About Us

Mission, Vision, and Strategic Directions

Barbara Rockenbach, Stephen F. Gates '68 University Librarian

Yale University Library is made up of 500 staff, more than a dozen libraries and locations, vast physical collections, and extensive electronic resources. All these elements are animated and connected by technology and expertise in the service of teaching, learning, research, and practice.

Yale Library’s unique collections, amassed over three centuries and widely used in teaching, are a distinctive feature of a Yale education, together with the collections of Yale’s museums. In continuing to build and steward these collections, we have made a commitment to help preserve and disseminate human knowledge, and to find new ways to make our collections accessible to the Yale community and beyond.  

Over the past year, we have been engaged in a library-wide project to review and update the foundational elements of our missionvision, and strategic directions to ensure that our shared work is purposeful, internally aligned and mission driven. 

We have made a deep organizational commitment to advancing  diversity, equity, and inclusion, and we are in the process of reviewing our library community values to ensure this commitment is fully visible. The revised values will be shared later this summer.

We are committed to recruiting, developing, and retaining a diverse and inclusive staff community, who interact with integrity and mutual respect. Learn about employment opportunities at Yale Library.

Mission

We advance teaching, research, learning, and practice through staff expertise, diverse collections, inclusive programs and services, and welcoming spaces. 
 

Vision

We aspire to be a catalyst for individual and societal growth. We will foster a culture of curiosity and discovery to advance the University’s mission. We will commit attention and resources to address systemic inequities by making knowledge more broadly available.  
 

Strategic Directions

1. Cultivate community. Build and sustain a diverse and inclusive library community that fosters personal growth and a sense of belonging for library staff and users alike. Embed support and welcome for diverse identities and cultural experiences in our actions and discourse. Ensure our collections, programs, spaces, and services reflect our commitment to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion.  

2. Focus on service to library users. Center the needs and goals of library users in the ongoing development of our physical and online environments, instruction, and services. Continuously assess and improve the library experience of students, faculty, researchers, practitioners, and visitors.  

3. Ensure broad access to the scholarly and cultural record. Build and sustain collections that inspire research and teaching, stimulate new knowledge and creativity, and preserve a diverse record of human experience and scholarship. Innovate and collaborate as responsible stewards of intellectual heritage. Make collections more open and accessible.  

4. Accelerate the creation of new knowledge. Expand access to research and scholarship to accelerate discovery and amplify research outcomes. Evolve services for digital humanities, data science, and computational scholarship to support research innovation and knowledge production. Develop programs to inspire curiosity and engage broader audiences.   

5. Catalyze student success. Spark student innovation, intellectual development, and creativity with technology-rich services, supportive spaces and staff, and opportunities for experiential learning and knowledge production. Partner with faculty and other Yale colleagues to enrich student research and information skills.   

Revised: June 2022

Community Values

The library’s community values serve as a reminder of our principles. Underpinning these values is a commitment to the free and respectful interchange of ideas.  We intend for the following values to serve as guiding principles for everything we do.

We, as members of the Yale Library community, affirm our responsibility and commitment to create and foster a respectful, cooperative, and courteous environment for ourselves and anyone who enters our physical or virtual spaces. We affirm the right of each staff member and library user to utilize these spaces free from harassment or denigration. We hold ourselves and each other accountable for abiding by these community values:

Integrity We honor our commitments and hold ourselves and each other accountable for them.

Respect We treat people equally well regardless of position or status. We honor individual differences and continually strive to create an environment that is diverse and inclusive, in which each person is valued.

Civility We encourage open communication. We think before we speak, listen carefully, respond respectfully, and acknowledge that everyone’s ideas are worthy of consideration.