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One Library: Three Campuses

A Statement of Operating Principles

The University of Washington Libraries enriches the quality of life and advances intellectual discovery by connecting people with knowledge.

The University of Washington Libraries operates as one library serving three campuses. This document describes the principles on which we operate and the context in which planning and implementation takes place. 2010 marked the twentieth anniversary of the founding of the Bothell and Tacoma campuses; as we look to the future, the Libraries seeks to maintain and extend its role in the three campus University.

Institutional Context

The Three Campus University operates under the following conditions:

The University of Washington was established by the Legislature to provide for the education of the citizens of the State of Washington. The Seattle campus dates from 1861; the University of Washington, Tacoma and the University of Washington, Bothell were established in 1990.

The University of Washington is governed by a single Board of Regents and the President, reporting to the Board, serves as the Chief Executive Officer.

The Provost and Executive Vice President reports to the President and has responsibilities as Chief Budget Officer and Chief Academic Officer for the three campuses.

The University of Washington has one faculty code and one faculty senate. The Faculty is responsible for determining the curriculum and academic standards.

The University of Washington is committed to providing the highest caliber education to the citizens of the State, as well as to national and international students.

Undergraduate, graduate, and professional students benefit from the opportunities to engage in study and research at all three campuses through research appointments, internships, service learning and cross-campus enrollment.

Faculty benefit from the opportunity to teach at all three campuses, to engage in cross-campus research projects, and to participate in collaborative curriculum development.

Relationships among the three campuses of the University of Washington have evolved in unexpected ways across a broad set of domains, including faculty governance, curriculum development, and student affairs.

The Libraries Context

As the Libraries envisions its future, it reaffirms its commitment to providing an intellectual environment that enhances discovery and supports research and learning. In the interdisciplinary University of the future where knowledge is created both within and at the edges of disciplines, the Libraries plays an important role as an intellectual commons that functions both physically and virtually.

The Libraries is an international leader in imagining, creating, and realizing the promise of the 21st century academic research library. As the intellectual and physical commons of our great University, we advance discovery and encourage the growth of knowledge. We anticipate and meet the information needs of our diverse communities, at any time and in any place. We prepare students for success in life as information smart global citizens.

The Libraries continues to create the Any Time Any Place Library as a component of its academic business plan, which is designed to provide a sustainable level of access to resources and services for the future. By providing an integrated environment of content, tools, and services to address a wide range of needs, far-flung locations and different learning styles the Libraries supports discovery and research by faculty, staff and students throughout the three campus University. At the same time, the Libraries is committed to maintaining comfortable and inviting information spaces at all three campuses where interaction, consultation and learning are supported.

The Libraries is committed to maintaining excellence in information resources and digital scholarship. To remain a world class library, we do all we can to develop and maintain our collections at the highest level possible across all relevant subjects and across an ever broadening spectrum of formats and intellectual areas and we participate in consortia and other partnerships to leverage our purchasing power and share resources most effectively. The Libraries meets the information needs of all the University's disciplines at all three campuses. We establish repositories that preserve digital scholarship and the University's knowledge assets and use digital technologies to make our unique collections freely available to the world.

The Libraries promotes the creation of an information smart community. Librarians, through collaborations with educators on all three campuses and beyond, ensure that our graduates are information literate, able to find, select, and assess information, and therefore prepared to succeed in a global, diverse, knowledge society. Librarians continue to have a significant teaching role, working closely with faculty partners in curriculum development and delivery, and enhancing the library as a learning place.

The Libraries and the Three Campus University

The nature of libraries has changed significantly since the establishment of the newer campuses. The proliferation of electronic information products and virtual reference has resulted in a level of interdependence among libraries not imagined in 1990.

In order to facilitate access to the intellectual resources necessary for the exploration and creation of knowledge at all three campuses, the University of Washington Libraries is committed to providing comparable access to Libraries resources by all UW students, faculty and staff.

To make such access possible, the Libraries is committed to sharing relevant costs fairly and equitably among the three campuses and to maximizing the value of its investment in its resources. Examples of functions and processes supported centrally whose costs are shared among the campuses include:

  • licensing of electronic materials
  • integrated library system
  • acquisitions
  • cataloging
  • technical processing
  • interlibrary loan and document delivery, personnel and administrative services

Such collaboration facilitates and enhances the development and maintenance of three distinctive campuses with complementary strengths.

The Libraries uses a number of strategies aimed at maximizing access to resources and services across the three campuses:

  • shared strategic planning
  • informed and appropriate use and licensing of electronic information products and services
  • development of the Any Time Any Place library
  • sharing of print and non-print materials
  • membership in resource sharing consortia
  • participation in shared print repositories

Libraries staff are key to implementing the principle of One Library:Three Campuses, and participate through

  • collaborative approaches to collection development and collection management by librarians and library staff both individually and through committees and task forces
  • collaborative planning and budgeting by Libraries administrators and staff
  • collaborative support for and use of unique collections and staff expertise
  • commitment to building collection excellence across the Libraries as well as collection excellence tailored to support local needs and expectations
  • collaborative approaches to instruction and research services, including virtual reference and shared expertise
  • collaborative approaches to assessment
  • participation in librarian personnel system which covers all librarians and requires their participation in the peer process
  • consistent communication with internal and external audiences concerning Libraries operations, decision-making, and advancement.

October 18, 2005
Updated November 2, 2010
Updated January 25, 2011
Prepared by the Libraries Cabinet