This August I will mark one year in the role of Dean of University Libraries at UMass Amherst. Naturally, I’ve been reflecting on this initial year, and I can say that I’m truly proud of the work we have done, especially around student success. In this issue, you will see articles about the incredibly inspiring student research and scholarship recognized through the Undergraduate Sustainability Research Awards, as well as how we are working with students to co-create spaces and programs.
In keeping with our goal to advance justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) in the Libraries, on campus, and in our community, I want to draw your attention to the articles focused on the ways this goal informed the development of our JEDI Overdrive ebook collection, as well as inspiring work on two open-access chapters for a book on JEDI in academic libraries, each of which was written by a collaborative group of Libraries employees. There are also pieces on the development of an open access collaborative and on the Libraries’ collaboration with poet and professor Abigail Chabitnoy to deepen our collection of Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) material. Please take a moment to view the 28th Annual Du Bois Lecture online so you don’t miss the riveting talk in which Chad Williams details the archival discovery that led to his recent book, The Wounded World: W. E. B. Du Bois and the First World War.
Shortly before this issue went to press, I returned from a week in Japan with Kalpen Trivedi, Vice Chancellor for Global Affairs, and Ashley Krause, UMass Education Abroad advisor, during which time we visited UMass Amherst’s partner school, Hokkaido University. Our two institutions are linked by the efforts of William S. Clark, third President of UMass Amherst (then known as the Massachusetts Agricultural College), who traveled to Hokkaido in 1876 at the request of the Japanese government to assist in the founding of the Sapporo Agricultural College. Much as the Massachusetts Agricultural College grew into UMass Amherst, the Sapporo Agricultural College grew into Hokkaido University, and I was delighted to learn about the work and legacy of our partner school. I look forward to sharing more as our partnership deepens
Nandita S. Mani, PhD
Dean of University Libraries