Library Facilities

A significant factor in creating a positive research environment for mathematicians and statisticians is close proximity to the mathematical collection of the library. In 1928, the department moved to the Mechanic Arts Building, which also housed the mathematics library. Unfortunately from 1950-1968, the department moved to Burnett Hall and the math library to Love Library. Bill Leavitt mentions that at some point during this period, Hugo Ribeiro simply checked out every book he though anybody would have any use for, and then reloaned them to anyone who wanted them. Soon after, Hugo went on leave, but the books stayed in his office, available to other department members. However, the head librarian found out about this arrangement, was very furious and sent library staff over to cart all the books back to Love Library. In 1969 when our Department moved to Oldfather Hall, the math collections (Love Library was now running short of space) were also moved to Oldfather Hall-Room 807 became the Book Library and Room 838 the Journal Library. In addition we were given a part-time librarian for 20 hours per week. Although our library facilities lacked security, it was wonderful to have our journals and books in such close proximity.

A major thrust and goal of our 1982 Academic Program Review was to obtain funding to remodel the East end of the 9th floor of Oldfather Hall for a Departmental Library. Our efforts, together with the very strong support of the UNL Science Library Staff, were successful and funding was obtained. The remodeling project was carried out during the summer of 1983 and so at long last out books and journals were housed in one room under the direction of a full-time Librarian. In 1998, our library was open and staffed 68 hours per week.

As a result of astronomical increases in journal prices (during some years averaging 15% or more), the library has had to cancel many journal subscriptions. There have been three cancellation rounds during the late 1980s and 1990s. For example, in the cancellation round which took effect in January 1993, twenty-eight journals were cancelled. We have fortunately also been able to add some new subscription to meet the needs of new faculty; in 1993 we added seven new journals. The net result is that we now have a smaller collection, but the items we do have are more heavily used. Unfortunately, there is no fat left, so future cuts will inevitably impinge upon our research capabilities.