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Catalyst For Discovery: A Three-Year Strategic Plan For Queen's University Library, September 2006

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INTRODUCTION

As a catalyst for discovery, the Library's fundamental goal is to stimulate the development of exceptional research and scholarship at Queen's University and to facilitate the acquisition of lifelong inquiry skills for the betterment of a global society.

The Principal's vision enunciates Queen's commitment to creating an engaged community of learning. It sets out goals and initiatives that include global engagement, greater student and staff diversity, a broadened curriculum and an increased emphasis on graduate programs and research. An excellent Library is absolutely essential in achieving these goals.

The Library is already situated in a global context. We participate in local, regional, national and international initiatives to share information resources and research worldwide. The Library's collections and services support scholarship within and across all the disciplines. As that scholarship evolves, so must the Library's programs. The Library's planning process has resulted in a new vision that will strengthen and expand the University's global ties.

Building on our national reputation for high-quality service, this plan advances the Library's role in preparing students to engage in a global community. Over its long history, the Library has been characterized by its innovation in response to transfor-mative changes in technology and scholarly communication and we will continue to build on those accomplishments (Queen's University Library Strategic Direction 2002-2005 - Major Initiatives: Annotated with Accomplishments). This plan is premised on our overarching goal to provide a broad range of information resources and enhanced Library educational programs that are completely interwoven with the academic pursuits of students and faculty. Our success will be critical to Queen's vision and its commitment to creating an engaged community of learning.


PLANNING CONTEXT

In anticipation of a new University Strategic Plan and having reached the end of the planning period covered by our Strategic Direction 2002-2005 document, the Library undertook a brief planning process to update our strategic plan for the next three years.

Through a consultative and iterative process, the plan was designed to translate into meaningful goals and actions for all Library staff and to meld with the University's direction and priorities as outlined in Principal Hitchcock's discussion paper Engaging the World, fall 2005, and the Draft Strategic Plan, April 2006.

Planning consultations encompassed an environmental scan, a panel discussion and planning meetings that are documented on the Library's website at http://library.queensu.ca/library/documents/stratplan.

Five major Strategic Planning themes were developed and are outlined in the following pages of this document: People; Collections -- Content and Access; Learning, Teaching and Research; Places, Spaces and Technology; and Communication and Awareness.

Central to these strategic planning themes are the people of the Library who provide access to information resources and deliver the vast array of services that are vital to research and scholarship and the acquisition of lifelong learning. The Library and its people are a catalyst in the discovery process.


MISSION

The Library is a catalyst for discovery, integral to the learning, teaching and research activities of the University community. The Library stimulates excellence in research and scholarship through its collections, people, partnerships and services, and its physical and virtual environments. The Library is a strategic asset to the University, contributing to the exploration of knowledge and the development of lifelong inquiry skills for the betterment of a global society.


VISION

Queen's University Library will be a leading academic research library in an engaged community of learning, teaching and research, fostering a culture of inclusion and innovation and building on our reputation for excellence.


AS AN ENGAGED PARTNER WITH THE UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY, THE LIBRARY'S STRATEGIC PLANNING THEMES ARE:

  1. PEOPLE
    Foster an inclusive research and learning environment distinguished by highly motivated and innovative Library staff who provide excellent service and who share a collective responsibility for the Library's success.

  2. COLLECTIONS -- CONTENT AND ACCESS
    Acquire, disseminate, manage and preserve information resources that support the University's learning, teaching and research priorities, and stimulate an awareness of information resources in a global context.

  3. LEARNING, TEACHING AND RESEARCH
    Integrate information services and educational programs into the University's learning, teaching and research programs, recognizing the centrality of the student learning experience in a research-intensive university.

  4. PLACES, SPACES AND TECHNOLOGY
    Develop an exceptional community of learning characterized by inviting physical spaces and a continually renewed technological environment designed for exploration and discovery, study, reflection and the exchange of ideas.

  5. COMMUNICATION AND AWARENESS
    Promote a broad awareness of the Library and its diverse range of information resources and services to ensure their optimal use and to secure additional sources of revenue.


STRATEGIC PLANNING THEMES

The Library has defined five broad strategic planning themes and related goals that will guide its directions and influence its actions over the next three years. Pervasive throughout these themes is the essential role of Library staff and the Library's collaborative partnerships.

  • Strategic Planning Theme 1: People

    Foster an inclusive research and learning environment distinguished by highly motivated and innovative Library staff who provide excellent service and who share a collective responsibility for the Library's success.

