An Exploration of the “Center of Excellence” Model for Information Services

Geneva Henry
University Librarian and Vice Provost for Libraries
George Washington University

Susan Fliss
Associate Librarian of Harvard College for Research, Teaching and Learning
Harvard University

Joy Kirchner
Associate University Librarian for Content and Collections
University of Minnesota

Heather Gendron
Head, Sloan Art Library and Coordinator of Assessment
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

José Diaz
Associate Professor
The Ohio State University

A one-year planning grant was awarded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to study the feasibility of establishing Centers of Excellence (CoEs). This study recognizes CoEs as a means to provide new information services that libraries are increasingly expected to deliver in order to meet the needs of twenty-first century research, teaching, and learning. A team of seven librarians from Association of Research Libraries (ARL) libraries interviewed directors of 19 CoEs and staff from seven funding organizations. The study explored the characteristics of CoEs, what makes them successful, and the challenges commonly faced by centers. Criteria were identified for forming, evaluating, and sustaining a Center of Excellence. This session will include presentation of study findings and preliminary recommendations for following a Centers of Excellence model in developing and delivering information services. The results are intended to be useful to funders who have an interest in funding centers, as well as to institutions interested in forming a center, and staff of existing centers who seek new funding.



  1. […] presentation on Tuesday morning brought this message into focus for me – it was titled “An Exploration Of The ‘Center Of Excellence’ Model For Information Services.” The panelists had been the recipients of a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon foundation to study the […]

Last updated:  Tuesday, May 20th, 2014