 2009 a major renovation of the Management and Economics Library (soon to be designated the Roland G. Parrish Library of Management and Economics), has resulted in a space that is a natural extension of the classroom, where students can work in teams or individually, using smart boards, two way communication devices, image capture equipment and computer pod workstations. A reconceptualized Hicks Undergraduate Library is now under study and a combined science and engineering library is in the planning stages.