Vision (2010)

Our Users

  • It is our goal to fully meet the educational and research needs of our primary users: Williams students, faculty, college departments and staff.
  • We recognize the importance of sustaining mutually supportive relations with our secondary users: members of the community at large.
  • We also recognize the value of nurturing productive reciprocal relationships with other libraries.
  • As a depository for federal government publications, we recognize our obligation to make those materials fully accessible to the public.
  • We respect the individuality of our users and acknowledge their cultural differences.

Our Collections

  • We value collections that facilitate and stimulate education and research.
  • When selecting or retaining resources, we look for quality, utility, accessibility, stability and value.
  • What we acquire and retain reflects the current curriculum as well as the selection choices of our predecessors and anticipates future intellectual inquiry.
  • We seek to develop selective areas of strength and depth.
  • Our collections represent a variety of viewpoints. We have a responsibility to acquire materials from alternative, non-mainstream publishers.
  • With formats evolving rapidly, we continue to build collections by adding both print and digital resources.  Our historical print collections must continue to be developed even as new opportunities arise to purchase digital holdings as well as to digitize locally held traditional materials.
  • The College Archives collects college records of permanent legal, fiscal, administrative and historical value.  The Archives also serves as a repository for non-official historical materials relating to the history of the college, its founders, faculty, students, administrators, staff and alumni.
  • Given the ever-expanding universe of information and the realities of limited space and budgets, we see shared, inter-institutional collection development and collaborative preservation initiatives as imperatives.

Our Services

  • We prize a welcoming atmosphere that is inviting to researchers and the inquiring community.
  • We value the strength and depth of our collections and work proactively to encourage and facilitate their use.
  • We want our users to be successful in their research and believe it is our mission to aid them in finding and accessing the information they require, both in our library and beyond.
  • We believe in empowering the user-novice to expert-by providing assistance and instruction at the level required.
  • We are interested in research as a process, and recognize that it is both a science and an art. We seek to provide the tools, the space and the moment for individuals and groups to pursue that process.
  • The College Archives seeks to facilitate the efficient management and preservation of recorded information produced by the college’s offices and departments.
  • The College Archives seeks to engage the college and research communities by promoting knowledge and understanding of the origins, programs and goals of the college.
  • We believe we should anticipate users’ needs, and should take the initiative in informing them about the resources and services that are available.


  • We see ourselves, the library staff, as a vital resource and value personal contact with users.
  • We value collaboration and rely on the varied knowledge and experience that individual staff members contribute.
  •  We value collaboration with campus departments and other academic institutions or consortia to strengthen operational efficiencies, services, and collections.
  • We strive to respond thoughtfully to innovations. We approach new ventures, systems and methods with an open yet critical mind.
  • We seek to provide a physical environment that encourages research, quiet study, and learning.
  • We seek to be sustainable in our operations.
  • We understand the importance of continued learning and growth for all members of the staff. Opportunities for education and development are critical in ensuring that we provide the highest possible level of service.

Revised May 12, 2010