Library Services:
A Message to the Campus Community

The following is a message about the University Libraries initiative at Stony Brook University from Dr. Andrew White, Associate CIO for Health Sciences, co-author of E-Metrics for Library and Information Professionals and former Interim Dean of Stony Brook University Libraries.

To the Campus Community:

Library interviewWith two flagship locations, more than 2,230,000 paper volumes, 469,000 digital resources and a budget of more than $8 million, the Stony Brook University Library system is much more than a repository of books; it is the intellectual epicenter of the University. The Frank Melville Jr. Memorial Library on Main Campus, the Health Sciences Library on the Stony Brook Medicine campus and five specialized branch libraries: Chemistry; Marine and Atmospheric Science Information Center (MASIC); Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy; Music; and Science and Engineering comprise the Library system.

As part of the Operational Excellence element of Project 50 Forward, a dedicated team of key constituents spent months establishing goals, priorities and best practices in the effort to streamline, update and combine library systems and processes on both sides of campus. Members of the Project 50 Forward Library Initiative Team include:

  • Andrew White
  • Ken Kaushansky
  • Mark Aronoff
  • Nathan Baum
  • Peter Brink
  • Janet Clarke
  • Joanne Davila
  • Moises Eisenberg
  • Margaret Hanley
  • Kerry Keegan
  • Daniel Kinney
  • Stephen Koch
  • Peter Manning
  • Lorne Mendell


To help inform them about how best to meet the growing and evolving needs of students and faculty, the Library Initiative Team sought out information from a wide cross section of Stony Brook University and looked at what other top tier university libraries across the country were doing.

Through this process, it was determined that there should be a merger of the Medicine Campus and the Main Campus Libraries at the administrative level, which occurred in June of 2012. This merger has eliminated duplication of services, reduced low-value activities, allowed easier access to material from both sides of campus, and streamlined processes and services, including billing, procurement and information technology. Because most research journals today are digital, the merger capitalized on the transition from paper documents to digital resources, making management and access seamless and more efficient for providers and users. The resulting savings in space and funds will be re-directed to additional on-line subscriptions and more modernized educational spaces. 

Many of the new merged library systems and processes are already in place, including a single search interface, a single website for easy access to information and the consolidation of fees and policies. The changes and improvements to library processes and services are ongoing in response to users’ needs. The number of journal offerings has increased, and common data, fine and circulation policies have been instituted. Students now have easier 24/7 access to library resources from their dorm rooms and mobile devices.

To ascertain what’s working and what more needs to be done we have established a user survey which can be accessed at survey is designed to obtain feedback so that the Library can continue to assess how to improve the resources and services it provides.Your feedback is an important part of this process. Please take a moment to fill out the survey so that we can continue to advance this initiative.

In closing I would like to say that it was a pleasure to assist with this Operational Excellence Libraries initiative to such an interesting and positive result, and best wishes to Dan Kinney, Interim Dean of Libraries as he continues to move the process forward. 

March 18, 2013