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Libraries Mission, Vision, and Values


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


The University of Washington Libraries will accelerate inquiry, creativity, and learning for global impact and the public good. We will advance student success, catalyze world-class research, amplify the diverse voices of our communities, and empower faculty, staff and students to experiment fearlessly and create new knowledge.


User Centered

We align our services and programs with the needs of our communities and strive to create shared ownership of the Libraries.


We do this by:

  • Applying user-centered and universal design principles to our services, spaces, and resources;
  • Creating systems, procedures, and policies that are intuitive and accessible to all;
  • Using assessment intentionally to understand user needs and gather actionable data leading to improvements with measurable impact;
  • Being flexible in response to evolving user needs and leveraging the expertise of our staff to guide decision-making in partnership with user communities.
  • Actively promoting Libraries services and resources to user communities and being transparent about our decisions and accountable for our actions.


We invest in sustained and intentional partnerships to achieve shared goals that increase the impact of education, research, clinical care and the advancement of knowledge.


We do this by:

  • Leveraging our campus position as a hub for scholarship and learning that is increasingly collaborative and interdisciplinary;
  • Combining expertise and resources with partners to amplify and extend the impact of the work done at UW;
  • Listening and communicating openly and effectively with each other and our user communities;
  • Approaching our work holistically, balancing individual creativity and agency with an active understanding of the implications of our decisions.


We aspire to become a truly inclusive and equitable organization. We actively support the University in sustaining diversity, creating inclusive experiences for the UW community, and confronting institutional bias and structural racism.


We do this by:

  • Providing equitable services and resources to all people, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, or veteran status.
  • Continuously engaging in addressing our personal and organizational biases in order to transform our practices and achieve systemic change.
  • Fostering an inclusive and respectful environment by listening and responding to the needs of our user communities and Libraries staff.


We embrace a culture of exploration, experimentation and reflection to improve services, anticipate needs and manage change.


We do this by:

  • Creating a culture of openness to alternative solutions and empowering staff to propose new ideas that address shared challenges;
  • Developing robust and respectful feedback loops to ensure ongoing organizational and individual learning;
  • Providing spaces, services, resources and tools that facilitate interactivity and creativity for our organization and our user communities.


We are committed to being outstanding stewards of our human, environmental, physical, digital and financial resources. We engage in holistic decision-making, balancing current needs, resource allocation and long-term aspirations.


We do this by:

  • Making our work sustainable by valuing library staff and maintaining a healthy work-life balance;
  • Preserving and conserving resources of cultural value and historical significance to the communities we serve;
  • Aligning our resources and decisions with values, strategic priorities, user needs and institutional mission and goals.