Library Solicits Feedback for Integrating Core Student Services from the Undergraduate Library into Campus Libraries

The University Library is currently developing plans for integrating core student services offered in the Undergraduate Library into other campus libraries. Informed by long-term usage data and recent student surveys, the Main/Undergraduate Library Integration Project will result in new and refined combinations of student-focused services, which address both time-honored as well as emerging needs supporting academic and student life success. Appointed by the Library’s Executive Committee and with the support of the Dean of Libraries, a cohort of internal working groups drawn from librarians from across campus will develop a holistic plan to address student needs across major physical spaces, including the Grainger Engineering Library Information Center and Funk ACES Library, as well as the Main Library.

The Main/Undergraduate Library Integration Project complements existing plans to construct an archives and special collections building in the current Undergraduate Library building, and further develop the model outlined in the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) Redevelopment Plan Programming and Conceptual Design Study. Library facility discussions have previously ensued during numerous listening sessions, a January 22, 2020 Town Hall, and other campus meetings, as well as through the work of a campus-wide committeethe Library Consultation Working Group.

The integration project recommendations will specifically address user needs and service models during the time period when the archives and special collections building is being constructed. The Library anticipates discussions about the longer-term future of the Main Library building to be ongoing and informed by lessons learned during the SCRC construction phase.

A description of the project’s scope is available here: 

Implementation of the team’s recommendations will begin in Summer 2021, with the Undergraduate Library formally closing in Spring 2022 to allow for construction of the facility for archives and special collections. Library services will continue to evolve and be assessed as the archives and special collections building project is completed. The Library welcomes feedback from students, faculty, and staff on priorities for undergraduate library services, and significant areas the team should focus on in designing spaces that encourage community building among undergraduate students while connecting them to academic and student life needs.

To provide feedback, please fill out our survey here:  

U of I Authors to Benefit from New Read and Publish Agreements with Cambridge University Press and PLOS

U of I researchers publishing as the corresponding author in Cambridge University Press (CUP) journals and in two PLOS (Public Library of Science) journals are eligible for a waiver of open access (OA) publishing fees for any article submitted beginning January 1, 2021. 

The new pilot license agreements, negotiated by the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA), provides authors from Illinois the opportunity to publish their articles Open Access for no additional cost. The pilot agreement with Cambridge lasts two years, while the PLOS agreement will continue for three years.

“With the growing prominence of open access publishing and the use of article processing charges to fund many OA titles, the Library appreciates this effort by the BTAA to explore ways to reduce costs for Illinois authors while increasing the global impact of their research,” said Dan Tracy, head of Scholarly Communication and Publishing at Illinois.

The Read and Publish agreement negotiated by the BTAA with Cambridge University Press, includes reading access for UIUC researchers for all CUP journals (403 titles across HSS and STM disciplines) and waives article processing charges (APCs) for University of Illinois authors publishing research articles in fully open access or hybrid open access journals. This agreement does not include Cambridge OA books or fully subscription journals.

The agreement requires that authors elect to publish open access; they must opt into participation when they submit an article by choosing the open access publication option. However, if an author forgets to do so or wishes to opt-in later, it is possible to opt-in retroactively as long as the article was originally received by Cambridge in the eligible time period (January 2021 – December 2022). After publication, Cambridge will contact authors to give them a chance to retroactively opt-in if they did not do so during submission.

A full list of journals that shows those that are fully OA or hybrid OA is at

The corresponding author must be at Illinois for the APC waiver to apply. Researchers should use their email when submitting their articles. Authors will choose a Creative Commons license when they select the option to participate in the program.

The agreement with PLOS provides uncapped, no-fee publishing in two highly-selective, fully open access journals (PLOS Biology and PLOS Medicine) for articles with corresponding authors from Illinois. For those with corresponding authors from non-BTAA member institutions, the publication receives a 25% discount on the article processing charges.    

