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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 22, 2003

UI Libraries, Athletics Help Each Other Achieve Excellence

With another Hawkeye athletic season about to arrive, the UI Libraries are gearing up for another season of helping the university's student-athletes perform academically as well as they perform athletically.

"The University Libraries and the athletics department have had a long-standing partnership to ensure academic excellence for the entire university," said Nancy L. Baker, director of the UI Libraries. "The Libraries are the one facility service that all students on campus share, athletes and non-athletes alike, regardless of their academic major or extracurricular interests."

"Every great university has a great library at its foundation, and we want to do what we can to strengthen ours, not only for our student-athletes but for everybody in the campus community," said Bob Bowlsby, director of athletics.

Among the partnerships forged between the two departments over the years include the Libraries' User Education Programs that provide special training for student-athletes about the resources available to them. The athletic department's Student Services Office also works with Libraries staff to make sure student-athletes are aware of those resources, and how to use them.

The Main Library also maintains extended hours that help make it easier to use by student-athletes, and the online InfoHawk service helps them locate research material while on the road by simply dialing up the UI homepage.

"Student-athletes have many demands on their time, what with time for practice, training, team meetings, travel, and the competitions themselves, and we want to support them to encourage both academic and athletic success," said Baker.

In addition, the Libraries help preserve Hawkeye history in the special collections department. Special collections has an extensive collection of athletic memorabilia, including programs from all Hawkeye athletic games, a sports soft drink cup collection, bumper stickers, buttons, pins and photos. In addition, the library holds a large collection of papers and artifacts about Nile Kinnick, Jr., Iowa's Heisman Trophy winner. The Libraries and the Department of Health and Sport Studies also fund an annual graduate research assistant to preserve the history of girls' and women's sports in Iowa by organizing and writing guides to the sports-related collections in the Iowa Women's Archives.

Bowlsby said that the athletics department has recognized the importance and strength of the UI Libraries by providing $500,000 in financial gifts over the years. To make sure the library remains strong, the athletics department and libraries have forged yet another partnership and will soon initiate a development campaign to raise money for the library from Hawkeye fans. The campaign, "One Center of Excellence Supporting Another," will solicit funds from I-Club members and other Hawkeye fans by showing how important the Libraries are to the success of the entire university, including the athletics department. The campaign includes testimonials from Hawkeye women's soccer player Kitty Montgomery, field hockey player Jess Zosky and football players Jared Clauss and Grant Steen about their use of the library and how they benefit from the Athletics-Libraries partnership.

In addition, the athletics department is considering other ways to support the Libraries, such as scoreboard messages at games or by inserting flyers in mailings sent to Hawkeye fans.

"We intend for this to be an ongoing partnership to ensure that the University of Iowa continues to have a top research library," said Bowlsby.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010, tom-snee@uiowa.edu