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University Librarian Named

New University Librarian to Join UC Riverside: Ruth Jackson comes from Wichita State University, Kansas where she fostered technological innovation and partnerships inside and outside of campus

(August 27, 2002)

Ruth JacksonRIVERSIDE, Calif. – Wichita State University Dean of Libraries Ruth Jackson will become the University of California, Riverside’s eighth University Librarian, officials announced this week. She is scheduled to arrive in November.

Jackson’s expertise is in long-term planning, finding innovative uses for technology, forging partnerships both within and outside the campus, and raising support for the libraries she’s headed at universities in Kansas and West Virginia. As UC Riverside’s University Librarian, Jackson will join a very small number of Women of Color who hold either directorships or assistant directorships in the elite Association of Research Libraries.

“I am delighted that she has agreed to join UCR,” said Executive Vice Chancellor David H. Warren. “I am particularly impressed with her strategic approach to planning for the future of the UCR Library, and with her experience in creating effective relationships between the library and the colleges and schools. That is what puts the library at the heart of the university.”

Jackson, who is scheduled to arrive at UC Riverside on Nov. 4, fills the position left vacant in January by the retirement of James Thompson. Assistant University Librarian for Public Services Venita Jorgensen is serving in the interim until Jackson arrives. Thompson’s 16-year tenure guided the UC Riverside library through an era of explosive growth, which is expected to continue as the current 14,400-student enrollment is projected to reach 21,000 by the year 2010.

“The library at (UC) Riverside has great potential for excellence in the quality of its collection and in its staff,” Jackson said. “I hope to fully integrate the library into the growth of the campus as it moves toward 2010”
Among her goals are the hiring of additional staff in key areas such as information technology, developing a fund raising system, enhancing the collection and developing a strategic plan.

At UC Riverside, Jackson will head four facilities on a campus with collections holding more than 2 million volumes, about 12,500 journal subscriptions and more than 1.6 million microforms. Its Internet-based technological innovations include the INFOMINE system, an index and search engine that links users to information worldwide; MELVYL, which links the catalogues of all nine UC campuses; and Scotty, the catalog of UC Riverside. The library is also linked to the California Digital Library, which provides Web access to other electronic resources in the state.

The UC Riverside library includes special collections of rare and valuable materials housed on the fourth floor of the Rivera Library building. It includes the internationally known J. Lloyd Eaton Collection of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Utopia, the largest such collection in the world. The Rupert Costo Library of the American Indian in Special Collections contains more than 80,000 items of local and California Indian culture and history. The Local History Collection includes more than 16,000 photographs and volumes on the history of Inland Southern California.

Jackson’s solid track record of accomplishment in Kansas, West Virginia and Northern Florida bode well for UC Riverside, said campus officials.

Among Jackson’s accomplishments during a three-year tenure as Dean of Libraries at the 15,000-student Wichita State University are:

• Launching a strategic planning process to retool the library’s technology and management for the 21st Century;

• Forming a committee to recommend how best to invest library funds in technology;

• Raising $1.3 million for the library during fiscal year 2001 and securing a $750,000 multi-year grant from PepsiCo, Inc. to develop desktop data delivery systems for scholars, researchers and students.

From 1988 to 1999, Jackson headed the University Library at West Virginia University, Morgantown, a system serving a 22,000-student population, where she:

• Successfully led the move to automate the library and its eight branches and to secure the $1.2 million to do the job;

• Developed three new positions to manage the libraries’ technological upgrades;

• Worked with the university foundation to develop a fundraising program for the libraries, which increased endowments from 18 to 105 in six years;

• Secured a $25 million commitment from the university administration to renovate and build an addition to the main library;

• Convinced leaders of the system’s college of creative arts, school of physical education and college of agriculture to merge their separate libraries with that of the university.

Jackson has represented libraries at the Governor’s Conference on Libraries and Information Service in Richmond, Va., and at the White House Conference on Libraries and Information Service in Washington, D.C. In 1992, she was a member of the Research Librarian’s delegation to Russia, the Ukraine, and Hungary.

Jackson received a Ph.D. in library and Information Science in 1976 from Indiana University in Bloomington. She has received fellowships from the U.S. Office of Education, Indiana University, the Southern Fellowship Foundation and the National Faculty Fellowships for Minority Research She has held membership in Beta Phi Mu (National Honor Society for High Scholarship in Library Science) and Pi Lambda Theta (National Honor Society for Outstanding Women in Higher Education).

The University of California, Riverside offers undergraduate and graduate education to nearly 15,000 students and has a projected enrollment of 21,000 students by 2010. It is the fastest growing and most ethnically diverse campus of the preeminent ten-campus University of California system, the largest public research university system in the world. The picturesque 1,200-acre campus is located at the foot of the Box Springs Mountains near downtown Riverside in Southern California. More information about UC Riverside is available at or by calling 909-787-5185.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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