SNHU to Receive $500,000 to Digitize Research

Monday, September 22, 2008
SNHU Communications Office

Southern New Hampshire University has been awarded a $500,000 National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services that will help make university research accessible worldwide by digitizing it.

The university was one of 44 institutions nationwide to receive a National Leadership Grant.

 “I am pleased to congratulate the Southern New Hampshire University on its IMLS National Leadership Grant for the exemplary project, ‘Creating a Better World by Sharing Research Online’,” said Dr. Anne-Imelda Radice, director of IMLS. “We, at IMLS, are proud to support programs that promote preservation, digitization and connections to our global society, and we look forward to seeing the results of this important project.” 

The grant will be used to help fund the $1.06 million “Creating a Better World by Sharing Research Online” project, which will enable the university to create a digital institutional repository that will provide open, worldwide access to faculty and student research.

“While our base remains in Manchester, N.H., the university has grown into an international organization with centers and staff around the globe,” SNHU President Paul LeBlanc said. “Digitizing our scholarly work means that we can share and leverage that intellectual property with no regard to geography. A field worker in community economic development in Africa will be able to access relevant research with the click of a mouse. This means the work can have an immediacy and relevance once rare for scholarly works.”

The project will include digitizing faculty and student research, master’s theses and doctoral dissertations from the School of Community Economic Development and the international business program. This work currently is housed in the library and in faculty offices; it is not accessible to external communities and is in danger of physical deterioration.

“Great libraries are an essential building block of great communities. They spark our curiosity and help to inspire a lifelong love of learning,” said Robert Finlay, an SNHU alumnus and library advocate. “Great libraries also remain connected and relevant to their communities’ needs by innovating and meeting new challenges. This grant allows an excellent university library to make more accessible than ever its collections to a wider audience and generations of future leaders.”

The third year of the project will focus on preparing guidelines and policies for digitizing all future scholarly work for housing in the repository. SNHU will be a leader in the area in creating digital institutional repositories and will provide a model for other institutions.

The university will receive the grant over three years -- $268,850 the first, year, $143,647 the second year and $87,503 the third year. The university will contribute $554,000 toward the project.

“This will place Shapiro Library in the forefront of New Hampshire academic libraries,” Shapiro Library Dean Kathryn Growney said. “By increasing the accessibility to the research of SNHU’s School of Community Economic Development and the international business program to an international audience, this project will foster communication between scholars while also increasing the institution’s visibility.”

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. Please visit www.imls.gov to learn more.

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