Wayne State University Library System Joins the Greater Western Library Alliance

Post date: Jan 25, 2018

25 January 2018

The Wayne State University Library System (WSULS) has been granted admission to the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA). The GWLA membership approved this action through a ballot proposal conducted during December 2017.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Wayne State Library System to the Greater Western Library Alliance,” said GWLA Executive Director Joni Blake. “The WSULS and librarians are exceptionally focused on helping students succeed via innovative services and technologies, and our members will benefit from their knowledge, experience, and commitment to diversity.”

GWLA is a dynamic, effective, project‐oriented consortium of research libraries headquartered in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. Its member institutions are predominantly in the central and western United States. GWLA is recognized nationally as a leader in the transformation of scholarly communications and a facilitator in the application of new information technologies. With the addition of WSULS, GWLA comprises 38 member institutions.

"Membership in GWLA will immediately benefit our faculty and students by expanding their library access to a wider array of special collections and resources," Wayne State University Provost Keith Whitfield said. "It also will open the door to new partnerships, and many new collaborative GWLA projects that align with the focus areas of Wayne State’s Strategic Plan.”

GWLA membership will bring Wayne State University faculty and students faster access to research collections complementing the WSULS’s own collections. The fact that Wayne State is outside of GWLA’s primary geographic footprint did not stop Wayne State University Library System Dean Jon Cawthorne from pursuing membership immediately upon his appointment as in August 2017. As Dean of Libraries for the West Virginia University (WVU) Libraries, Cawthorne successfully advocated for GWLA membership, making WVU the second state outside of GWLA’s central and western United States presence; Wayne State University is the third.

“I am excited Wayne State can join GWLA,” Cawthorne said. “The future of our industry requires deeper partnerships across institutions. I look forward to working with all the leaders in GWLA, especially as we design, test and implement sustainable strategies that demonstrate the value of research library work.”

Criteria for GWLA membership include land-grant university status, classification as a Research University (High Research Activity) by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and unique collections that add value to Alliance resources.

Led by President M. Roy Wilson, Wayne State University is a preeminent leader in urban, community-based research. Its 13 schools and colleges offer a wide range of academic programs to more than 27,000 students. WSU is among just 2.5 percent of universities designated by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education as Doctoral University: Highest Research Activity, and among just 1.31 percent of universities that also hold the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world.

The Wayne State University Library System consists of the University’s five libraries: the David Adamany Undergraduate Library, the Arthur Neef Law Library, the Purdy/Kresge Library, the Vera P. Shiffman Medical Library, and the Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs, as well as the School of Information Sciences. WSULS also hosts operations for the Detroit Area Library Network (DALNET) a consortium of 19 academic, public, school and special libraries.