VIVA Featured Member Library: University of Virginia
An interview with Dr. John Unsworth, University Librarian and Dean of Libraries, on November 21, 2017
What are three points of pride in your library?
Unlike almost all other universities of the time, UVA was not centered around a chapel or church, but around a library, in the Rotunda. 200 years later, we’re still proud to be the Library around which UVA was built and continues to grow. We also pride ourselves on taking the long view of information, and finally, we’re proud of the great librarians and staff (including our 250+ student assistants) who make the UVA Library a vibrant, welcoming organization.
What is the most popular spot in the library for users?
Even with 10 facilities in the Library system, during crunch time for students every reading room, study carrel, nook, cranny, or hallway is popular. Different users have different needs, but some favorite spaces include the McGregor reading room (armchairs, wood paneling) and the Scholars’ Lab (modern feel, digital research, makerspace), both in Alderman Library; the Robertson Media Center in Clemons Library (offering equipment and expertise for media creation); and the depths of the stacks in any library (books!). And scholars and researchers come from all over the world to consult the collections in the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library.
Which VIVA resource or service do we value the most, and why?
Our cooperative ILL sharing (especially given that we’re a net borrower). It’s a great step towards the collaborative collecting model of the future.