This academic year has left many of us surprised at the state of our communities, institutions, nation, and globe. Yet, the seemingly endless crises are an opportunity for IWP students to continue to apply themselves seriously to their studies. We are once again reminded of the imperative to seek a deep and wholistic understanding of our world as it is and how to change it for the better. This mission, as with many intellectual pursuits, largely begins in the library. This year, the IWP Library has adapted to changing circumstances to serve IWP’s scholarly community, while enhancing the collection and developing future infrastructure.
During the COVID-19 shutdown, the IWP library staff has continued to support faculty, students, and staff in their research. The library has added several electronic course readers to the Library Portal, as well as forgiven late fees and fines during the campus closure. JSTOR, a database popular with IWP students, expanded access to the JSTOR Archive in order to ease research during the emergency closures. To assist remote instruction and research, this collection, enhanced with thousands of journals, magazines, and eBooks, will be available through December 31, 2020.
For the 2019-2020 academic year, the IWP Library earned a satisfaction rate from students of 88% regarding the collection and staff performance. Some common criticisms were related to the selection of books, with students mentioning a desire for a larger collection and more databases. In response to that concern, the library and the IWP Development staff are in the process of raising funds to purchase collapsible shelving units. These new units will nearly double the space available for books and print journals.
To expand the collection, the IWP Library has acquired over 1,000 books, many of which were donations from friends and supporters of the institute. Among the additions are donations from esteemed alumni, such as Gene Poteat, as well as acquisitions from Amazon and other online vendors. Former CIA analyst, Wallace Spaulding, donated 26 volumes of the Yearbook for International Communist Affairs this past January. He was inspired by a substantial donation from Dr. Nicholas Dujmovic in September, which included a 51-volume Great Soviet Encyclopedia originally designed to promote Communist ideology and Soviet patriotism. IWP Library Director Dmitry Kulik commented in January: “Students past and present have found the personal collections of IWP professors and supporters which were donated to the Library to be most beneficial to their research.”
Students have also gained access to more online resources through the expansion of HeinOnline, which now includes the database of the American Enterprise Institute. This adds nearly 1,500 titles covering 20 different policy areas to the IWP library. A unique aspect of this format is that students and professors can browse titles by policy area, such as China or Health Care. In addition, the IWP Library subscribes to several online services such as Political Science Complete, EBSCO’s Religion and Philosophy Collection, and many more.
In the coming year, The Institute of World Politics Library hopes to continue developing these improvements to the collection and shelves. The staff hopes to continue providing excellent materials and service to students and faculty — though perhaps in simpler circumstances.