Message from the Dean of the Library


Gabrielle Prefontaine, Dean of the University Library
Gabrielle Prefontaine / Photo © UWinnipeg

Message from the Dean of the Library

The University of Winnipeg Library is a very special place with a rich history. As Dean of the Library, I have the privilege of hearing stories from many of our alumni and friends about their memories of the Library: spending long hours studying in our ‘classic’ yellow carrels, browsing the endless bays of books in our labyrinth of stacks, or engaging with the many dedicated staff who have worked at the Library over the years. It is always a wonderful reminder of why I love to work here and be part of the UW community.
Our President and Vice-Chancellor has called the library the ‘heart and soul of the academy’, highlighting its importance as an interdisciplinary space, a central source of academic support, and a place to engage our community. While the word ‘library’ does not appear on transcripts or diplomas, the quality of our spaces, programmes and services will have an impact on the overall experience and success of our students on their path toward graduation. Our value is best defined by our contribution to teaching, learning, and research on this campus, and it is my job to continue working with students, librarians, staff, faculty and the wider community to ensure that we are doing this in meaningful ways.

Best wishes,
Gabrielle Prefontaine
Library Vision
The Library will be a place of engagement, learning, and sanctuary. Through ongoing dialogue with the university community in all its diversity, we strive to contribute meaningfully to multiple literacies, responsible critical inquiry, and equitable access to knowledge, both at the University of Winnipeg and beyond.

The Library stands on Treaty 1 Territory, the traditional territory of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene Peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation. This library contains physical and digital materials that represent a eurocentric, colonial world view that led to a cultural genocide of Indigenous peoples on this land that continues to this day. The Library commits to being a space of positive discourse that questions and disrupts this world view, so that ALL University of Winnipeg students feel they belong here.

Library Focus Areas

The following Focus Areas have been identified to serve as a framework for internal planning and broader discussion about the library’s place within the UW Strategic Directions and Integrated Academic and Research Plan (IARP).

Sustain and develop excellent collections
Enhance access to and discovery of knowledge resources
Be a central support to teaching and learning
Promote Open Access and support scholarly communication and research success
Be a safe, comfortable and inspiring place to learn
Indigenize the Library
Connect and communicate