The theme of National Library Week 2016 is “Libraries Transform,” a celebration of the role of libraries in our communities and the ways in which academic libraries are transforming to better meet the information needs of their users and to better support new models of teaching, learning, scholarship, and service in higher education.
At DePaul, there has been no clearer evidence of this transformation than the ongoing renovation of the John T. Richardson Library, which, since 2013, has seen significant changes in its physical space, available information technology, and variety of services made available to DePaul University faculty, staff, and students, including those found in the Learning Commons and the Scholar’s Lab. During 2015 – 2016, library staff have continued to collaborate with faculty and students to plan for the next phase of the Richardson Library renovation, which promises new enhancements to spaces and services, as well as a “transformed” approach to our design and delivery of services in emergent areas of the DePaul academic program, including digital humanities and data science.
Since 2013, the DePaul University Library has pursued strategic investments in the creation and acquisition of digital content, established new programs in technology training and loanable technology, and provided leadership for strategic partnerships with other libraries, archives, and museums that ensure that members of the DePaul community have access to the tools, resources, and expertise they need to be “world ready.” If you have borrowed materials from foreign countries through the Center for Research Libraries, located primary source materials through Chicago Collections, or downloaded a digital data set made accessible through the Federal Depository Library Program, you have seen how our library promotes innovation in education at DePaul, and how our library has “transformed” to better serve the needs of a changing academic environment.
Sari Feldman, President of the American Library Association, has said that: “Today’s libraries are not just about what we have for people, but what we do for and with people,” and people have always been at the heart of library service at DePaul. “The goal of the Libraries Transform campaign,” she continues, “is to change the perception that ‘libraries are just quiet places to do research, find a book, and read’ to a shared understanding of libraries as dynamic centers for learning in the digital age.” This vision for the future of academic libraries has helped shape the transformation of library spaces, services, and collections at DePaul as part of Vision 2018, and we look forward to continuing to work with our campus and community partners to ensure that the library remains a center for innovation at DePaul University.