“..the library - especially one so vast - is no mere cabinet of curiosities; it’s a world, complete and uncompletable, and it is filled with secrets. Like a world, it has its changes and its seasons, which belie the permanence that ordered ranks of books imply. Tugged by the gravity of readers’ desires, books flow in and out of the library like the tides.”
“ The digital objects of today are the incunabula of a not-too-distant tomorrow - our palimpsests, our geniza bits, the refuse of our restless and inconsolable appetite for change and immortality.”
As the above quotation from Matthew Battles indicates, the Central University Libraries (CUL) finds itself pulled between two gravitational force fields – the past, which we are honor-bound to preserve and protect – and the future, serving new generations of users in new ways. The title for our transformational strategic plan – Unbooked and Unbound: Central University Libraries for the Second Century – points to the changing landscape of our world and our desire to empower our users by removing traditional restraints. At the same time, we hope to capture the reality of the growing digitization of our world while still paying homage to the book in all its beloved, tangible and tactile glory. SMU’s newly announced capital campaign – SMU Unbridled – points both forwards and backwards; it contains both past – the University growing out of the North Texas prairie – and future, “inspiring new ideas in a classical setting.” As members of the SMU family, we honor this legacy and are proud to be a vital part of this heritage.