More details about both agreements are on the BTAA website at

For a list of existing waivers with other publishers, visit

Lynne Thomas Wins Ninth Hugo Award

Photo of Lynne M. Thomas

Lynne M. Thomas, head of The Rare Book & Manuscript Library, has won a Hugo Award—science fiction’s most prestigious award. This now makes Thomas a nine-time Hugo Award winner.

Hugo Award winners were announced by CoNZealand, the 78th Worldcon, held virtually on August 1, 2020. Thomas won for Best Semiprozine (a non-professional periodical publication) for Uncanny Magazine. Thomas is the co-editor-in-chief and publisher of Uncanny Magazine with her husband Michael Damian Thomas.

Past Hugo Award wins for Thomas include Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It (Best Related Work) in 2011; SF Squeecast (Best Fancast) in 2012 and 2013; Best Editor, Short Form and Uncanny Magazine (Best Semiprozine) in 2018; and Uncanny Magazine (Best Semiprozine) in 2016, 2017, and 2019. A comprehensive list of her awards is found in the Science Fiction Awards Database at


New Transformative Publishing Agreements Established

Book with Library U of I Urbana-Champaign on pages

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has established transformative publishing agreements with two organizations. IEEE announced its agreement with the University of Illinois on May 13, 2020. In addition, a new agreement between the university and the Microbiology Society went into effect earlier this year. 

The three-year Open Access Read and Publish agreement with IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization for engineering, computing, and technology information around the globe, is the first such agreement for the University of Illinois with a major publisher. Both the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UI) and Chicago (UIC) campuses are part of the IEEE content agreement. Researchers at both campuses will have access to the IEEE Xplore Digital Library and U of I authors will publish articles via open access in nearly 200 journals and magazines published by IEEE. 

“The University of Illinois Libraries are pleased to be a part of this agreement with IEEE,” said UIC University Librarian Mary Case together with UI University Librarian John Wilkin. “We have long been committed to the transformation of the scholarly publishing system and see this as an important new model in making the research of our faculty openly and broadly available.”

William Mischo, head of the Grainger Engineering Library Information Center, added, “This agreement will allow the groundbreaking research, educational activities, and innovation generated by the University of Illinois faculty to be open upon publication to the State of Illinois and to the world.”

Large monetary contributions from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), the Grainger College of Engineering, the Office of the Provost at Illinois, and the Grainger Engineering Library Information Center technology endowment went toward the agreement with IEEE.

More information about the university’s agreement with IEEE is located at

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign transitioned its agreement with the Microbiology Society into a new Publish and Read model. Under the agreement, authors at Illinois can publish articles accepted to any Microbiology Society journal as fee-free open access publications. Those at Illinois will also have unlimited access to the entire Society portfolio of journals, including Microbiology and Journal of General Virology; the agreement is an alternative to those and the Society’s other subscriptions and Article Processing Charges (APCs).

“Facilitating open access to further the sharing of scientific information, particularly from such a long-standing and prestigious society is a huge success,” said Biosciences Librarian Kelli Trei. “I hope for many more agreements of this kind to further the dissemination of groundbreaking research.”

About IEEE
IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities, IEEE is the trusted voice in a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers, and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power, and consumer electronics. For more information about the IEEE, visit

About The Microbiology Society
The Microbiology Society is a membership charity for scientists interested in microbes, their effects and their practical uses. It is one of the largest microbiology societies in Europe with a worldwide membership based in universities, industry, hospitals, research institutes and schools. For more information about the Microbiology Society, visit

Lynne M. Thomas Nominated for Two Hugo Awards

Lynne M. Thomas

Lynne M. Thomas, head of The Rare Book & Manuscript Library, has been nominated for science fiction’s most prestigious award—the Hugo Award. Thomas is already an eight-time Hugo Award winner.

Hugo Award finalists were announced on April 7, 2020. Thomas is nominated with her husband Michael Damian Thomas for Best Editor, Short Form and Best Semiprozine (a non-professional periodical publication) for Uncanny Magazine. Thomas is the co-editor-in-chief and co-publisher of Uncanny with Michael Damian Thomas.