    Goal 1.1:
    Develop a system-wide staffing plan consistent with the priorities of the Library's strategic plan and the University's values and principles. [Activities & Initiatives]
    Goal 1.2:
    Retain and attract excellent staff and encourage diversity of ideas and the acquisition of leadership and management skills. [Activities & Initiatives]
    Goal 1.3:
    Develop and enhance programs for training and development, mentoring and succession planning. Foster awareness among staff of issues, trends and best practices. [Activities & Initiatives]
    Goal 1.4:
    Maintain and enhance an environment where the talents and potential of all staff members are nurtured and valued. [Activities & Initiatives]
    Goal 1.5:
    Foster a culture of continual assessment and renewal by reviewing and evaluating programs, services and priorities on an ongoing basis. [Activities & Initiatives]

  • Strategic Planning Theme 2: Collections -- Content and Access

    Acquire, disseminate, manage and preserve information resources that support the University's learning, teaching and research priorities, and stimulate an awareness of information resources in a global context.

    Goal 2.1:
    Evaluate, build, and ensure access to collections that are responsive to the University's teaching and research programs through local initiatives and consortial partnerships. [Activities & Initiatives]
    Goal 2.2:
    Lead in the application of current and emerging technologies to better enable users to discover and utilize the information resources that meet their individual needs. [Activities & Initiatives]
    Goal 2.3:
    Digitize and provide perpetual access to selected collections unique to Queen's, and establish retention and preservation policies for all collections. [Activities & Initiatives]
    Goal 2.4:
    Foster awareness of and facilitate scholars' participation in initiatives that provide affordable, unrestricted access to online scholarly information. [Activities & Initiatives]

  • Strategic Planning Theme 3: Learning, Teaching and Research

    Integrate information services and educational programs into the University's teaching, learning and research programs, recognizing the centrality of the student learning experience in a research-intensive university.

    Goal 3.1:
    Collaborate with university units, faculty and students to further develop and promote discipline-integrated and interdisciplinary programs to support learning and research. [Activities & Initiatives]
    Goal 3.2:
    Integrate physical and virtual information resources, services and information literacy programs at the point of user need. [Activities & Initiatives]
    Goal 3.3:
    Develop services to support individual and collaborative learning and research environments for graduate students, research staff and faculty. [Activities & Initiatives]

  • Strategic Planning Theme 4: Places, Spaces and Technology

    Develop an exceptional community of learning characterized by inviting physical spaces and a continually renewed technological environment designed for exploration and discovery, study, reflection and the exchange of ideas.

    Goal 4.1:
    Develop the Library as an intellectual and collaborative centre by creating inviting and interactive virtual and physical spaces for users and staff. [Activities & Initiatives]
    Goal 4.2:
    Develop and implement a strategy that enables continual, rapid innovation in the online environment in response to changing user expectations, positioning and customizing resources and services at the point of user need. [Activities & Initiatives]
    Goal 4.3:
    Maintain and enhance a user-centred, state-of-the-art information technology infrastructure and support services. [Activities & Initiatives]

  • Strategic Planning Theme 5: Communication and Awareness

    Promote a broad awareness of the Library and its diverse range of information resources and services to ensure their optimal use and to secure additional sources of revenue.

    Goal 5.1:
    Develop a comprehensive internal and external communications strategy and ongoing communications support to promote awareness of Library services and collections. [Activities & Initiatives]
    Goal 5.2:
    Collaborate with Queen's Office of Advancement to develop philanthropic opportunities for the Library. [Activities & Initiatives]
    Goal 5.3:
    Promote the Library's role as a resource and service provider for alumni and for groups and individuals beyond the Queen's community. [Activities & Initiatives]
    Goal 5.4:
    Strengthen the Library's relationships with local, regional, national and international partners. [Activities & Initiatives]


ACTIVITIES AND INITIATIVES

Each of the Library's units, functional teams and support teams has developed a set of activities and initiatives relating to the goals of this strategic plan. In keeping with the culture of continual assessment and renewal stated in Goal 1.5, the Library anticipates that these activities and initiatives will evolve over the next three years, as user expectations change and new opportunities arise. In our rapidly evolving environment, agility in planning is essential. To facilitate this agility, the Library has created a database of activities and initiatives that staff will update continually. This database is available for all to explore at http://library.queensu.ca/stratplan/2006-2008/.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The Library would like to thank numerous people whose valuable insights were essential to the strategic planning process:

  • All Library staff and other members of the Queen's community who responded to our survey and participated in discussions
  • Our colleagues who engaged us in thinking about The University's Changing Information Landscape: speaker Michael Ridley (Chief Information Officer and Chief Librarian at the University of Guelph) and Queen's panelists Caroline Baillie (DuPont Chair in Engineering Education Research and Development, Integrated Learning Centre), Kristy Holmes (PhD Candidate, Art History), Laura Murray (Associate Professor, English) and Shawna Phillips (Student, Political Science)
  • Members of the Library's Strategic Planning Group: Kim Bell, Pam Haley, Sam Kalb, Jeff Moon, Jane Philipps, Barbara Teatero (co-chair), Ainslie Thomson, Brett Waytuck, Michael White, Martha Whitehead (co-chair)