At a time when public health demands we be physically distant, our MIT community is still able to come together in the ways that truly matter. When many students and faculty were scattered across the globe, the MIT Libraries scanned hundreds of book chapters, provided thousands of remote consultations, and added more than a million digital items to the catalog. We shipped books to students all across the country, digitized Distinctive Collections, and pivoted to online thesis submission. Even the MIT Reads program went virtual, as author Tommy Orange talked with members of MIT’s indigenous student community in an intimate conversation that spanned two coasts.
We’ve seen over the past year that the community we serve and the community we create as a library can be defined in entirely new ways. With the Building 14 courtyard, we will provide a beautiful and restful new outdoor space for those on campus. We can share MIT research with a global community that has downloaded more than 17 million open access articles. We can offer up our collections data to anyone who wants to use it, and we can bring people together through the pleasures of reading and discussion.
In this issue of Bibliotech, you can read more about what our recent efforts have meant to the MIT community, go behind the scenes of the Hayden renovation, and meet some of the newer faces on our staff. I am grateful for the role you play in this community. Thank you for your ongoing support.