Randall Library Home

pdf graphic Randall Library Strategic Plan 2011/12.pdf

Randall Library Strategic Plan 2011/12

August 10, 2011, revised August 13, September 18, and November 7, 2011; finalized February 5, 2012

The Randall Library Strategic Plan 2011/12 is intentionally both a strategic and a tactical plan - - a broadly based plan aimed at creating our desired future, and a systematic determination and scheduling by Library staff of key action areas, goals and objectives, in support of strategic plans. The Plan reflects the thoughts, feelings, ideas, and wants of the Library staff and molds them along with the University’s mission and aspirations. The Plan is intended to function as a “working document.” This status ensures that the Plan is flexible and practical and yet serves as a guide to either operations’, resources’, or services’ enhancement, or to the implementation of new operations, resources, or services, evaluating how these initiatives are doing, and making adjustments when necessary.

William Madison Randall Library supports the mission of the University by providing information resources and learner-centered services and by cultivating a rich physical and virtual environment dedicated to the open exchange of ideas and an information-literate community.
Approved by the Library Faculty, May 20, 2009

Inspiring, nurturing and satisfying intellectual and cultural curiosity

Core Values
Learning, service, access, integrity, diversity


Key Action Areas

Randall Library is committed to eight Key Action Areas as guiding principles for investment of energies and resources. Taken together, these Key Action Areas answer the question “Where are we going over the next year or more?”

Learning landscapes encompass the physical and virtual spaces where today’s library users encounter information and learn to use it effectively. The provision of welcoming spaces, onsite and virtually, is key to meeting our users’ needs. Spaces that are responsive to users’ needs will contribute the most to UNCW goals and outcomes.

The modern digital landscape poses considerable challenges for today’s students. Library staff work to help today’s library users navigate the diverse information environments they inhabit, and on which they depend for academic success. Optimizing the user experience includes the design, development, expansion, and maintenance of a suite of services (front-line and behind-the-scenes) that focuses on search and discovery, and on learning about our users.

We affirm that the ability to seek and effectively utilize information resources is essential in a global information society1, and equally essential to academic success. Instructional Services at Randall Library give faculty, staff, and students the opportunity to learn about using the library's resources and gain important information literacy skills. Sustainability of this suite of services depends on curricular integration, exploration and continued adaptation or implementation of new media and new technologies (tools and widgets etc.), and professional development for staff.

Collaboration is one of the ways we can shape our future. New collaborative relationships will be forged and existing collaborative relationships strengthened. Face-to-face and Web-based collaboration with administrative and campus colleagues, with local and regional academic library colleagues, provide opportunities to enhance library and information services. Other alliances - - with industry, vendors, and museums, for example, position us to bridge cultures and maximize decreased resources.

Assessment is fundamental to improving and enhancing Library operations and the Library’s service portfolio, as well as Library collections. The establishment of a systematic program of continuous assessment based on professional standards and the University’s mission and strategic aspirations will provide a framework for specific operations, services and resource assessment.

The resolution of issues vital to the Library’s organizational welfare is key to increased cohesiveness, but also to increased individual and organizational satisfaction. These issues include Library Faculty status, roles and responsibilities of the Library’s administrative team, and decision-making process (particularly as concerns the exploration and use of new media, new technologies, and new service or support models). The Library appreciates that being responsive to the needs of its staff is also a key component of organizational welfare. The identification and promotion of staff development opportunities and options and the ongoing awareness and attention to welfare issues will help ensure that the Library remain responsive in this area.

Increasing recognition of the value of Randall Library and its staff is the next to the last, but hardly the least, of our Key Action Areas. Advancing our critical value to the UNCW community will require first, that all staff participate in the conversation and second, that we identify and incorporate diverse methods, modes and resources necessary to demonstrate our value in clear, measurable ways.

The Library provides leadership in redefining the academic library in support of the University’s mission. Library staff assists their campus colleagues in understanding transformational changes in the information landscape. Especial attention is paid to assisting our campus colleagues understand the evolving scholarly publishing model and its impact on the academy.


Goals and Objectives

The Goals and Objectives represent strategic areas of focus for the next year+. General guidelines, the goals align with and support the Key Action Areas, and articulate the outcomes the Library would like to achieve. They answer the questions “How are we going to get there?” and “What will success look like?” The achievement of each goal will move the Library toward realization of its envisioned future.

Objectives provide direction on how the Library will accomplish its articulated goals. Objectives reflect departmental or divisional strategies or implementation steps to attain the identified goals. Unlike goals, objectives are specific, measurable, and have a defined completion date. They are more specific and outline the “who, what, when, where, and how” of reaching the goals. The objectives provided represent a “first pass” only at these strategies or implementation steps. It is expected that departments and divisions will contribute additional objectives to complete the Strategic Plan.

Goal Area 1: Learning Spaces

Goal Statement: The Library provides environments in which all users, regardless of location or information, reference or research need, have the opportunity to access and use diverse resources and services.

