Re-Positioning the Academic Library: Strategic Plan, 2008 - 2013

Through a multi-year strategic planning process the Wayne State University Libraries have renewed our sense of purpose and vision, and clarified our values. These elements define who we are as an organization, central to the life of the university, and reflect careful analysis of our organizational strengths, acknowledgment of past accomplishments and recognition of present and future challenges and opportunities. Through this process five strategic directions have emerged. These strategic directions and corresponding goals provide a framework for focusing library resources, priorities and activities as we move toward realization of our future.

Our Vision

Building upon the University Strategic Plan, the Wayne State University Libraries endeavor to be seen by our clients and colleagues, on campus and beyond, as a model library serving a pre-eminent public research University with an urban mission. Our vision is captured in the phrase "C-H-A-N-G-E-D." As we prepare for leadership in the new millennium, the Wayne State University Libraries strive to be:

Client-Centered We focus all efforts on the success of our faculty and students.
Humane We treat each other with dignity and respect at all times.
Accountable We use data to make decisions; we follow through on commitments.
Necessary We must be the first place our clients go for information.
Growing We learn and work together as a way of life.
Exceeding expectations We go the extra mile; as we become better, more is expected.
Dependable We provide reliable service and a consistent message to our clients.


Our values are essential, basic principles that frame our thinking, guide our decision-making, help us distinguish what is right from wrong, just from unjust. We hold these values tightly, and they are not swayed by external forces.

Service Service is our most important mission. Listening to the voice of the customer guides all actions.
Competence Staff is our most valuable resource. Developing staff skills and building a positive work environment are keys to library success.
Respect We respect one another and honor all individuals, their diverse backgrounds, skills, and needs.
Privacy We endorse intellectual freedom, as described in the ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries.
Teamwork We work to create a positive work environment through an inclusive team approach that encourages mutual respect, open communication, informed decision-making, risk taking and accountability.


Wayne State University Libraries advance scholarship, student learning and faculty innovation through continuous development of a library that serves as a national model for a research University with an urban teaching and service mission.

Strategic Directions through 2013

The University Libraries' three year strategic plan is founded upon and aligned with the strategic goals of the University as the nation's pre-eminent urban research university. Through the process of recognizing our past strengths and accomplishments and identifying future challenges and opportunities, we commit to five strategic directions:

  1. Integral support of teaching and learning
    Offer a superlative library experience in which students and faculty recognize library staff as partners in the teaching and learning process.

    Goals through 2013
    1.   Collaborate with campus partners to strengthen information and technology fluency and facilitate student success.
    2.   Through an active librarian-faculty liaison program, collaborate with faculty to facilitate integration of library resources into instructional design and delivery.
    3.   Work with campus partners to optimize support for effective use of instructional technologies in the physical and virtual classrooms.
    4.   Assure seamless access to electronic resources, digital, and print collections that can be accessed and customized at the point and time of need, in virtual and physical work spaces.
    5.   Provide excellent and convenient instructional and technological resources to support faculty as they develop successful learning experiences for students.
  2. Pre-eminence in support of research, scholarship and professional practice
    Strengthen library support of the research enterprise such that the libraries will be regarded by researchers as an indispensable partner and a critical resource that adds value to the research enterprise and aids in the discovery of new funding sources.

    Goals through 2013
    1.   Deliver research support services that enhance access to the world's scholarly publications at the point and time of need.
    2.   Engage the Wayne State University community in seeking viable and reasonable ways to impact change in the scholarly communication process.
    3.   Add value to the research process through the acquisition and delivery of scholarly resources that further the University's translational and interdisciplinary research goals.
  3. Enhance the Quality of Campus Life
    Enhance the quality of campus life by visibly contributing to a campus-wide culture of success and excellence.

    Goals through 2013
    1.   Improve the quality of service to library clients using data to identify customer needs and implementing strategies to address them promptly.
    2.   Create physical environments that are flexible and customizable, safe and secure, and that promote learning and student success.
    3.   Enhance the technological infrastructure and offer technology assistance and education to faculty and students to support teaching and learning.
    4.   Create mobile learning environments with information specialists available to students and faculty in alternative physical and virtual spaces 24/7.
  4. Partnerships, Collaboration, Communication
    Establish mutually beneficial partnerships with colleagues on campus and beyond that promote the libraries' mission, foster innovation and enhance awareness of the library and its staff as a valued resource.

    Goals through 2013
    1.   Partner with university colleagues, friends and supporters of the Library System to attract or develop new sources of funding for services, operations, collections and capital improvements.
    2.   Build and expand communication links with clients and colleagues that heighten awareness of the library resources and services.
    3.   Collaborate with and support faculty in their development of online learning and support students in making effective and efficient use of online resources which support their learning.
    4.   Increase partnerships with other research university libraries to expand access to resources through a cost effective, seamless, and efficient method of resource sharing, document delivery and collaborative licensing of costly resources.
    5.   Partner with local K-12 schools and community colleges to build student information discovery and technology literacy skills, promote student success and encourage students to seek a college education at Wayne State University.
  5. Learning and Growth
    Develop within the library organization a client-centered culture of success, excellence and innovation by encouraging learning and growth at all levels.

    Goals through 2013
    1.   Refine and implement processes and programs that provide employees with recognition and appreciation for their contributions at all levels of the organization.
    2.   Refine and offer a comprehensive staff training program that provides opportunities for staff to develop knowledge and skills for delivering services that satisfy client needs.