The Content and Digital Library Systems (CDLS) department of Schaffer Library provides access to the highest quality information possible in the best formats possible. We are responsible for selecting, acquiring, managing, digitizing, and providing the systems needed to ensure availability of a wide variety of materials in support of the Union curriculum and scholarship both at and beyond the College. The department is organized into the following five service areas: Collection Development, Cataloging and Metadata, Continuing Resources, Digital Collections & Preservation, and Systems.
Serving the interdependent missions of the Library and the College, our goal is to connect resources to researchers, and because both are constantly changing, our services are constantly changing as well. Books, films, music, and journal titles are available online as well as physically; we participate in consortial approaches to collection-building; we present information on the library’s website and via online exhibits; we catalog, digitize, and help preserve the rare materials in Special Collections and Archives; and we help present Union’s other unique cultural resources online, collaborating with partners across campus to support scholarship in multiple modalities.
The generosity of donors has made much of this work possible. Endowed and gift funds help support the acquisition and digitization of materials, and we could not do without the Training Room in our area (gifted during the renovations to the library building in the late 1990s), where we constantly meet to plan new projects and keep our technical skills up-to-date.
The rare combination of resources at Union College makes working in the CDLS unit particularly rewarding. Being able to draw upon new purchases as well as materials acquired throughout Union’s long history allows us to present coordinated access to information in amazingly diverse forms and from widely disparate sources. This coordinated approach inspires new ways of thinking, learning, and engaging with the material as well as with each other.