Three short fiction finalists on the Hugo Award nomination ballot are from Uncanny Magazine. “Away With the Wolves” by Sarah Gailey is a finalist for Best Novelette; “The Blur in the Corner of Your Eye” by Sarah Pinsker is a finalist for Best Novelette; and “A Catalog of Storms” by Fran Wilde is a finalist for Best Short Story.

“I am thrilled and honored to have the work of the team at Uncanny and three of our authors recognized by the international science fiction and fantasy reader community,” said Thomas.

Past Hugo Award wins for Thomas include Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It (Best Related Work) in 2011; SF Squeecast (Best Fancast) in 2012 and 2013; Uncanny Magazine (Best Semiprozine) in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019; and Best Editor, Short Form in 2018. In addition to these eight wins, Thomas has garnered 18 Science Fiction/Fantasy nominations since 2011. A comprehensive list of her awards is found in the Science Fiction Awards Database at

The fan-nominated Hugo Awards are sponsored by the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS). Winners will be announced in August at an all-virtual CoNZealand, the 78th World Science Fiction Convention, in New Zealand. For more information about the Hugo Award, visit


University Library Expands Electronic Resources

Over the past few weeks, libraries nationwide confronted the challenge to extend services to an online environment. At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University Library was well-positioned to meet this challenge. 

“Serving a disciplinarily broad campus, the Library already spends well-over 70% of its acquisitions budget on acquiring electronic resources,” said Associate University Librarian for Collections and Technical Services Tom Teper. “However, no matter how much we spend on electronic journals, books, and media, there are always gaps in what we can acquire and deliver to our users, especially during a time when access to physical materials is restricted.”

The Library offers a guide that includes a list of publishers offering increased access to e-resources for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign community during the COVID-19 pandemic. That guide is found at

In partnering with other libraries and publishers, Illinois has expanded its offerings significantly. 

The HathiTrust 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the HathiTrust is now providing full member access to all titles that correspond to their print collections so that the Library can continue to support teaching and research during the stay-at-home order. 

During this period, digital access to the University Library now includes nearly half of the print collection that corresponds to materials digitized in HathiTrust. The faculty, staff, and students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign can now electronically access these works (including those in copyright). 

Users will have 60 minutes of access to a book during an active session while using HathiTrust. If patrons remain active in the book during any session, access time is extended. While books cannot be downloaded (to protect the author’s rights), patrons may download page-by-page.

Detailed instructions are located at

Cambridge University Press Ebooks

Most recently, the Library acquired Cambridge University Press (CUP) ebooks to help scholars during this challenging time. Using turn-away data logged by CUP, the Library identified more than 1,400 recent publications that users tried to access in the past year. Many are duplicate items the Library has in print, but this disciplinary neutral list includes titles in many fields, including Engineering, Physics and Astronomy, History, Management, Linguistics, Cinema Studies, and Economics, and other fields. 

All of the records have been added to the Library’s catalog. However, a spreadsheet listing all of the titles in this collection is available at

ProQuest Academic Video Online

In order to help facilitate the transition to online learning in short order, the Library acquired access to ProQuest’s Academic Video Online (AVON) for the coming year. This product provides access to over 70,000 total videos, including 45,000 that are not carried anywhere else. 

All of the records have been added to the Library’s catalog. However, a spreadsheet listing all of the titles in this collection is available at


For more information on all Library services offered during the COVID-19 pandemic, including information about obtaining essential print material for research and teaching, please visit

University Library Receives Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded an $857,027 grant to the Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to develop the ability to preserve email for future research use.

The four-year grant will support “Email Archives: Building Capacity and Community,” a program which will build the capacity for archives, libraries, and museums to collect and better preserve email as part of the historical record and in their research collections.