  1. Develop vision for underutilized public spaces.
  2. Renovate and re-allocate public space when possible to support evolving student learning styles.
  3. Continue to document repurposed spaces.
  4. Develop an evaluation/assessment plan for the bound journal collection in terms of weeding and possible relocation in order to prioritize potential uses for this valuable 1st floor real estate.
  5. Review the current Learning Commons “state of the art” to plan further enhancements, e.g. GIS, additional partners in the space, etc.
  6. Develop and implement an online group study room reservation system.
  7. Plan changes to the use of space in the Curriculum Materials Center, in collaboration with the Ed Lab, to provide more space for users.
  8. Continue to enhance a Web presence that engages 21st century learners. Complete migration of web pages to our open source content management system - - Drupal and continue editing web pages in Drupal.
  9. Develop and conduct further usability testing of our website and subject guides. Explore improved options for library integration in Blackboard Learn.
  10. Coordinate discussion of campus information providers, with a focus on information services designed to provide responsive and accurate information and assistance to UNCW students, faculty, staff and visitors. Articulate the “value add” provided by the Library in this environs, and define the Library’s unique role as a campus information provider.

Goal Area 2: UX (Optimizing the User Experience)

Goal Statement: The Library enhances the user experience through library and information services of all types. UX (user experience) is about more than the user experience of our Website. We like the ISO definition of user experience - - “…we define [user experience] as all aspects of the user’s experience when interacting with the product, service, environment or facility’ and we point out that ‘it is a consequence of the presentation, functionality, system performance, interactive behaviour, and assistive capabilities of the interactive system.

It includes all aspects of usability and desirability of a product, system or service from the user’s perspective.” 2

  1. Increase user engagement (students, faculty, and staff+) in the design, development, and enhancement of face-to-face and virtual library and information services.
  2. Identify academic library best practices for access to services and develop those to meet customers’ expectations.
  3. Ensure robust and consistent computer user experience in the Learning Commons by energetically maintaining computer equipment and a uniform user interface to software applications.
  4. Conduct the eReader Pilot Project to help our users become adept with this new format.
  5. Continue to explore emerging technology to maximize development of services and programs to meet the needs of faculty and students in a web based culture.
  6. Increase the visibility of library and information services in the virtual learning environment, including course management, eLearning, etc.
  7. Develop an assessment plan to include biennial LibQUAL+ surveys starting in 2011, to be supplemented by assessments of specific services, e.g. chat.
  8. Plan and execute a long-term weeding project for government documents that will make the collection more viable, and spare space for users.
  9. Implement Archon, the archival information system, to publish archival descriptive information and digital archival objects in a user-friendly website. Migrate existing finding aids (Archives and Special Collections) using this software.

Goal Area 3: Teaching (Information Literacy)

Goal Statement: The Library provides multiple methods and modes for students to gain skills in information literacy. Several key accrediting agencies are now concerned with information literacy including the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) 3. The Library is the key player in the design and development of resources, services and operations which meet accrediting standards in this area.

  1. Increase virtual footprint of information literacy instruction, leveraging media, technologies, and tools with relevance for teaching, learning, research or creative inquiry. Development of an information literacy portal for faculty and students is one example of a means to increase the virtual footprint of information literacy instruction.
  2. Liaison librarians will articulate student learning outcomes for course-related instruction sessions and plan and implement a means of assessment for the instruction.
  3. Re-evaluate the workflow for production of tutorials and other technology-based instruction.
  4. Develop a holistic approach through which invested campus partners come together and advocate for the importance of information literacy and accept shared responsibility in it.
  5. Develop a toolkit for curricular integration; implement and assess select curricular models and approaches.
  6. Develop a roadmap to market the rich resources housed in Archives and Special Collections to undergraduates; increase use of primary sources by undergraduates.
  7. Complete projects (such as importing digital content into CONTENTdm, implementing Archon, and launching new Archives and Special Collections website) designed to enhance access to Archives and Special Collections materials.

Goal Area 4: Partnerships and Alliances (Collaboration)

Goal Statement: The Library builds, cultivates, and expands partnerships to provide the full range of resources, services and operations necessary to position not only our students for academic success and the workplace beyond, but also our faculty and staff for professional success. Partnerships with those who are engaged in re-imagining how, when and where our students learn and our faculty and staff achieve success/thrive/flourish help us leverage tightened budgets and limited capacity.

  1. Assess current partnerships and expand where needed to provide greater resource sharing and collaboration for customers
  2. To meet the student learning imperative, develop a strategy for creating partnerships and connections on campus, locally, and regionally.
  3. Prioritize innovative internal and external collaborative efforts; implement and assess select efforts.
  4. Seek further opportunities for student-centered collaborations, e.g. the Quiet Campaign, Watch Your Belongings campaign, website usability studies. Develop a plan to document and showcase these projects.
  5. dentify partners who share our commitment to enhancing our Web presence and virtual Library environment.
  6. Identify opportunities for strengthening collaboration with Coastal Library Consortium partners UNC Pembroke and Fayetteville State University to maximize resource sharing and improve efficiency and communication regarding the application of shared services, products, and procedures.
  7. Strengthen existing state-wide partnerships for cooperative borrowing and interlibrary loan activities.
  8. Develop workflows and areas of responsibility for the Public Programming and Exhibits Committee to strengthen collaborations with various academic departments, libraries, local schools, and other cultural arts groups. Document and assess events.
  9. Document and showcase collaborations with individual faculty, e.g. co-authoring publications, and other activities, e.g. digital storytelling projects, studying the impact of early college programs, strengthening the ties between the library and the community.


