Yale Doc Lauds NYSHEI

Stephen G Waxman, MD, PhD, Director of the Yale Medical School Center for Neuroscience & Regeneration Research, offered the following testimonial. Surely we can find similar supporters and advocates from the users of NYSHEI member libraries. Please help in this effort.

Dear Mr Kramer,

I am the Bridget Marie Flaherty Professor of Neurology, Neurobiology, and Pharmacology and Chairman, Department of Neurology and Director of the Center for Neuroscience & Regeneration Research at Yale University School of Medicine. I have recently heard of the New York State Higher Education “Libraries” Initiative and am moved to offer it my support by way of the following observations:

1. The demands on my time as an academic researcher are tremendous and I greatly appreciate services that improve my academic reach and efficiency as a researcher. Libraries are one of those services. By selecting and organizing electronic access to the critical research journals and related information in my field, librarians play an essential role in the research process. When properly funded, libraries provide the range of information services that I need to be sure I have the latest and most relevant information to support my research. Without them I would not be competitive.

2. Libraries and librarians have had to make major changes in the past decade to adapt to the new electronic infrastructure. They have done so and, at the same time, have also helped both students and faculty to make the best use of new information resources and tools. Those efforts are really appreciated. It is very important that university administrators and government funding bodies understand the continuing importance of libraries to the education and research process. There may be a thought that now everything is available free on the Internet and libraries are less necessary. That is not true. If anything, it is the contrary — we need libraries and librarians to sort through the noise and streamline access to the peer-reviewed literature.

3. When I talk with my colleagues, there is a frustration on many campuses that our libraries are being asked to make do with less than they need. The librarians work hard to stretch their budgets but library underfunding really makes no sense. Libraries are key to supporting the research process, and success in research brings money onto the campus.

Funders need to understand the relationship between information services provided by libraries and research productivity.

I wish you and this initiative every success.

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