The program will solicit grant applications to fund projects of $25,000 to no more than $100,000. Applications will be evaluated by a panel of experts, including humanities scholars, archivists, and digital preservation experts.  The successful applicants will be drawn from a diverse set of archives, libraries, and museums. Each project will use community-supported tools to process and provide access to email while demonstrating the value of email collections for humanities, social science, or other research. All grantees of the program will share their knowledge back to their communities, to the profession as a whole, and to the public.

Kevin M. Kruse, who specializes in 20th century political and social history, recognizes the importance of such an effort. Kruse, a professor of history at Princeton University, said, “If historians have any hope of chronicling our current era with any precision, they’ll need an extensive archive of the emails that served as the main means of correspondence for the men and women who shaped our world.”

“Email preservation is a matter of intense public interest and speaks to the functions of public trust that archives and libraries uphold,” said Principal Investigator Chris Prom.

Prom, associate university librarian for digital strategies and a professor at Illinois, co-chaired the Task Force on Technical Approaches for Email Archives from 2016 to 2018. The Task Force, which was sponsored by The Mellon Foundation and the Digital Preservation Coalition, was created to help the library and archives community better preserve electronic correspondence that is of value for future scholarship and research. Recommendations from its report, The Future of Email Archives, published by the Council on Library and Information Resources, will be implemented in this newly-funded program.

Prom is also the PI of another grant awarded to the University Library last fall by The Mellon Foundation, supporting a separate email preservation project. That project is currently developing a technical recommendation to help ensure that email can be reliably archived in PDF format.

The “Email Archives: Building Capacity and Community” project website is located at

For more information about the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, visit

Marek Sroka Honored at Investiture

From left to right: University Librarian John Wilkin, Professor Marek Sroka, and Associate Chancellor and Vice Provost for Budget and Resource Planning Paul Ellinger

On February 14, 2020, the University Library honored Central European Studies Librarian Marek Sroka as the fourth Andrew S. G. Turyn Endowed Professor at an investiture.

Sroka’s previous and current research has focused on library and cultural history, including war losses of Polish and German libraries, Jewish libraries, recovery of displaced library collections, and post-World War II rehabilitation of Polish libraries in the context of Polish-American and Polish-British cultural relations.

The Andrew S. G. Turyn Endowed Professorship was established through a generous gift from the estate of former librarian and longtime Library Friend Andrew S. G. Turyn (B.S. ‘52, M.S. ‘62). Offered on a five-year rotating basis, it is open to full professors of library administration at the Urbana campus who are pursuing innovative research in any scholarly area, including library and information science; the humanities; the sciences; the social sciences; the arts; and other fields. The professorship enhances the Library’s services, programs, and reputation by recognizing and fostering significant research contributions of Library faculty.

The Turyn family legacy is documented at Illinois. The papers of Andrew Turyn’s parents, Felicia L. Turyn and Alexander Turyn, are located in the University Archives.

Library and iSchool Diversity Committees Receive Grant

Open book with pages forming heart

The University Library’s Diversity Committee and the School of Information Sciences (iSchool) Diversity Committee are recipients of a Strategic Programs Initiative Funds grant to support programs on “Becoming a Trans Inclusive Library.”

The Strategic Programs Initiative Funds are offered by the University Library’s Executive Committee to support projects advancing one or more strategic directions from the Library’s Strategic Framework. This grant will support a series of brown bag discussions, film screenings, and visiting speakers to raise awareness and understanding of barriers faced by trans patrons seeking library services. Parallel surveys will also be conducted to identify service and professional development opportunities to help the Library better serve the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign trans community. Project leads are Spencer D. C. Keralis, Digital Humanities Librarian; Cindy Ingold, Gender Studies and Multicultural Services Librarian; and Kathryn La Barre, Associate Professor, School of Information Sciences.

“We’re looking forward to these programs and the conversations they generate in the Library, at the iSchool, and on our campus,” said Keralis. Keralis is a member of the University Library’s Diversity Committee which provides leadership and guidance to the Library by encouraging awareness about and discussions of diversity.

