The Chronicle of Higher Education has published a new story on the ways academic libraries are changing to better support student success and to make greater contributions to the strategic goals of the university, and we are proud to see the DePaul University Library take center stage.
In “What the 21st-Century Library Looks Like,” (subscription content) Chronicle reporter Shannon Najmadabi highlights the impact of recent changes to the John T. Richardson Library, including the Learning Commons and the Scholar’s Lab, as well as upcoming changes such as the Maker Hub and digital scholarship studios that are part of the current phase of the library renovation. Countering the idea that libraries and librarians have lost their place at the heart of the academic enterprise owing to the ease in accessing information directly through the web, Najmadabi highlights ways in which libraries like DePaul’s are retaining that place through the development of new library spaces and services, often in collaboration with colleagues in academic departments, student affairs, and the broader community, and through the establishment of new positions and programs such as our Wikipedia in the Classroom initiative. In addition to the DePaul programs the reporter shared, she was also able to participate in a meeting with DePaul faculty involved in Studio CHI, part of the library’s support for digital scholarship across the university, with special collections librarians and archivists building new programs for teaching and learning with primary sources, and with students receiving the inaugural Library Research Prize for First-Year Writing.
Academic libraries are successful, the story concludes, when librarians are intentional about pursuing initiatives that contribute to the core missions of the university and the specific initiatives identified in the strategic plan. We have been very focused at the DePaul University Library on our contributions to the university’s current strategic plan, and we encourage anyone with an interest to learn more through the President’s Vision 2018 reports and through our own annual “Top 10” lists.