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SPRI Review 2012: Library and Information Service

Library and Information Service

The international focus on the Scott centenary made 2012 a particularly busy year for the Library. We continued to offer service and research support to students and academic staff from many University departments, with regular users coming from the Department of Geography and the Institute itself. The Library received over 800 visits from external readers during the year, but also hosted many film and television crews and a larger than usual number of visiting groups. Library staff provided induction sessions and information literacy training for postgraduate students. The Librarian provided tours for a wide range of groups, including University College London, CAMCREES, the Cambridge graduate library trainees and Stig Tore Lunde and his staff from the Sandefjord Museum and Archives in Norway. Georgina Cronin assisted with the organisation of this year’s Festival of Ideas events by displaying material from the Library collections in the Museum. The Library also mounted a display in the Friends’ Room of Liz Jackson’s work on the colour of glaciers.

A total of 2987 monographic items was added to the library during the year. The SPRILIB web catalogue (Antarctica, Ice and Snow and Russian North) was also updated to include material published up to the end of 2012. Polar and Glaciological Abstracts was published in-house with three issues produced during the year. Records were sent for two updates of the Arctic and Antarctic Regions CD-ROM published by the National Information Services Corporation. Working in co-operation with the World Data Centre for Glaciology, records of items relating to the current International Polar Year were submitted quarterly to the IPY Publications Database, Input continued to the Antarctic Bibliography, searchable free of charge on the web at

In addition to research grants received for specific projects, the Institute received, during the financial year, sums for the general support of information and library services. Thanks are due to several supporting bodies.

Ministry of Defence grant in aid (DC-ICSP) £35,000
Royal Society grant-in-aid (for WDCGC) £11,000
FCO Polar Regions Department £10,000
Ferring Pharmaceuticals £50,000

Heather Lane continued to represent the Institute on the Journals Coordination Scheme Consultative Committee for the School of Physical Sciences, the Departmental and Faculty Librarians’ Group and the Cambridge Libraries Advisory Group. She represented the Institute at meetings of the Antarctica 100 committee and at the British Antarctic Territories stakeholders meeting, as well as continuing as a member of the General Board Museums Committee and the Cambridge Museums Steering Group. Due to ill health, she was unable to attend the Polar Libraries Colloquy in Boulder, Colorado, but SPRI was represented by Antarctic Bibliographer Hilary Shibata. Georgina Cronin represented the Library as a member of the William Mills Book Prize Committee and continued her postgraduate qualification in Information and Library Management by distance learning from Northumbria University.

Janey Huber Reacher and Niamh O’Mahony were appointed to temporary cataloguing posts to assist with the Glaciology and Russian collections, respectively, and considerable progress was made towards the planned migration from the Library’s current Muscat cataloguing system to the Voyager system used throughout the University’s libraries. Suzan Griffiths, Ann Keith, Jacqueline Bell, Marie Purdy and Sandra Linton provided cover in the Library Office for absent staff. We were very sorry to see Shirley Sawtell leave for early retirement in October. Shirley has been with the Institute for over 20 years and has assisted countless researchers and students with their work.

The continuing efforts of our volunteers are vital in helping the library to provide research support. Percy Hammond and Jean Cruttwell continued their excellent work with the map collection. The Library also offered two work placements for school pupils during the year.

Heather Lane