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United States Military Academy Library

About USMA Library


The mission of the U.S. Military Academy Library is to empower our cadets, faculty, and staff to be leaders of distinction in scholarship and research by providing teaching and expertise in the discovery and application of scholarly information, access to information supporting the curriculum and independent research, and a place to engage with knowledge, ideas, and one another.

Please see the tabs above for more information about the Library and our operations. Additional information is also available on our Services, and our Resources.

Each summer, the USMA Library publishes our Program Review which provides a complete snapshot of our programs, strategic initiatives, and operations. The most recent Program Review includes the essay below relating to our current work.


A Better Normal

By Christopher Barth, Associate Dean and Director of Libraries and Archives

As the 2021-22 academic year begins, it seems like long ago when things were last “normal.” Throughout 2020 and the beginning of 2021, we have lived in a world of accommodation and adjustment as we sought to meet our mission while minimizing as much health risk as possible for our users, our staff, and our community. Those efforts were successful as we saw all Library operations functioning throughout the year with no known cases of COVID transmission linked to our activities, facilities, or people. That is a significant accomplishment and one of which we can be proud.

As much as we all desire to see our work and our lives return to “normal,” USMA Library is working to challenge ourselves to return to a “better normal,” by adapting to a variety of permanently-changed circumstances in our cultural, social, and educational environments as well as incorporating lessons learned from our work during the pandemic.

Among the ways we seek to make a “better normal” for USMA Library and our community:

  • We will adopt new priorities for the development of our collections to be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. We recognize shortcomings in our existing collections and will work to ensure representative voices are present wherever appropriate and possible. We will also develop a statement of purpose for our collections that contextualizes our holdings and clarifies the role these materials play in supporting our curriculum and understanding the past.
  • We will reconsider the role of art and imagery in our physical spaces with an eye toward using our facilities to celebrate today’s Corps of Cadets and the current mission of the U.S. Military Academy and U.S. Army.
  • We will continue a commitment to discuss and engage our staff on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion through a series of staff conversations. These sessions include opportunities for us to consider specifically the role of libraries and librarians in fostering open and supportive communities of learning.
  • We will restructure and redesign our support model for onsite researchers in our Archives & Special Collections to encourage more efficient use of both researcher and staff time.
  • We will focus significant effort on the collection, storage, and delivery of electronic materials and records. As the federal government and U.S. Army transition fully to electronic record-keeping, we will ensure that our collecting practices expand and transition to support these born-digital materials.
  • We will oversee the start of renovations to Cullum Hall, the future home of our West Point-related collections, as we see the realization of several years of planning work to build a better and more stable facility to house our unique local resources.

All of these initiatives and more are designed to help us come alongside the West Point community and better support the academic work of our cadets, faculty, and staff while sharing our resources and skills to encourage better and more accurate understanding of our past, our present, and our future. We look forward to that work and to partnering with others in our community to build a better future for the Academy and for our nation.

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