Library Highlights 2021-2022

Fines free 

In response to a request from the Student Government Association, the library ended the practice of charging fines for overdue library materials in January 2022. We also began automatically renewing checked out items that have not been requested by other users. These changes will make access to library materials more seamless for our students.



In April 2022, the library conducted our sixth triennial user survey, an effort led by Eliot Boden. We received 1,130 responses from students, faculty, and staff throughout the Webster network. Satisfaction with library resources and services was generally high, and respondents provided many comments with valuable suggestions for improvement. 


Library staff are in the process of analyzing the comments and quantitative data and determining what changes we should make to resources and services in response to the survey. A report will be posted on the library website.


Webster University Digital Collections institutional repository 

Webster University Digital Collections launched in fall 2021 running on Innovative Interfaces Vital software. Our Digital Collections site will showcase archival materials as well as faculty research. Current collections include Webster University yearbooks as well as newspapers from 1920 to 1949. Additional newspapers will be uploaded as time permits.


Library services during pandemic 

In fall 2021 we reopened our study rooms and the Café and returned most furniture to its original locations. Soft seating was available in the summer 2021 for the first time since the pandemic started. Based on CDC guidelines, we discontinued quarantining of library materials, improving turnaround time for requested items and availability for in-demand materials. 


We continued several practices started during the pandemic because the changes had proved popular. We left public computers in their new locations, dispersed throughout the building. We had added webcams and headsets to several PCs and reserved them for students taking online classes. These PCs meet a critical, ongoing need, and we maintained them in their existing configuration. We continued to distribute Surface Gos through the Dean of Students Office Emergency Technology Request program. We also continued our popular vestibule pickup service for holds and interlibrary loans. 


On August 21, 2021, our gate count was the highest it had been since March 6, 2020. 


Document delivery and interlibrary loan interface improvements 

In January 2022 Paula Albers updated the patron interface for ILLiad, our document delivery and interlibrary loan system. Highlights of the changes include better accessibility, responsive design, and a list of delivered articles available on the first screen.


New subscriptions 

The library subscribed to several new journals including Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, Pediatrics, Journal of Nursing Regulation, and Urban Education; the Statista database; and the eMO collection, featuring more than 284,000 eBook titles.


Archiving of university website

Sarah Reando and Eileen Condon archived the previous version of the university website before it was sunsetted. By digitally preserving the former university website, we can ensure that it will continue to be a useful resource of institutional memory.


St. Louis County Library partnership 

Sarah Reando worked with staff from the St. Louis County Library (SLCL) to provide library card access to all Webster students, faculty, and staff, regardless of location. This includes access to the SLCL physical collection, access to events and classes, and access to some databases not offered by Webster University, including: 

  • Mango Language Learning database
  • St. Louis Post-Dispatch 1874-2003 (the library’s subscription only goes back to 1970)
  • Foundation Directory & Grant Select
  • Recreational reading: Flipster (online magazines) and Overdrive (eBooks and online audiobooks) 

Diversity & inclusion outreach 

Sarah Reando partnered with students in Kim Grey’s ENGL 2086 US Literature of Diversity class to host a display around a recommended diverse reading list curated by the students. The class designed bookmarks, created a reading list with QR code, and developed a book display in the front lobby of library. There was a meet and greet on December 6 where students discussed diverse authors and books and read some excerpts out loud.


Faculty/staff publications display 

Library staff developed a permanent rotating display of faculty and staff publications in the first floor lobby.