Drexel Libraries 2023 Impact Report January 1, 2023 - December 31, 2023

Table of Contents

1. From Transition to Transformation

2. Standout Stories of 2023

3. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)

4. Drexel Libraries by the Numbers

5. Staff Awards, Presentations & Publications

6. Our Supporters

7. Read Previous Annual Reports

From Transition to Transformation

Last year was truly another year of changes, challenges, and transitions.

2023 brought major changes to our physical environments. In April, we reopened the Library Learning Terrace, our flexible student focused space located in the heart of the University’s residential district. The Learning Terrace was temporarily closed to students from November 2020 to March 2023 while the University repurposed the space as a COVID-19 testing and vaccination site.

Then, in July, we decommissioned the Queen Lane Library, followed by the Hahnemann Library in August, as part of Drexel’s plans to centralize its health-related programs and integrate them into the main campus in University City.

With the Libraries’ operations now centralized at the W. W. Hagerty Library, we also transitioned to several new systems, including a new printing system and a new room reservation system—which allow us to provide improved services for all Drexel Dragons. Continuing our work to ensure equitable access to information, we adopted the University’s single sign-on (SSO) authentication system (called Shibboleth), which allows clients to log in to online resources provided by the Libraries using their Drexel username and password.

We also continued our work to maximize cost-effective, equitable access to information, including renewing our membership in the exclusive OCLC Express Digital Delivery Program, a resource sharing program that streamlines the digital lending process and ensures we can process digital ILL requests in 18 hours or less.

And we introduced our new 2023 – 2025 strategic plan, with three new strategic priorities:

  1. Enhance Drexel’s diverse intellectual culture
  2. Elevate Drexel's research reputation
  3. Empower Drexel students to utilize scientific reasoning

These new strategic priorities align our work with the core imperatives outlined in Drexel 2030, the University’s strategic plan.

We also began to prepare for a change in leadership, as Danuta A. Nitecki, PhD, announced she would conclude her 13-year career as Dean of the Drexel University Libraries at the end of 2023. We are deeply grateful for her leadership, her passion, and her commitment to transforming the Libraries.

In the report that follows, you will read about just some of the highlights that reflect the Libraries’ impact on the Drexel community. The Libraries’ dedicated staff and their commitment to the Libraries and to Drexel ensure we will continue to transform our systems, resources, and services to connect people, information, and technology critical for Drexel Dragons’ academic and life-long success.

Thank you for taking the time to read about the Drexel University Libraries’ tremendous achievements during 2023. We look forward to staying connected and sharing many more accomplishments in 2024.

Stand Out Stories of 2023
"With Open Access, we really see a deeper purpose. You're trying to influence policy; you're trying to influence public thought. That can't happen when research is behind paywalls.” -- Kathleen Turner, Librarian

1. Enhancing Drexel's Diverse Intellectual Culture

The Libraries leverages its expert knowledge of scholarship, information systems, and services to provide the Drexel Community with equitable access to authoritative information and help make sense of diverse sources of information and data.

Thanks to an online exhibit launched by the Drexel University Archives in January 2023, people from around the world can now get a glimpse of life at Drexel during the COVID-19 pandemic. The exhibit, called Pandemic Stories: Voices of COVID-19, includes oral histories that document and illustrate unique perspectives and personal experiences during COVID.

In June, the Drexel Libraries joined HathiTrust, a global collaborative of academic and research libraries that preserve, digitize and increase online access to collections. Thanks to this new membership, the Drexel community will benefit from increased access to HathiTrust’s collection of digital resources that support teaching, learning and research at Drexel.

Corresponding with protests to save the University City Townhomes in March, Drexel University Archives staff hosted an event featuring archival material documenting urban renewal in West Philadelphia in the 1970s. Materials on display included photos, newspaper articles, and other objects from the University Archives that document Drexel’s expansion into Powelton Village in the 1970s and the responses from students, community members and the University.

