Pacific University plans to expand the academic role of libraries in coming years

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Next year the libraries at Pacific University will begin to take on a larger academic role across all campuses, with newly appointed Dean of University Libraries Isaac Gilman overseeing the transition.

Gilman, who began his career at Pacific in 2006 at the Hillsboro campus library and who has taught classes in both the College of Arts and Sciences and College of Health Professions, was working as the Director of Libraries at the Forest Grove campus, as of 2016, prior to his title change.

He was officially named Dean of University Libraries on Feb. 28 in an email sent to the Pacific community from the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs John Miller.

“I think it’s an important change for both the library and the university,” Gilman said. “One of the important things this title change does is acknowledges the central role the library and its staff and faculty have in supporting student academic success.”

As Dean of University Libraries, Gilman hopes to begin expanding educational services and resources to a greater number of Pacific students across all four campuses. And to do so, starting at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year, will move the Tutoring and Learning Center, previously housed in Scott Hall, to within the Tran Library.

“There have been different iterations of writing and tutoring services for the College of Arts and Sciences for a number of years and because those services have been based in the College of Arts and Sciences they’ve really only been available to undergraduate students,” Gilman said. “We saw an opportunity to move the writing and tutoring learning services into the library and actually expand them to serve all students and provide those same services to all the colleges and programs.”

According to Gilman, the current tutoring program will continue as-is next year, while the libraries explore how best to expand services for students. The libraries will continue the Tutoring and Learning Center’s partnership with the English Department to train and support student writing tutors, with future plans to create an online tutoring service for Pacific. And will also continue to work with faculty in other departments to develop and provide support for peer tutors in a range of subjects.

Pending available funding from the University, the Tran Library will undergo some structural changes next year and potentially introduce almost a dozen new study rooms to the interior of the building. Gilman plans to also add a maker-space to the Library next year.

“We’re going to try and bring in a variety of equipment and technology that will allow students in different disciplines to work in that space,” Gilman said. “We want the library maker-space to complement existing maker activities on campus in departments like art and physics. We’ll be able to use it as a hub, to allow students in any discipline to access these resources, while also pointing students in the direction of opportunities in other departments with more specific technology or equipment, if that’s what they need.”

The Berglund Center, which is a partner in the development and management of the makerspace, will also move into the Tran Library at the start of the 2018-19 school year.

As Dean of University Libraries, Gilman hopes to also upgrade and better equip the library on the Hillsboro campus.

“We won’t have as much flexibility because it’s a small space,” Gilman said. “But we’re trying to do things over there to make the space a more conducive and comfortable setting for student studying.”

Pacific President Lesley Hallick said she is glad to welcome Gilman to his new position and is excited for future steps.

“My hope is that this entire plaza, the University Center, the Tran Library and Scott Hall, will become 24/7 activated,” Hallick said. “That’s what we’re moving towards, so this next step with the library is a big part of that.”


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