This year we implemented a new Strategic Roadmap developed to align with the university strategic transformation project. In this roadmap, we focus on the overarching goals of making the university an exemplary land grant institution: leading in creation and dissemination of knowledge; being collaborative, integrative and effective; being a model of social equity; and promoting sustainability, wellbeing and an enriched quality of life. I hope you take time to familiarize yourself with how the library contributes to these high ideals in the story about our roadmap.
You will find that so many of the other stories begin to paint the picture of the diversity of ways we put this roadmap into action. Our focus on graduate students through new spaces and programs highlights the important role they play in defining not only our land grant role but also our R1 status as a high research university. Through their colleges they gain great mastery and depth of knowledge, but the Libraries are able to provide spaces and programming that help them connect to those outside of their field. This interaction is so important to the interdisciplinary approach needed to solve so many of our global “wicked” problems.
Karen Diaz, Dean of WVU Libraries
As society grapples with problems around inequity, being a model of social equity requires finding ways to elevate and center voices and contributions of individuals who have been historically marginalized. This year’s Art in the Libraries’ major exhibit will focus on Indigenous Appalachia and help us better understand the nuanced perspectives required for an appreciative, more accurate understanding of modern Indigenous people, and how the histories of European and Native American cultures have interacted over the years. We were also very excited to unveil the first of three Inclusive Portraits in our grant funded project to increase the representation of whose portraits hang in our inspirational reading rooms.
A prototype of the American Congress Digital Archives Project is a first step in revolutionizing access to Congressional papers nationally. This will enhance the ability of many researchers to discover and disseminate new knowledge around how Congress works including the behind the scenes efforts that result in new legislation to benefit the American public. It will provide an important new tool for all educators involved in civics education.
As society grapples with problems around inequity, being a model of social equity requires finding ways to elevate and center voices and contributions of individuals who have been historically marginalized.
Karen Diaz, Dean of WVU Libraries
And we continue, as always, to enrich the quality of life through programming, such as this year’s West Virginia Day that explored the poetry of our state and region through the opening of the new William A. Neal Museum of the Health Sciences. Numerous exhibits, including that featuring the Buffalo Creek Disaster 50th Anniversary serve to educate, enlighten and surprise our visitors.
Also, we are happy to celebrate the 42nd anniversary (COVID prevented us from celebrating on the nice round number of 40) of the Evansdale Library – which has become an integral part of that campus. And, in addition, we are so excited to reopen the Milano Room after a long renovation period that helped us modernize the capabilities of the reading room while maintaining the grandeur and historic nature of this inspirational space.
Dean of Libraries