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Annual Report 2020

The University Libraries Annual Report 2020.

Thank you to our donors

Greetings! We at the University Libraries are grateful to each of the donors listed below. Their generosity makes an impact on our operations now and...
Cover of 2020 Libraries Annual Report

UMN Libraries Annual Report — 2020

Greetings!  Welcome to our University of Minnesota Libraries 2020 Annual Report, where we present highlights from our year.  This has been a year of transitions for...
Ford Bell

Like Grandfather, like Grandson

Ford W. Bell, D.V.M., has been inspired to give by outstanding people — big thinkers — with the most important being his grandfather, James Ford Bell, the founder of General Mills and a University Regent for 24 years, who was a dedicated collector of books. The James Ford Bell Library opened in 1953, as part of the Libraries, with books from the elder Bell’s collection of rare books, maps, and charts dedicated to the development of world trade in the early modern period. 
A portion of the Matteo Ricci Map.

Development and grants

As of June 30, 2020, the Libraries had reached 117% of our Driven campaign goal of $18,000,000 by raising $21,085,207. Our goal is to raise an additional $1,600,000 before the campaign ends June 30, 2021. Our thanks go out to the 4,431 donors who have contributed to our Driven campaign. We greatly appreciate your support. Fundraising priorities for the coming fiscal year and beyond include the creation of an endowed chair for our Children’s Literature Research Collections, $395,000 for the Mapping Prejudice project, support for our Student Success initiative, and funding to transform our spaces. Driven is the University of Minnesota’s $4 billion campaign.
Minitex, a shared program of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and the University Libraries, saved Minnesota libraries $5.27 million in FY20 through its cooperative purchasing program; shared 95,000 items from our collections with libraries across Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota in FY19; and hosted almost 50 million searches in eLibrary Minnesota in FY20. 

Community engagement

The Libraries work positively impacts the community through such examples as the Mapping Prejudice project, Minitex, and the Friends Forum: A Series for Curious Minds.
The Toaster entrance with students talking.


Library support for education included student support through the Peer Research Consultants program, integration of library resources into Canvas course websites, library tutorials, course-integrated teaching, and more.
Experts@Minnesota displays research profiles for people at the U of M and feeds publication lists to U of M center and department websites. But it also saves the University money by providing ready-to-use data on University research outputs for reporting to funders. And it can demonstrate U of M collaborations among colleges or campuses or with researchers around the world.

Supporting research

The Libraries supports students, faculty, and staff with a wide variety of research services — including research crash courses; systematic reviews; the University Digital Conservancy; the Data Repository of University of Minnesota (DRUM); publishing services; Digital Arts, Sciences, and Humanities; and more.

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility

An approach to IDEA The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership Committee aims to develop or improve services with inclusion in mind, reduce barriers to learning,...

COVID-19 response

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Libraries shuttered its buildings and branches on March 17, 2020, while staff working from home continued online services. Staff returned in June to provide digital delivery services and to prepare buildings for fall. After extensive arrangements by facilities staff to encourage physical distancing, four libraries — Health Sciences, Magrath, Walter, and Wilson — opened for use by University faculty, staff, and students.
Library use statistics for 2020: 31,0000 research questions answered; 8.4 million article downloads, more than 1 million annual visitors, 2.1 million web visits, 2.27 million e-book downloads, and 1,151 workshops taught.

Libraries by the numbers

Library resources are embedded in Canvas course sites, making them easily accessible by students. This, along with multi-use e-book purchases, borrowing course material content, and publishing open textbooks has potentially saved students $3.6 million in fiscal year 2020, and the potential savings over the past five years totals $12.9 million.

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