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About the Libraries

Goals and Objectives

The Vassar College Libraries work to achieve its mission by providing excellent collections and services, and by pursuing a wide range of evolving goals and objectives. These are updated periodically, as new opportunities and priorities emerge.  

Area of Focus: Academic Excellence

The Vassar College Libraries are embedded in the teaching, learning, and research landscape of the college, and are guided by the liberal arts ethos and vibrant multi-disciplinarity of the Vassar curriculum.

Goal #1: Position the Libraries at the center of teaching and learning

  • Further develop the Academic Engagement department and the Libraries' liaison program to facilitate deep collaboration and communication with faculty, students, and campus departments and initiatives.

  • Integrate the Libraries into a new vision for the Learning, Teaching, and Research Center, aka, the Collaborative.

  • Enhance connections between library instruction and coursework, including through library-driven instruction.

  • Develop partnerships that leverage the Libraries’ rich resources to enhance course offerings, focusing on Intensives, work with the Office of Community Engaged Learning, and other emerging curricular initiatives.

  • Implement a Digital Preservation initiative to ensure effective and ongoing access to an increasingly digital body of resources.

Goal #2: Provide leadership on issues related to information accessibility and equity

  • Champion Open Access by allocating resources and committing to action through national initiatives.

  • Promote the use of Open Educational Resources and Open Textbooks.

  • Partner with EPI and other campus groups on efforts to improve student access to required texts. 

Goal #3: Continually examine how practices centering equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism can infuse our work

  • Assess and improve service models to ensure equitable and effective experiences for all users.

  • Partner with campus colleagues to develop approaches to library-held materials documenting racism and injustice at the college. 

  • Advance our approach to Collections and Discovery in terms of our values and their connections to campus academic initiatives.

Area of Focus: Campus Community & Culture

The Vassar College Libraries provide spaces, services, and programs that are welcoming to all, integrated into the fabric of campus life, and reflective of the rich diversity of the Vassar community.

Goal #1: Integrate the Library more effectively with the students’ campus experiences

  • Work more closely with student-facing initiatives and offices, including Residential Life, to integrate the Library into their programming.

  • Develop shared spaces (e.g. Collaboration Studio) to invite interaction with students’ creative and intellectual works.

Goal #2:  Ensure that library spaces and services points are attentive and responsive to the needs of a diverse community

  • Develop a new, cohesive plan for inclusive space use, informed by a variety of data.

  • Build an accessible entrance.

  • Develop guidelines and resources for community exhibition and performance spaces.

Goal #3: Enhance the Libraries’ role as a communal space for connection, exploration, and collaboration, both within library spaces and virtually

  • Redesign the Learning, Teaching, and Research Center spaces with an emphasis on greater integration and collaboration with the Libraries.

  • Reexamine exhibition spaces, both physical and virtual, to enhance the visibility and accessibility of Special Collections and library exhibitions.

  • Install a cafe in the Main Library.

Area of Focus: Vassar in the World

The Vassar College Libraries develop and strengthen local and global connections to contribute to Vassar's role in advancing higher education in the liberal arts.

Goal #1: Promote efforts to increase equitable, global access to information

  • Collaborate with nationally recognized long-term preservation and access services to digitize content from a variety of sources to broaden the resources available to our constituents.

  • Evaluate opportunities for outreach & exchange programs that bring VCL staff expertise and collections into conversation with other organizations.

Goal #2: Enhance the impact of Vassar’s libraries in surrounding communities

  • Identify and pursue opportunities to engage a broader community in our programming and collections.

  • Support and encourage volunteerism in the local community, for all interested VCL staff.

  • Use exhibition and performance space beyond the campus.

Goal #3: Leverage Vassar Libraries’ resources to address urgent global crises of racial injustice, climate change, and economic inequality

  • Identify priority action items for the libraries to support campus carbon neutrality initiatives.

  • Strengthen existing and evaluate potential new opportunities for cross-institutional collaboration (e.g., within Oberlin Group and other peer libraries/institutions, as well as with local institutions) related to social justice.

Lamps along table in Thompson Library trancept