LOUISVILLE, Ky.–The University of Louisville has advanced another step toward becoming a major research institution and achieved another goal in its Challenge for Excellence. U of L received word today that it has been accepted as a member of the prestigious Association of Research Libraries.

    The organization’s 123 member libraries voted unanimously May 23 to accept.U of L at its spring meeting in Santa Monica, Calif., seven months after an ARL membership review committee visited the university.

    “All of our activities have indicated we are ready to be an ARL member given their criteria of being able to support a research institution’s activities,” said Hannelore Rader, university librarian. “They were quite impressed with Louisville.”

    ARL membership is by invitation only and is based on collection, services, publications and other resources, and on support from the university’s administration, faculty and students.

    “Getting into ARL is no easy task,” said U of L President John Shumaker. “Dr. Rader and her staff have done an outstanding job over the past five years of bringing the quality of the library collections and services up to ARL standards. Their work is to be commended.”

    Shumaker learned of the achievement of one his major Challenge for Excellence goals on his last day on campus as president.

    “Membership in ARL is a tremendous boost for U of L and says a lot about the commitment of the libraries and the entire university to research,” added Provost Carol Garrison, who will become acting president.

    U of L has undergone informal evaluation by ARL for several years and originally was scheduled for review in 2002. After seeing the quality of the libraries and commitment to research, ARL moved the review up one year, Rader said.

    ARL is a not-for-profit organization of research libraries in the United States and Canada. Other members include the University of Kentucky, the University of Cincinnati and the Library of Congress.