Wayne State MLA Spotlight

Submitted by jgoodrich on September 6, 2012 - 9:46pm.   

Wayne State University is one of the nation's leading urban research universities with a demonstrated commitment to teaching and learning excellence.  Located in Detroit’s Midtown, the University enrolls over 31,000 students in 13 colleges and schools and boasts more than 400 academic programs, including 126 bachelor's degree programs, 139 master's degree programs, 60 doctoral degree programs and 30 certificate, specialist and professional programs, all of which are served by the Wayne State University Library System.

Its collection of over 4 million volumes includes a portfolio of distinguished special collections and digital content. The Library System connects users to hundreds of scholarly databases with the most comprehensive, specialized and up-to-date information available. Through our liaison program, we play an active role in educating faculty and students in how to make the best use of these resources.

In addition to three main libraries and two professional libraries, the Library System is also home to the Reuther Library, the largest labor archives in North America; serves as fiscal agent for the Detroit Area Library Network (DALNET), a Southeastern Michigan consortium that manages a shared automation system for 20 member libraries; and is one of the only Library Systems in the country to have its own ALA-accredited School of Library and Information Science. All of these factors combine to make it one of the largest and most complex library organizations in the state.

The librarians of the Wayne State Library System pride themselves in their commitment to the profession and have a long history with the MLA. Boasting a past president and current president-elect, our librarians are deeply committed to sharing their work with other MLA members by presenting at conferences and serving as active members of the association. The MLA has served as one of the main platforms for our librarians to unveil new innovations, like “Map It!” a system that lets users map call number locations from a computer or smartphone. We also debuted our mobile website, which allows patrons to access the features of the Library System website that they might find most useful while on the go. The Wayne State Librarians are continuously working to meet our students where they’re needed most with services like instant messenger, embedding LibGuides into our content management system, Blackboard, and, most recently, the Roving Reference program, where librarians roam the Undergraduate Library to help students where they’re studying and working on computers.

Aligning with the charge of MLA, Library System Dean Sandra Yee puts a heavy emphasis on professional development with our staff and librarians. She has demonstrated her own commitment to staff development through her activity in MLA, most recently giving a presentation that discussed training student assistants over the past two decades. The Wayne State University Library System has funds specifically allocated for professional development so that staff can attend conferences and presentations that will help enhance their skills and help them learn about best practices around the globe.

This year, a new position was designated in order to provide leadership in the area of staff development. This position leads activities like goal setting workshops, informational brown bags, mentoring and a new librarians round table, all designed to help librarians develop new learning experiences, facilitate special programs and stay on the cutting edge of library trends.