Greetings from Ed Van Gemert,
Vice Provost for Libraries and University Librarian
I want to welcome you to the University of Wisconsin–Madison Libraries! The UW Libraries are a wealth of resources, staff expertise, services, and learning spaces.
The Libraries manage the 11th largest research collection in North America. We provide convenient access to print materials; 24/7, multi-platform access to thousands of electronic journals, e-books, and databases; article and book delivery from libraries around the world; special collections of rare books and manuscripts; and locally created digital resources to support teaching, research, and learning.
Library staff provide exceptional and modern information services. Our information professionals will respond to your reference questions in-person, chat, email, or phone. Their expertise is invaluable and they will greatly enhance your understanding of our resources.
Campus libraries offer a variety of study spaces designed to accommodate all learning styles. I invite you to discover your favorite location. You will find study areas for quiet or group work, as well as spaces designed to meet your technological and research needs. For example, the Wisconsin Collaboratory for Enhanced Learning (WisCEL) spaces in College Library and Wendt Commons are multi-function spaces with state of the art technologies.
The mission of the UW-Madison Libraries is to support excellence in teaching, research and learning by providing resources, services and spaces that help to ensure the success of our students, faculty, and staff. We are also committed as a library system to supporting the Wisconsin Idea, and engaging in local, state, national, and global initiatives.
Please take the opportunity to visit our libraries and discover for yourself why we think the UW–Madison Libraries are the heart of this great university.
Ed Van Gemert
Vice Provost for Libraries and University Librarian
About the UW-Madison Campus Libraries
The UW–Madison campus libraries are as diverse as the campus itself and range in size from small reading rooms with a few hundred books to major research collections containing several million titles in multiple formats. With the exception of single department reading rooms, most campus libraries have their holdings listed in the shared electronic catalog and participate in other library services such as lending and document delivery. The libraries represented in the shared catalog are divided administratively into four major groups (although these distinctions are invisible to our users).
- The General Library System (GLS) consists of Memorial Library (humanities and social sciences), College Library (undergraduate library), Steenbock Library (agriculture and life sciences), and thirteen GLS “member libraries” that serve broad-based disciplines (Archives, Art, Astronomy, Business, Chemistry, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Music, Physics, Social Science, Social Work, and Special Collections).
- Professional Libraries serve the university’s schools in Law, Medicine (Ebling Library for the Health Sciences), and Engineering (Wendt Commons).
- The Wisconsin State Historical Society Library & Archives shares our automated library systems. It is also the official campus library for materials on North American history.
- Special Purpose Libraries serve individual departments or programs, and may be funded through campus or outside (e.g. federal) sources. Examples include American Indian Studies Library, Cooperative Children’s Book Center, Journalism Reading Room, LGBT Campus Center, MERIT Library (Teacher Education), Schwerdtfeger Space Science Library, Robinson Map Library, and SLIS Library (School of Library and Information Studies).
We are vital to the teaching, learning, research, and outreach mission of our great University.
We meet the changing needs of the academic community by providing:
- Leadership for the selection, organization, access and preservation of sources of knowledge in all formats;
- Exemplary information services designed to fulfill the needs of a great public university;
- Inspirational environments for collaborative and individual discovery, study and learning.
Strategic Directions & Goals, 2008 - 2012
- Assess, identify and respond to user needs in teaching, learning, research and outreach
- Library's increased awareness of changing user needs and users' increased awareness of library resources and services.
- Monitor and respond to changes in user behavior and expectations.
- Expand opportunities to participate in campus teaching and learning initiatives.
- Improve access to physical and virtual resources
- Work to secure funding to build a remote preservation and shelving facility.
- Strengthen navigation, discovery and access across all resources and services.
- Integrate libraries into environments where users work and interact
- Identify potential intersections of user workflow/environment with library services and resources.
- Achieve better library integration into enterprise (institutional) systems such as MyUW and Learn@UW.
- Find more/new ways to establish a library presence in non-library spaces (virtual and physical).
- Enhance management and change-management skills in library staff
- Develop well-trained managers.
- Prepare staff to adapt, function, and thrive in a changing world.
- Actively participate in information policy partnerships
- Initiate a campus-wide copyright education campaign.
- Advocate and provide leadership in support of alternative models of scholarly communication, open access publishing, and the retention of author's rights.
Strategic Planning 2013
UW-Madison Libraries are faced with a rapidly changing environment, requiring a rigorous examination of its capacity to chart a strategic and visionary course for the future, a course aligned with meeting the campus' broad mission of advancing research and education.
For more information about the strategic planning process, see the timeline which includes the project charter, stakeholder assessment and other documents.