University of Pittsburgh
November 14, 2001

University of Pittsburgh Launches Major Initiative to Replace Lost Books at Hillman Library


Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH—A major initiative has been launched at the University of Pittsburgh to acquire new books for Hillman Library, and to replace the thousands of books that have been lost or stolen over the years. Financed with $250,000 from the Office of the Provost, the project is called the Library Undergraduate Collection Initiative (LUCI), and focuses on obtaining books of interest to undergraduate students. The Office of the Provost is providing $250,000 to launch LUCI, and the University Library System will set aside $50,000 yearly to maintain the plan.

Over a recent 4-month period, approximately 600 books were reported as lost or missing from Hillman Library, a nationally recognized research library that holds about two million volumes.

According to assistant university librarian Fern Brody, "These lost books cover a wide range of topics—a book on Stevie Wonder; the best seller, On Photography; and books of poetry and popular literature, to name a few." Brody also is receiving input from Hillman bibliographers about what new volumes to order, with suggestions ranging from more books on philosophy to biographies of Harry S. Truman.

According to University of Pittsburgh Provost James V. Maher, the new initiative is part of an overall University effort to enhance the undergraduate experience. "That means providing our students with a comprehensive environment to develop their talents," said Maher. "With this particular commitment, we will be providing many important library resources for our undergraduates to explore. In my opinion, that goes to the core of an undergraduate education, which is helping students learn to learn on their own."