Reorganizing College Libraries For The 21st Century

Air Date:
Heard On The Morning Show
UWGB Cofrin Library (CC-BY)

Libraries at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are poised for reorganization. Our first guest leads libraries at UW-Madison; he discusses the motivation for restructuring campus libraries. Our second guest puts the UW-Madison plan in context and explains how libraries serve patrons as information access changes.

The new plan calls for a “hub” system with six high-tech locations with space to collaborate. The shift would close 22 smaller libraries across campus and cut the space for books by more than half. Ed Van Gemert is vice provost for library services and university librarian at UW-Madison. He joins us to explain the plan and consider the factors that prompt a change at the UW System’s flagship university.

Students and researchers use modern libraries differently than decades past. Our second guest is a leader at the Association for College and Research Libraries. The organization is part of the American Library Association, which promotes libraries, advocates for improvements, and supports the profession of librarians. She provides context for the UW-Madison plan and identifies trends in libraries nationwide. The ACRL leader also breaks down how libraries help people learn as technology and preferences change.

Does it make sense to you to consolidate libraries at UW-Madison? Are you a college librarian? What don’t people understand about the work? Did you access libraries while doing research or working as a grad student? Tell us about it. Email, tweet @wprmornings or post on the Ideas Network Facebook page. You can call 800-642-1234 during the show to share your story live on air.

Episode Credits

  • John Munson Host
  • Chris Malina Producer
  • Ed Van Gemert Guest
  • Cheryl Middleton Guest