University of Pittsburgh
October 29, 2000


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 26 -- A $2.5 million grant from The Hillman Foundation, Inc. to the University of Pittsburgh has been approved to establish an endowed chair for the university librarian and director of the University Library System. Rush Miller, head of Pitt's University Library System, will be the first incumbent of the Hillman Chair, which is one of only a handful of similar endowed librarian chairs at universities throughout the country.

"World-class universities have world-class libraries, and we have been impressed with the steps that the University of Pittsburgh has taken to respond with innovative technological solutions to the changing and increasing needs of library patrons," Ronald W. Wertz, president of The Hillman Foundation, said. "We have confidence in Rush Miller and the University and their ability to respond positively to the increasing demands in higher education and in library services, and we are pleased to help support those important efforts."

"Everyone at Pitt is proud of the fact that the Hillman name is so prominently associated with our University Library System," Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg said. "The Hillman Library itself, which has been a center of academic activity for decades, could not have been built without the generous support of The Hillman Foundation decades ago. Today, we are deeply grateful that the Hillman Foundation and its board of directors have chosen to express their support and confidence by investing so generously in the library's leadership."

"Library strength is critical to the work of both faculty members and students, particularly in a research university. Here at Pitt, we are blessed with both a wonderful collection and with world-class library leadership. This endowed chair signals the importance that we place on our libraries, and better positions us to meet the ever increasing information needs of the scholarly community," Nordenberg added.

To meet these increasing demands as it supports the research and instructional missions of the University, the University Library System has developed a number of new initiatives. Access now is offered to hundreds of on-line databases and full text sources, both from the University's libraries and from remote locations, including residence halls, offices, and homes. The 16 library locations provide student-centered services comparable to any university library in America.

The University of Pittsburgh libraries and collections provide a wealth of information and services to the faculty, students, staff, administrators, and researchers of the University. The University's collections total more than 4.2 million books or volumes, and more than 28,000 periodical subscriptions. The collection of electronic resources is growing rapidly and now includes hundreds of databases, over 4,500 electronic journal titles, and over 115,000 electronic books.