The Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) is pleased to announce the addition of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) to its list of supported institutions. SMWC’s Mary and Andrew Rooney Library joins a highly engaged, collaborative group of private college and seminary libraries across the state, bringing the number of institutions within the consortium to twenty-four.
As a PALNI school, SMWC will be part of a strong network of library staff that supports cost-effective and collaborative library management systems, other shared systems and knowledge in resource management, strategic planning, affordable education, information fluency, and much more. The people of PALNI—from its board of library directors, to central organization staff, to library support staff—share expertise and work together in full autonomy to benefit the individual schools as well as the whole. Together, they enhance the teaching and learning missions of private higher education in Indiana by optimizing resources and services while strengthening leadership and professional development.
“We are delighted to have SMWC as a PALNI-supported institution, as is evidenced by the board’s enthusiastic and unanimous decision to approve their request for inclusion,” says Kirsten Leonard, PALNI executive director. “All constituents within PALNI and PALNI-supported schools look forward to combining our strengths and skills to achieve more together. SMWC’s request to join PALNI’s culture of deep collaboration speaks highly of our ability to produce services and collections together that rival much larger libraries and consortia. Their inclusion makes us that much stronger.”
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods’ addition to PALNI provides a wealth of mutual benefit throughout the consortium. For example, through PALNI’s Lilly Endowment, Inc.-funded PALSave program, SMWC faculty can access stipends to review and adopt open educational resources, while contributing to the program’s impact on student success and savings. PALNI schools share resources to reduce duplication and fuel innovation—a strategy that allows each institution to lessen costs while gaining access to the services and expertise of more than 175 library colleagues and support staff. It is through these efforts that PALNI is able to achieve its mission of enhancing teaching and learning in private education throughout Indiana.
“Our inclusion in PALNI will allow us to leverage the ongoing strategic initiatives of the consortium to benefit our users in the short and long term,” says Rusty Tryon, director of the library and assistant professor at SMWC. “While the current economic situation is atypical for most institutions, it is the norm for small academic libraries—continually rising costs are constantly front of mind. In this environment, it is imperative to invest in providing access to quality content for teaching, learning, and research, versus investing heavily in the infrastructures and tools needed to support and manage access to that content. The more we minimize expenditures on support systems, the more funding we can direct to ensuring students and faculty have the resources they need, when they need them. Pursuing open-source solutions with PALNI allows us to support students and faculty, rather than systems.”
Janet Clark, provost and vice president for academic affairs at SMWC, notes the benefits of joining PALNI: “Like many smaller academic institutions, SMWC realizes the importance of leveraging collaborative relationships to achieve greater impact. PALNI is a good fit for SMWC, with its understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing academic libraries at small, private institutions of higher learning. We believe PALNI can assist SMWC in charting its future to ensure a sustainable model for student learning and success.”
PALNI libraries are looking forward to meeting their new SMWC colleagues and bringing them onboard fully throughout the spring. “Saint Mary-of-the-Woods is an ideal partner for PALNI,” says Joe Thomas, PALNI executive committee chair. “The college’s values align with PALNI’s as we work toward similar challenges in higher education; namely, the need to provide sophisticated and evolving services while containing costs for students and their families. SMWC’s addition to our track record of deep collaboration will increase the return on investment for all PALNI institutions.”
About Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is Indiana’s oldest Catholic college, established in 1840. SMWC is listed among the Best Regional Universities in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report and was the second in the nation to add distance education/online programming in 1973.
The Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) is a 501(c)(3) owned by twenty-four supported private academic institutions. The founding concept of PALNI is to collaborate to enhance teaching and learning through optimizing library resources and services. PALNI collaborates not only with other private academic institutions in Indiana, but also with other groups and consortia to reduce costs and compete academically through innovative services. Information management systems and sharing expertise in many areas including strategic planning, reference, information fluency, outreach, data management and configuration, scholarly communication, and instructional technology are just a few examples of our collaborations.
PALNI Supported Institutions
Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary | Anderson University | Bethel University | Butler University | Concordia Theological Seminary | Christian Theological Seminary | DePauw University | Earlham College | Franklin College | Goshen College | Grace College | Hanover College | Huntington University | Manchester University | Marian University | Oakland City University | University of Saint Francis | Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College | Saint Mary’s College | Saint Meinrad’s Seminary and School of Theology | Taylor University | Trine University | University of Indianapolis | Wabash College