May 19, 2022

Vanderbilt University: “Future of the Libraries Focus of New Report”

From Vanderbilt University:

In assessment of the value the Vanderbilt community places on its libraries today and the future of what library services and resources should become are the topics of a report recently released [April 2015] by the Future of the Libraries Committee. The committee was charged by Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan Wente and convened by Vice Provost Cynthia Cyrus in October 2014 to develop a vision for the future direction of the Vanderbilt University library system.


This report tells us our libraries are deeply valued by our students, faculty and staff and are integral to our life as a university. It also identifies key areas in which the libraries must continue to evolve to support the collaboration and interdisciplinary problem-solving that is the foundation of our Academic Strategic Plan,” Wente said. “I’m grateful to the committee members for their work and believe we have a solid foundation on which to move forward.”


The committee identified several potential future services the libraries could provide as digital resources and expertise become ever more important to research and scholarship. They include:

  • Data manipulation and management consultation and training. The committee found that the campus community seeks support for data visualization, data curation and interactive data analysis. Library staff are poised to provide these services and to advise on best practices to organize and extract data for current and future research needs.
  • Scholarly presence and authors’ rights. Librarians can be resources for using alternative publishing platforms, archival repositories for making their publications accessible online, and advice on how authors can retain rights to their own work.
  • Copyright consultation. The committee identified a need to continue to develop infrastructure to support faculty compliance with copyright policies and noted that the library and the subject liaisons could serve as front-line support for faculty dealing with intellectual property issues.

In looking at the current state, the committee found the library provides a highly valued and distinctly academic physical space and atmosphere for deep thought that supports the university’s teaching and research missions in a variety of ways. These include:

  • Access to an evaluated mix of premium content, databases, journals, primary source material and data that support the breadth of research;
  • Librarians with subject and discipline expertise that provide information consultation services that help members of the Vanderbilt community identify information and data sources, as well as keep current with new research and support for cross-disciplinary teaching and research;
  • Library staff who support student learning and impart lifelong skills with curriculum-integrated instruction sessions and embedded educational technologies in the form of video tutorials and Web guides; and
  • Faculty delivery and interlibrary loan. Both are particularly valued services cited by campus faculty.

Read the Complete Article

Direct to Full Text Report:  The Report of the Future of the Libraries Committee (April 2015; 22 pages; PDF)

Direct to Future of Libraries Project Web Site

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.