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U Libraries Help Lead the PAC


As the University of Utah formally enters the Pac-12, its three libraries can proudly say this move continues an already well-established collaboration with peer institutions in the western United States.

The J. Willard Marriott Library, Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, and the S.J. Quinney Law Library all participate in networks and consortia that have robust systems for loaning items, acquiring cost-effective access to electronic journals and books, promoting staff development, developing information policies, leading student and health provider learning initiatives, and digitizing unique research materials to make them available online to the world.

The Marriott Library manages the Western Waters Digital Library (, an online archive of key documents on water policy and law in the West. It also leads a system of preservation training workshops for libraries and archives in 14 western states and territories. Recently the Marriott Library, along with counterparts in the Pac-12, have been organizing a regional print repository service. This collaborative approach to managing print archives enables each library to determine what to keep in their collections and what can be held in trust at another location for easy access. In 2010, a new group was formed among Pac-12 libraries and others to build a joint digital archive to enhance research in special collections. The influence of the library extends beyond the western U.S. and Pac-12 conference, however. As a member of the Association of Research Libraries, the J. Willard Marriott Library acts in concert with the largest libraries in the nation in shaping national initiatives, policies and programs.

The Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, along with the other Pac-12 health sciences libraries, helps to set national information policies, provide training, and advance patient care, research, and education as a member of the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries. The Eccles Library is one of eight libraries in the country under contract with the National Library of Medicine (NLM); Eccles Library serves as the MidContinental Region for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) that includes Colorado. This network advances the progress of medicine and improves public health by providing all with equal access to biomedical information so that they can make informed decisions. Recently the Eccles Library was awarded the only NLM contract to serve as its Training Center, which supports the effective use of NLM information products and services through in-person and online training. It also provides leadership to the eight NN/LM regions related to e-learning delivery methods and instructional best practices for adult learners.

The S. J. Quinney Law Library is a major resource for the Salt Lake law community and its services are enhanced by membership in the Pacific Region of the American Association of Law Libraries (WestPac), along with Pac-12 members Oregon and Washington. Additionally, the Quinney Library participates in the Desert States Law Library Consortium, which focuses on cooperative collection development, resource sharing programs and other programs benefiting law libraries around the country.

The U libraries, along with colleagues in the Pac-12, have been actively defining and implementing new roles for libraries and librarians in response to changes in technology, teaching practices and the conduct of research. These collaborations illustrate how resources can be pooled to the benefit of all stakeholders. Other libraries in the country look to the U as a model for innovative, state-of-the-art, world class library services – a reputation that will only be enhanced as we move proudly into the Pac-12.

Joyce L. Ogburn, Dean
J. Willard Marriott Library
University Librarian

 Jean P. Shipman, Director
Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library
MidContinental Region, National Network of Libraries of Medicine
NN/LM National Training Center

Rita Reusch, Director
S.J. Quinney Law Library