Letter from the Dean

On behalf of the Purdue University Libraries faculty and staff I welcome you to "Purdue's Information Intersection." I've served the academic library field for many years, therefore possess memories of what a university research library used to connote - an image different than today's reality.

Thirty years ago the majority of information sources were in print format, supplemented with a limited number of microforms and audio/visual formats. A visit to the library facility was a necessity for students, for that was the only means for accessing information sources. The library, though, was also the place to study, to collaborate, to seek assistance from librarians, and to meet friends. Today, some of the aspects of the library have changed - I believe for the better.

Today, the facilities of Purdue's Libraries serve as just one corner of the information intersection. A visit to one of our library facilities provides you with access to print resources and other tangible items, and continues to be the place to study, collaborate, seek assistance, and meet friends. Another corner of the information intersection is occupied by the numerous digital sources that are available and accessible through the Libraries. The list includes full-text databases, electronic journals and reference sources. Digital sources are funded by the Purdue Libraries for your benefit; they are accessible using specialized search tools, also provided by the Libraries. Additionally, the Libraries offer you the ability to communicate on-line to ask a reference question or to determine the status of checked out or reserve materials.

A third corner of the information intersection is occupied by the wealth of information that is freely available and accessible on the web. Much of this information has come into existence since the advent of the web, but the Libraries caution you that some of this information is of dubious quality, reliability and authenticity.

The final corner of the information intersection is occupied by the teaching and research collaboration undertaken by the Libraries in an effort to inform students about accessing and assessing information, then integrating that information into course assignments. Also located on this fourth corner is the partnership between the Libraries and the faculty to ensure the availability and accessibility of interdisciplinary research in many fields.

Whether you choose to visit one of the library facilities in person, or use our services on-line, feel confident that the Purdue Libraries offer you one of the foremost information resources in the world.

Go Boilermakers!

James L. Mullins, Ph.D.
Dean of Libraries