“Librarians have long worked to help integrate and strengthen systems that globally recognize Drexel research and expand the exchange of ideas. Our work to support our researchers and to build Drexel’s visibility helps improve our ability to recruit and retain talented colleagues who are excited to change the world.” -- Danuta A. Nitecki, PhD, Dean of Libraries


The Libraries improves institutional infrastructure to connect people and knowledge that will expand the global awareness and impact of Drexel-generated research.

The 2022/2023 academic year marked the 11th and final year for ScholarSip. The theme for this year’s event series focused on climate change and sustainability. Each event featured a Drexel faculty member who is working to combat climate change through interdisciplinary research in areas including human nature and environmental change, materials engineering, and medicine.

Held Tuesday, May 9, the 11th annual Celebrating Drexel Authors event was a vibrant showcase of Drexel’s published scholarship and creative expression. This year, instead of a traditional awards ceremony, the Libraries and the Office of the Provost offered a more immersive celebration during which attendees could make new connections, learn about the writing and publishing process, and find inspiration.

To celebrate Open Access Week 2023, the Libraries hosted four events that touched on this year’s theme of “community over commercialization.” Drexel faculty discussed the pros and cons of OA publishing and shared first-hand experiences with how making their research free and open to the public helped expand the reach of their work. For this year’s keynote address, Nick Shockey from SPARC presented some exciting developments in the OA movement and discussed ideas about the future of scholarship. Drexel University Open Access articles are available via the Drexel Research Discovery platform.

"We’re engaging students to use their strong sense of what matters to them and to their peers, while simultaneously helping them improve their information-seeking skills." -- John wiggins, senior director of library services & operations

3. Empowering Drexel Students to Utilize Scientific Reasoning

The Libraries connects people, information, and technologies to empower Drexel students with scientific reasoning and a global viewpoint.

The Libraries was pleased to continue its ScholarSnack event series in 2023. In April, Yash Bardiya, one of the Libraries’ student Information Explorers, hosted a session on the impact of COVID-19 and misinformation on funding NGOs. The event featured a pre-recorded video with Swaraj Shetty, Director and Co-founder of Khaana Chahiye Foundation.

In fall 2023, the Libraries’ Marketing & Communications co-op and a work study student with the University Archives collaborated to create an exhibit that offered a glimpse into the history of student organizations, events, and traditions of the diverse identities that make up Drexel’s community. The exhibit, called A Journey Through Time: Drexel Student Organizations Throughout the Years, included copies of The Lexerd yearbooks, photos and other artifacts that show how Drexel student organizations, clubs and sports changed over the decades.

To support students’ mental and intellectual wellness, we repurposed an unused room in the Dragons' Learning Den into a new wellness room called the Serenity Suite. The Serenity Suite opened in November 2023 and provides students (as well as faculty and staff) with private space to relax, refocus, and reenergize. Features include wellness items such as noise canceling headphones and light therapy machines, natural light, and comfortable furniture.

2023 Annual Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Update


In 2023, the Drexel Libraries reaffirmed its full commitment to creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture of belonging at Drexel. Guided by the University’s DEI initiatives, we continued our work to model being an active ally by integrating the principles of DEI into everything we do—in our values, our program objectives, our resources, and our environments.

The information below highlights just some of the work we did in 2023 to promote, support and sustain an environment of diversity, equality, fairness, inclusion, and respect.

Drexel Libraries' 2023 DEI Actions & Accomplishments

Drexel Libraries by the Numbers

Each year, the Drexel Libraries submits data to IPEDS and the ACRL Academic Library Trends and Statistics Survey. These organizations use the data to create comprehensive portraits of academic institutions (and the impact that academic libraries have) across the United States. this and other sources of data are used to prepare the Libraries' annual "By the Numbers" summary.

Staff Awards, Presentations & Publications

In 2023, Drexel University Libraries staff published articles, presented at conferences, and made many other contributions to the library & information science profession.

Drexel Libraries staff board a shuttle bound for the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia's Old City for their annual Staff Appreciation Day
Our Supporters

We are grateful to all individuals and organizations for their generous support of the Drexel University Libraries in 2023!

Read Previous Annual Reports

The 2023 annual report covers the period of January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2023. The data provided in this report reflects the fiscal year (July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023).

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