Skip to main content

About the Libraries

Mission Statement

The Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries are fundamental to the university’s goal of advancing scholarship and learning. We collect, preserve and make accessible a wide variety of resources, we partner with faculty and students to shape research, and we encourage the development of informed scholars and engaged citizens.


Vanderbilt Libraries acknowledge our responsibility to work as allies in an effort to create a community that is open-minded and anti-racist.

Modern librarianship adheres to an essential set of core values that include freedom of speech, promotion of diversity, and recognition of our social responsibility to inform and educate for progress. As our mission statement makes clear, we want to be part of the effort to improve or solve the critical problems of our society. Libraries nurture and inspire the next generation of leaders in America—leaders who will do better, be better, and take us to a better place.

We recognize the challenges and we commit to furthering the mission of the  Vanderbilt Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion  to create an equitable, diverse, inclusive, and accessible educational environment both on campus and off. The Libraries are dedicated to challenging and dismantling systemic oppression by acknowledging our shortfalls and recognizing that inequalities in higher education are pervasive and continue to hinder access to information and impede scholarship. We pledge to work towards Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) by fostering a culture of tolerance, empathy, and proactive change in these areas:  Outreach & Engagement; Collection Development & Information Discovery ; Research & Learning; and Library Team. 

The Vision of the Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries

Valerie Hotchkiss, University Librarian
The Vanderbilt Libraries are central to the educational and research mission of the university. While building upon our traditional strengths, we are also responsive to rapidly changing research technologies of the twenty-first century. Our aspiration is to help students and faculty turn information into knowledge, understanding, and innovation. In each library on campus, we strive to create beautiful and useful spaces for contemplation, collaboration, and even inspiration. I hope you will enjoy using the Vanderbilt Libraries, and may you discover even more than you were looking for!

Valerie Hotchkiss, University Librarian