The New Future of UW-Madison Libraries-Common Ground
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LIS 450: Op Ed
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From (individual): UW-Madison SLIS Graduate Student, Wei-Chih Tung
To (newspaper organization): Wisconsin State Journal (Opinion Section)
Subject: The New Future of UW-Madison Libraries-Common Ground
Date: December 14, 2013
When we saw Madison Mayor Paul Soglin at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sep 21 to celebrate the re-opening of the Madison Central Public Library, we believed he was leading Madison into the 21st Century. We acknowledge that the future of an information environment has arrived in this beautiful city to embrace and respond to the challenges of our citizens’ information needs. From the beginning, this project has been fully supported by the City Council, business community, and general public who strongly believe that knowledge is power, information is crucial, and accessing information is essential to enrich the lives of every family from kids to senior citizens.
In fact, the Public Library is a lifelong learning environment. As a public institution, the Madison Central Public Library is a lighthouse on Capitol Square that guides the people of Madison to help them fulfill their lifelong learning needs. If you have not visited the public library recently at 201 W. Mifflin St., why not stand up, bundle up, and walk into the library now that our snow seems whiter than usual this winter. You will be amazed at the image of everyone quietly and highly focused on their learning process. Wow, how beautiful! Why not Join them?
In the meantime, at 728 State Street is UW-Madison Memorial Library. Mr. Edward Van Gemert (UW Vice Provost for Libraries and University Librarian) has already launched a new project named, UW Libraries Strategic Planning 2013 with his talented librarian team. According to Project Charter of Campus Libraries Strategic Framework, on May 1, the Project Description states that “UW-Madison libraries are faced with a rapidly changing environment, requiring a rigorous examination of its capacity to chart a strategic and visionary course for the future, a course aligned with meeting the campus’ broad mission of advancing research and education.” The project’s goals are to “develop a strategic framework for campus libraries with a 5 year time frame 2014-2019 that includes engagement by library staff and stakeholders, including UW faculties, students, and staffs, etc…… The project scope has two main phases: (1) assessment and (2) implementation.”
The key point of this new project is to not only for the UW Library to respond to the new UW Strategic Framework established by a new chancellor, but also to prepare UW Libraries to provide better common ground services for their stakeholders. First, the mission of UW is to excel in “teaching, learning, research, and outreach.” The UW Libraries play a very central role in assisting faculty members before, during, and after their teaching processes. Simultaneously, it also provides a learning environment with resources for all UW students. One thing different between the public library and the academic library is the research collection housed in the UW Libraries that is available for UW faculty members and students.
One of challenges of higher education is to prepare college students for their new life after graduation. Our recent graduates are the new blood of our society. I want our UW students able to enjoy fantastic library services at both academic and public library settings in order to think globally and act locally enabling a positive contribution in the world.
The UW Libraries Strategic Planning 2013 has a similarly significant role for the university as the Madison Central Public Library project does to Madison. I am sincerely seeking our Madison City Council, business community, and general public’s full support for this academic library project with as much enthusiasm as we saw on Sep 21 during the ceremony. May I count on you? Thank you!
Madison Central Public Library celebrates grand reopening, Wisconsin State Journal, Sep 23, 2013, Retrieved from
Project Charter Campus Libraries Strategic Framework, UW Libraries Administration, Dec 14, 2013, Retrieved from
Our Vision, UW Libraries Administration, Dec 14, 2013, Retrieved from
Strategic Planning 2013, UW Libraries Administration, Dec 14, 2013, Retrieved from