CORVALLIS - Karyle Butcher, Oregon State University's librarian and deputy vice provost for Information Services, has been elected as an at-large member to the board of directors for the Greater Western Library Alliance.

The regional library consortium includes 29 research libraries located in 15 states ranging from Illinois to the West Coast. Twenty-three of its member libraries also belong to the Association of Research Libraries. The Valley Library at OSU has been a member since June of 2000.

The purpose of the consortium is to collaborate with other research-level libraries to add services or leverage current services to member libraries.

Butcher, who in 1998 was named Oregon Librarian of the Year by the Oregon Library Association, said membership in the Greater Western Library Alliance provides many benefits to the university's faculty and students.

"It provides us with partners for collaboration on services as well as opportunities to pursue technological initiatives we could not do on our own," she said. "It puts us in a playing field with other research libraries and gives OSU and the library national exposure."

Membership has allowed The Valley Library to participate in a survey assessing the library's services, a digital library project identifying significant rivers in the west and making the information available in electronic format, and participating in interlibrary loans with other members.

"We would not have these opportunities without being a member in the consortium," Butcher said.

Butcher said the consortium's board of directors oversees the budget, evaluates the executive directors and provides impetus for new initiatives. She will represent the West Coast and was elected because OSU libraries is noted for its innovation and agility. In 1999, The Valley Library at Oregon State University was named "Library of the Year" by the Library Journal - the first time a university library had ever won the award. "While our general fund budget is not comparable to most of the other members, we have been able to use unrestricted gift funds to pursue targeted opportunities," Butcher said.

Butcher will attend her first board meeting as a member in October in Nebraska.