About Western Libraries

outdoors, brick pathway with trees on either side leading toward Wilson Library building , north entrance

Western Libraries proudly serves as an intellectual crossroads for the university community and as an innovative partner in Western's teaching and research mission. We seek to advance knowledge, self-awareness, and understanding. The Libraries is a place of inquiry and learning where intellectual freedom, privacy, and confidentiality are respected and protected.  We are committed to a culture of excellence, integrity, and leadership that inspires visionary thinking, critical discourse, accountability, and transparent practices. 

In our important leadership role as University partners, library faculty, staff, and student employees have joined with library colleagues nationwide to embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion, and vigorously oppose racism, prejudice, and discrimination. Western Libraries helps patrons engage thoughtfully with our complex history, find solutions to difficult societal problems, and advance pluralism and democracy. 

In support of our mission and values, the Libraries has developed collections that span a variety of media, formats, and historical time periods, including physical and digital content, materials that are owned and leased, vendor-provided content, and special collections and archival materials. We responsibly steward a wide range of rare and unique resources in support of teaching, learning, research, and public programming. Collection highlights include the history and development of children’s and young adult literature and poetry; Northwest history, art, and literature; Mongolian Studies; the art and history of the book; educational history and pedagogy; and the history of the university.

With a focus on the integrated academic literacies of reading, research, writing, speaking, and listening, the Libraries has developed an array of credit courses, curricular-embedded activities, and co-curricular opportunities.  These offerings reach undergraduate and graduate students across disciplines, both in-person and online. Together, these initiatives address three overarching learning goals: inquiry, collaboration, and agency. 

Library News & Updates

Find out more about new services, programs, events, and resources through the Library Updates, News,  Events & Exhibits.

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Your gift to Western Libraries strengthens research, teaching, and learning throughout the university.

Collections Services

Western Libraries Collection Services includes stewardship of the library resource access budget and active engagement at every stage of the lifecycle of library materials. This work encompasses the selection, acquisition, organization, and preservation of content, and also efforts to make content discoverable and accessible; regular and ongoing collection assessment; careful monitoring of physical space; leveraging regional and national relationships to supplement local holdings; and more. The Cataloging & Metadata Services team (CMS) operates within Collection Services to create, enhance, and maintain descriptive metadata for the Libraries' collections.

Archives & Special Collections

Western Libraries Archives & Special Collections  (A&SC) provides for the responsible stewardship of rare, unique, and archival resources in support of teaching, learning, research, and public programming. A&SC collects and manages documentation critical to the development of academic literacies and scholarship and offers programs designed to expand creative networks between students, faculty, and staff. These efforts increase engagement between Western and local communities and promote respectful engagement with diverse perspectives, advance understandings of social justice issues, honor indigenous peoples, and preserve and document Western's place in the community, region, and the world.   

Teaching & Learning

Western Libraries provides undergraduate and graduate students at Western a range of academic support across the disciplines in a variety of forms, both in-person and online. These include: research and writing assistance, math and science GUR tutoring, workshops, credit courses, online tutorials, library tours, library orientations, and other learning resources. Both the Tutoring Center and the Hacherl Research & Writing Studio cultivate, foster, and strengthen peer-to-peer student mentorship models that enhance the teaching and learning experience and address the learning goals of inquiry, collaboration, and agency.