Member Spotlight - Webster University Libraries

Webster University's Emerson LibraryFounded in 1915 as a Catholic women's college, Webster University is a private, non-profit university now operating as a non-denominational, co-ed institution boasting an FTE of 7,700 with 60 campuses globally. At the time of Webster's founding, very few opportunities for education for women existed. Serving the under-served has long been a focus for the University, which currently excels in providing education to first-generation and minority students as well as military personnel, and was recently recognized for promoting social mobility.

"To empower our diverse, global community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni to fulfill their research, learning, and information needs, now and in the future," is the mission of Webster University Libraries. The Libraries are located at the home campus in Webster Groves, Missouri; Accra, Ghana; Athens, Greece; Cha-am, Thailand; Geneva, Switzerland; Leiden, Netherlands; Tashkent, Uzbekistan; and Vienna, Austria. Librarians at all of these libraries work together to support students, faculty, and staff throughout the Webster University system. The Libraries place high value on students, learning, diversity and inclusion, and global citizenship. This can be seen in their assortment of outreach efforts, events, programs, resources, and even the library spaces themselves.

Built in 2013, the five-story, 71,000 square foot library in Webster Groves seats over 700 people in a variety of configurations, serving as a campus hub that welcomes 190,000 visitors per year. Only about 25% of Webster's students will ever step foot on the Webster Groves campus, with the rest taking classes online or at an extended campus. The Libraries strive to provide equitable services to students wherever they are according to ACRL's Standards for Distance Learning Library Services. In addition to the database discounts, Webster frequently makes use of the Amigos continuing education opportunities offered online, including the session recordings when time constraints prohibit attendance in the live sessions.

In this Amigos Member Spotlight on Webster University, Dean of University Libraries, Eileen Condon along with Head of Instruction, Liaison, & Research Services and Co-director, Global Leadership Academy, Holly Hubenschmidt share some things they've learned about collection building, international library accreditation, building institutional collaborations, as well as some data-driven building changes, adaptations and future plans.