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Welcome from the Dean of Libraries and University Librarian

Our mission statement says it all: By enriching scholarship, learning, and critical care through teaching, collections, and leadership, the VCU Libraries advances the academic success of students, faculty, staff, and heath care professionals throughout Virginia Commonwealth University.

James Branch Cabell Library on the Monroe Park Campus and Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences on the MCV Campus have built print and digital collections for our communities that are second to none among VCU’s peer institutions. VCU Libraries brings the power of those collections into our communities with exemplary te‌aching and assistance, and extraordinary library spaces, which together set the standard for how academic libraries infuse vitality and rigor into academic life. With hundreds of computers within our library facilities and powerful network-integrated systems everywhere, the VCU Libraries' collections, teaching, and assistance are available from any computer on the VCU campus and, with your EID, from any place in the world, any time of the day or night.

Photo of Cabell Library for ZepheiraOur communities and their needs constantly change and evolve, and we change and evolve with them. Acquiring and managing library materials, teaching our students, and serving our faculty and researchers remain core to our work, but important new priorities command our attention. Among those priorities are leading the university in creating and providing affordable course content for students, and making free and lost-cost textbooks and other course materials available to students to help reduce textbook expenses. VCU Libraries also is focusing significant effort on expanding access to its rare and unique materials in special collections by digitization and other means, and in raising funds to improve library spaces so heavily used by students.

Photo of Tompkins-McCaw Library for ZepheiraThe VCU Libraries maintains many affiliations with library and publishing organizations throughout the world to provide access to library materials not held at VCU, and to advance the development of libraries in the evolving digital publishing age. VCU Libraries is a member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and a founding member of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) and the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI). It is also a member of the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL), the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA), the Richmond Academic Library Consortium (RALC), and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, among others. 

I encourage you to visit our two libraries and to use this website to explore our digital resources and library services. I also hope that you'll consider becoming a Friend of the VCU Libraries to help us create the future of the VCU Libraries.

Feel free to write directly to me or to any library staff person if you have questions or concerns. We want to hear from you!

John E. Ulmschneider

Dean of Libraries and University Librarian, Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Library Strategic Framework