Goal Area 5: Transforming Operations, Services and Resources (Continuous Assessment)

  1. Design and perform operations assessment (Technical and Collection Management Services); follow up with recommendations for operations redesign if/as warranted.
  2. Design and perform collection management assessment, to include collection development policy assessment, holdings assessment, collection analysis, and supporting roles and responsibilities’ assessment (Liaison Librarians, Faculty Reps, etc.); follow up with recommendations for collection management model redesign if/as warranted.
  3. Design and perform select services assessment (Access Services [Circulation, Interlibrary Loan, Reserves etc.]); follow up with recommendations for services’ redesign if/as warranted.
  4. Design and perform assessment of other areas, processes and collections (gifts, Museum of World Cultures); follow up with recommendations for the future of Library donations and the Museum.
  5. Design and perform spot assessments to gather data and information about user behavior and needs and inform service planning (user experience of search and discovery in Randall Library).
  6. Design and perform a pilot inventory project for targeted collection areas (DVDs, bound journals, P call numbers); follow up with recommendations for inventory of entire collection (not done in over 10 years).
  7. Redesign and implement streamlined donation program that is in line with our collection development policy (see above in #2) and available staff and facility resources.
  8. Conduct the LibQUAL+ survey biennially.
  9. Identify and prioritize current and emerging reference and social media tools as vehicles for communicating with users. Articulate a plan and policy for the library’s presence in these virtual spaces.
  10. Gather, analyze, evaluate and report on Library website usage using tools such as Google analytics.


Goal Area 6: Organizational Excellence (Organizational Welfare)

Goal Statement: The Library creates and sustains a supportive, respectful, effective, and efficient environment that supports the mission of the University and within which passion, creativity, and ideas are celebrated as being necessary to making innovation happen.

  1. Develop and sustain the human resources required to ensure the centrality, vitality and relevance and of the Library, its operations, resources and services.
  2. Expand the discussion of significant trends and challenges both in the sphere of education and in the world at large, with a focus on the creation of learning opportunities for staff.
  3. Increase opportunities to support and celebrate innovative work that advances teaching, learning, research or creative inquiry.
  4. Provide staff with ongoing opportunities for training and learning using campus-wide resources such as ITSD training, books 24/7, CBT online training.
  5. Provide a quality work environment for staff through respect and support
  6. Provide opportunities for library faculty and staff to learn stay abreast of new technologies, learn new technologies, skills and management techniques that will lead to improved service, job satisfaction, and staff cohesion.

Goal Area 7: Advocacy, Marketing and Communication (Demonstrating our Value)

Goal Statement: The Library takes advantage of media and technologies to utilize data and information to help our academic colleagues and constituents understand and appreciate how we are advancing University goals, supporting users' objectives, and serving state interests.

  1. Create an integrated marketing communications plan - - strategic, thoughtfully conceived guidelines for demonstrating our value.
  2. Increase efforts to reach the right audience with the right message with the right media.
  3. Public Service library faculty will take responsibility for the library newsletter, Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
  4. Increase user awareness of the value and impact of academic libraries and the critical role of Library Faculty and Library staff, including regular reporting of usage data in a manner that is compelling to our stakeholders.
  5. Focus on transparency in posting new library dashes and related information regarding budget and collections
  6. Increase user awareness and use of Library resources and services.
  7. Assess all marketing and communication initiatives (was the audience reached and what was the effect?)


Goal Area 8: Supporting the Academy

Goal Statement: The Library provides leadership in learning and scholarly framework that is increasingly defined by openness: open architecture, open design, open knowledge, open data, open source, and open access.

  1. Lead advocacy for developing a functional understanding of the issues surrounding the use and ownership of copyrighted materials that permeate all aspects of research and learning at the University.
  2. Develop suite of Web-based resources targeted to diverse University stakeholders (students, faculty and staff) to facilitate awareness and understanding of ccopyright and scholarly communication issues, including author rights management responsibilities.
  3. Coordinate discussion amongst campus stakeholders of data curation and the issues involved in the active and on-going management of data through its lifecycle of interest and usefulness to scholarship, science, and education.

[1] Literacy is one of the key action areas identified by the American Library Association in its strategic plan - -   ALA 2015. http://www.ala.org/aboutala/missionhistory/plan (accessed 11 August 2011).

[2] http://econsultancy.com/us/blog/2321-usability-or-user-experience-what-s-the-difference (accessed 11 August 2011)

[3] http://sacscoc.org/ (accessed 11 August 2011)


Previous Strategic Plans

pdf graphic Randall Library Strategic Plan 2002-2007.pdf

Site organization: