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January 2012 |  Return to issue home

From the Dean

Dean Betsy Wilson
Dean Betsy Wilson

Every three years, we ask our campus community – faculty, undergraduate students, graduate students – how we’re doing.

I’m happy to report that the Libraries “rock” (in the parlance of students). Our resources are more heavily-utilized than ever, both online and in person; the number of students, faculty and staff that visit us in our physical libraries, use our computer and scanning workstations, printers, group study areas, as well as our virtual 24-hour chat reference, Libraries-licensed journals and databases, continues to increase each year.

A few examples:

  • During finals week, students make over 2,500 overnight visits each night to Odegaard Undergraduate Library, a resource-rich and location to focus, write papers, conduct research, or collaborate with fellow students.
  • Our “pull and scan” service to send electronic copies of print journal articles is heavily used and ranks among the most valued services offered to students and faculty.
  • Over 90 percent of faculty say we help them to be more productive in their research.

What hasn’t changed over the past decades is the need to find and obtain quality information in a timely manner.

What has changed is how we find accurate and relevant information in a world of over-abundance of information. With digital resources at our fingertips, we can digitize a volume to make it immediately accessible to a wider group of users, assist a patron online on real-time chat reference 24 hours a day, and scan and email a print journal article to a faculty member.

As I review the ratings and thoughtful comments made by our highest number of respondents since beginning the triennial survey in 1992, I am reminded of what makes these rankings possible: a dedicated, smart, and patron-focused team on three campuses.

As the University of Washington commemorates 150 years, I wonder how the University Librarians imagined the world of information as it is today. Looking forward to the coming decades the Libraries will continue to be guided by the needs of our users to provide essential and timely services to be at the core of academic research and learning. 150 years from now, the Libraries will still "rock."

For detailed survey results, see http://www.lib.washington.edu/assessment/surveys/survey2010/default.html


Dean Betsy Wilson



Lizabeth (Betsy) Wilson,
Dean of Libraries

* Photo by Cass Redstone

January 2012  |  Return to issue home

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