James G. Neal Elected Chair of the Board of the Research Libraries Group

NEW YORK, October 17, 2003 The Research Libraries Group (RLG) has elected James Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian at Columbia University, as Chair of the Board of Directors for a two-year term. In that role, Neal will lead the 30-year-old organization of universities, national libraries, archives, historical societies, and other institutions with unique collections for research and learning.

RLG is an international member alliance that pioneers cooperative solutions to problems that research collections and their users face in the acquisition, delivery, and preservation of information.

In announcing the appointment, James Michalko, president of RLG, said, “RLG and its board wanted a leader who understood the organization’s importance to the research community, would help guide its important initiatives, and could be a persuasive advocate when called upon.” He continued, “As an acknowledged leader among information professionals, Jim Neal brings all that and more to the new role he’s accepted. My colleagues and I are delighted and encouraged to be working with him.”

RLG recently produced a new bibliographic database, RedLightGreen, to enable a broader audience to access the 23-year-old RLG Union Catalog (which contains over 40 million materials from 300 countries). The new database, which is currently being tested at Columbia University, was formed by the collaborative contributions of RLG member institutions.

Columbia University Libraries is one of the top ten academic library systems in the nation, with 9.2 million volumes, over 65,650 serials, as well as extensive collections of electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, and other nonprint formats. The collections and services are organized into 25 libraries, supporting specific academic or professional disciplines. Columbia Libraries employs more than 400 professional and support staff to assist faculty, students, and researchers in their academic endeavors. The Libraries’ website at http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/ is a gateway to its print and electronic collections and to its services.

For information contact:

Communications Coordinator

10/17/03 JD