Leading from Unexpected Places through Collaboration: Undergraduate Libraries in the Research University

John Danneker, Amanda Hornby


The undergraduate library at major research universities, an historic product of the 1960s and 70s, now provides opportunities for leadership on numerous levels, particularly as universities deepen their commitment to the holistic experience of undergraduate students. Instead of focusing heavily on disciplinary research help or building research-level collections, the undergraduate library’s focus on teaching, learning spaces, and community fosters a crossroads of interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation that inspires change across campus. Featuring examples drawn from Odegaard Undergraduate Library of the University of Washington, this article explores the value of leading from unexpected places to collaborate and build services and programs with lasting and catalyzing impacts.


Collaboration; undergraduate library; active learning; writing center; partnerships

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American library Association Texas Digital Library