Strategic Plan

University Libraries’ Strategic Plan was developed in 2018-19 through input from hundreds of faculty, student, and community stakeholders. See below for the 6 Strategic Directions, 18 Goals, and 32 Objectives that we’ve identified as forming our roadmap to 2024.

Our plan launched in July 2019, and we look forward to keeping stakeholders updated with our progress going forward. See below for more details.

Organizational Principles

  • Open

We are a welcoming hub that inspires discovery and collaboration to foster creative success and intellectual freedom. We emphasize inclusiveness and accessibility in all our programs, services, and initiatives.

  • Engaged

We serve as a trusted partner, providing specialized expertise throughout the scholar’s journey. We maintain critical relationships with our stakeholders to develop competencies and services in the Libraries in anticipation of changing and evolving needs.

  • Transformative

We strive to innovate and adapt to facilitate creative approaches to produce successful academic outcomes. We remove barriers to resources essential to scholarly pursuits.

Strategic Directions

  1. Collections: Cultivate comprehensive and distinctive collections that propel world-class research and scholarship
  2. Environments: Offer dynamic spaces and services that accommodate diverse academic needs
  3. Discovery: Deliver intuitive tools for seamless discovery, access, and connection to information resources
  4. Visibility: Increase awareness of library collections, services, and programs that are integral to research, teaching, and learning
  5. Partnerships: Advance collaborations and alliances that contribute to successful academic outcomes
  6. Innovation: Build sufficient organizational capacity to anticipate and support evolving modes of teaching, research, and scholarship dissemination

Goals & Objectives

  1. Increase the curation and subsequent discoverability of Open Access materials to expand collections
  2. Evaluate and leverage existing consortial relationships to increase user access to diverse materials
  1. Conduct an environmental scan in order to identify new and emerging programs and areas of research
  2. Conduct an approval plan review in order to ensure that new acquisitions meet user needs
  3. Review and revise collection development policies to align collection strategies with user needs
  4. Investigate concrete steps for the Libraries to advance open educational resources solutions, in concert with faculty and program goals, in order to support learning needs of students
  1. Optimize existing collection space in order to address short-term space challenges
  2. Develop and implement a comprehensive collection condition assessment to prioritize and address preservation and long-term accessibility concerns
  3. Develop a long-term collection management strategy to address space challenges
  1. Assess customer service points in order to improve and increase visibility of services and expertise
  1. Inventory library spaces assigned to specific user groups and recommend how these spaces could be redeployed in support of research, teaching, and learning
  2. Develop and implement infrastructure and expertise that support lifecycles of faculty research and teaching
  1. Develop a policy that facilitates manageable use of library spaces by external groups to support collaboration within the WashU community
  1. Provide a consistent user experience across Libraries' systems by improving seamless interoperability through the upgrade and relaunch of the Libraries' discovery platform
  2. Create, enhance, and export metadata to improve user discovery of Libraries’ collections across search tools
  1. Enhance wayfinding for collections, buildings, and people so library materials, spaces, and expertise are easily accessible
  1. Implement clear, consistent, publicly posted policies for borrowing privileges
  2. Streamline material ordering and payment to improve efficiency and delivery time for users
  1. Develop target audience profiles to inform communications efforts
  2. Enhance processes for collecting and analyzing feedback to better meet user needs
  1. Lead campaigns and produce materials to better engage WashU faculty, staff, students, and community and raise awareness and utilization of resources and services
  2. Regularly evaluate strategic marketing and communications plans to ensure success
  3. Capture interactions with core audiences, clarify key contacts with various groups and partners, and facilitate and track the success of marketing campaigns
  1. Produce a cohesive system of library branding with flexible guidelines and templates in order to support a unified, consistent, and vibrant identity across University Libraries
  1. Proactively engage potential collaborators in order to build a diverse portfolio of partnerships, which includes high-impact partnerships
  1. Inventory and assess current collaborations, and conduct outreach to ensure that these efforts align with the organization’s goals
  1. Develop assessment processes in order to evaluate our portfolio of partnerships, including their effectiveness, mutual benefits, impact, and gaps in the portfolio
  1. Create the systems and mechanisms that build on our expertise to support new programs and initiatives that aid faculty, students, and staff with their research and academic goals
  1. Establish a user-focused and data-driven assessment and analytics program in order to optimize our existing services and resources to meet the current and future needs of our community
  1. Promote a culture and practice of innovation by capitalizing on new ideas to expand programs and increase environmental awareness to quickly adapt to the research and academic needs of the university community
  2. Investigate and define scalable digital infrastructure that allows for the curation of rapidly growing digital collection needs for digital content and data

Visualizing Our Progress

Our Data Services team has utilized Tableau to visualize the progress of our objectives over time. Click here/below to see the latest version and learn more.

Strategic Plan News & Progress

Strategic Plan Moves Forward

By University Libraries on October 8, 2019

The Washington University Libraries’ new Strategic Plan has been published online. After incorpor...