January 18, 2022

Yale’s University Librarian: “Academic Libraries Can No Longer Assume their Importance and Value…”

From the Yale Daily News:

Yale’s libraries amassed new physical and digital holdings and expanded their influence on academia during the 2011–’12 academic year, University Librarian Susan Gibbons said in an annual report posted on the library’s website last week.


Gibbons said in the report that academic libraries can no longer assume that their importance is universally understood in an age of computer brands and websites like Google, Amazon and Apple. Yale’s libraries not only preserve knowledge, Gibbons said, but also play an active role as a partner to Yale in research and academic excellence through teaching and working with students and faculty. In the 2011–’12 academic year, the library provided 1,337 instruction sessions to more than 5,000 total students, compared with 746 sessions the year before, and established initiatives like the Traveling Scriptorium and Teaching Collection — two portable teaching tools for classes learning about the history of books and bookbinding.


The library spent $103.2 million during the 2011–’12 academic year. Endowments made up 60 percent of the library’s revenue, while general University appropriations made up 35 percent of the budget.

Read the Complete Article

See Also: Direct to Yale University Library Annual Report (2011-2012) (28 pages; PDF)

Here’s more of Susan Gibbon’s has to say (briefly mentioned in the article) about how an academic library can no longer assume their importance and value to their university community. Well said!!!

We believe that immersion in the Library’s collections and engagement with our staff and services are transformative in the intellectual and academic development of our students, and that is what distinguishes an education at Yale from all other academic institutions. It is a message that often goes unheard amidst the clamor of Google, Amazon, and Apple. Academic libraries can no longer assume that their importance and value to a university is universally understood. It is time for us to give voice to the essential role that we serve at Yale as the academic “heart of the university.”

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.