“I welcome this opportunity to continue fruitful collaborations between the iSchool and University Library Diversity Committees,” said La Barre, chair of the iSchool’s Diversity Committee. “The grant and programs it will sponsor over the next 18 months clearly demonstrate that trans individuals are important members of our community. We look forward to fostering knowledge about how to create welcoming and inclusive spaces in our libraries. The initiatives we hope to see as a result will enrich us all.”

The program will kick off with three discussion groups for University Library and iSchool faculty and staff this spring.

Knott Appointed as U of I Secretary

Photo of Gregory Knott

News release courtesy of the University of Illinois System:

Gregory Knott, an administrator for nearly two decades at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a graduate of two U of I System universities, has been appointed secretary of the Board of Trustees and the University, President Tim Killeen announced Friday.

Knott, who currently serves as assistant dean of university libraries in Urbana, will succeed Dedra “Dee Dee” Williams, who will retire June 1 after 30 years with the U of I System, the last four as secretary. He will begin his new duties Jan. 6 in a designate capacity, working with Williams to provide a smooth transition. The appointment will go to the board for formal approval at its Jan. 16 meeting in Chicago.

Along with deep ties to the U of I System that include graduate degrees from Urbana and the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS), Killeen said Knott also will bring invaluable experience from nearly a decade as a member of the Parkland College Board of Trustees.

“Greg has seen the U of I System as a student and from a leadership role, and knows the power our universities hold to transform lives and drive progress. Coupled with his hands-on experience in governing at Parkland, his unique perspective will serve the board and our universities well,” Killeen said.

As secretary, Knott will be a U of I System officer with wide-ranging responsibilities that include planning for board and board committee meetings; maintaining minutes, records and other board documents; responding to requests from the public; providing assistance and advice to other administrators, including the president; and assisting the trustees in their work for the system.

“I am deeply humbled and honored to be chosen as the ninth secretary of the Board and University,” Knott said. “The opportunity to work with such an amazing board and university leadership is exciting in helping to shape the future of the entire university system.”

In his current position as assistant dean of university libraries, Knott has served since 2013 as chief financial officer and chief human resources officer for one of the largest public university libraries in the world.

Knott, 53, joined the university in 2002 as assistant head of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, where he helped coordinate fiscal, human resources and facilities management.

From 2006 until moving to university libraries in 2013, he also held a dual appointment as associate director for budget and human resources at the Center for Advanced Bio-Energy Research in Urbana. Knott was part of the team that established the center, now known as the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory, which bridges the gap from basic discovery to commercialization of products.

Before joining the university, he worked as a team leader and counselor for the State Universities Retirement System of Illinois, the pension system for university employees, and as a planning and development analyst for the Teachers’ Retirement System of Illinois, the state’s K-12 pension system.

Knott earned two degrees from the U of I System after receiving his bachelor’s in agribusiness from Illinois State University. He earned a master’s degree in library and information science from Urbana, where he also was a student worker on the grounds crew, and an MBA from UIS, where he was a graduate assistant in the Department of Computer Services.

Since 2011, he has been a member of the Board of Trustees at Parkland College, where he earned his associate’s degree, and currently serves as chairman. He will resign from the board when he assumes his new position in January. He also is a member of the Parkland Foundation Board of Directors and was a member of the Champaign County Board from 2000 to 2011.

Knott is also an Eagle Scout, a Scout leader and operates a small farm in St. Joseph.

In his role as the ninth secretary of the Board and University, Knott will be one of four officers of the Board of Trustees. He will jointly report to the board chair and president and have responsibilities to all board members, including coordinating agendas for all meetings of the board and its committees.

Williams will retire June 1 after three decades with the university system, which also included nearly 23 years in various leadership roles with Urbana’s regional medical school campus. She is also an Urbana graduate, with a master’s degree in higher education management.