Framework for Strategic Action - General Information

University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign
Adopted December 7, 2015


The University Library is central to the intellectual life of the University. By providing and stewarding collections and content that comprise a current and retrospective record of human knowledge and by offering a wide array of services, it enhances the University’s activities in creating knowledge, preparing students for lives of impact, and addressing critical societal needs. The Library advances the University’s goals by ensuring unfettered access to information and by providing a network of expertise that ensures value, quality, and authenticity of information resources. The Library integrates and manages knowledge to enable learning and the creation of new knowledge.


The work of the University Library is guided by the following enduring principles:

  • Mission-Focused – The Mission of the University Library and the Mission of the University provide a roadmap and serve as the broad parameters for action as we deeply engage the teaching, learning, research, engagement, and economic development purposes of the University.
  • Action-Oriented – The University Library is a proactive organization that carefully charts a future path that builds on past success while encouraging experimentation and innovation. Our work is in service to the community, from the provision of services to the curation of the intellectual record for the ages, and reflects the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of our organizational culture.
  • User-Focused – The University Library is guided by user needs in developing services, collections, and spaces, including current and emerging practices in teaching, learning, and scholarship, through our collaborative relationships with our user communities.
  • Evidence-Based – The University Library uses assessment, input from our user communities, research and development, best practices from the profession, peer review, and benchmarking in making decisions and evaluating our success.
  • Inclusive – The University Library acts intentionally to include all members of its community in pursuing its Mission, recognizing the strengthening effects of diversity, dialogue, and difference and of engaging inclusive processes.
  • Empowering – The University Library chooses strategies and approaches that empower library employees and users to carry out their work independently while also recognizing our collective responsibilities.
  • Leading – The University Library is a leader on campus and in the library community nationally and internationally in research, development, and building partnerships to work collectively and collaboratively to address challenges and increase impact. These relationships generate future-thinking services and programs.


The University Library deliberately developed a Framework for Strategic Action rather than a traditional strategic plan. We recognize that we must respond to changing circumstances as well as emerging opportunities in order to carry out our Mission and advance the University. As such, the Framework for Strategic Action identifies the parameters that guide our work but leave s open possibilities for emerging opportunities and development of new activities.

1. Strengthen the campus infrastructure to support scholarship and innovation.

  1. Systematize procedures for developing cross-functional library teams to support campus research groups, especially those that are multi- or inter-disciplinary, inter-institutional, and/or international.
  2. Develop and implement an information architecture for faculty profile sharing.
  3. Expand research data services and accompanying education initiatives, focusing on data curation, use, and dissemination.
  4. Develop a systematic program of services and tools that supports the full life cycle of scholarly communications.
  5. Support student and faculty access to and experimentation with new and innovative tools of scholarship.

2. Ensure an integrated and coherent user experience of library services focused on user success in information retrieval and use.

  1. Optimize discovery of, access to, and accessibility of all library resources, collections, and services.
  2. Systematize access to library experts and increase internal and external collaborations, including mechanisms for user requests for assistance and instructional support.
  3. Develop a consistent and integrated library-wide outreach, engagement, and marketing strategy, including a designated unit and staff to support this work.
  4. Expand the library liaison program strategically to include assigned liaisons for student affairs, administrative units, research units, and campus-affiliated organizations.

3. Maximize the use and impact of library services, collections, and spaces.

  1. Review and revise the Library Master Plan to reflect emerging technologies, new service models, changes in scholarly communications, user preferences, and to address deferred maintenance and accessibility.
  2. Develop collaboration spaces and incubator environments to foster research and learning, enable the creation and application of new knowledge, and support student success within and across disciplines.
  3. Promote a vibrant and dynamic organizational culture and structure that is supportive of and benefits from diversity and inclusion.
  4. Create an ongoing and systematic process for auditing and reconfiguring staff and public workspaces relative to changing workflows and responsibilities.

4. Capitalize on the University Library’s national and international leadership to strengthen the research library ecosystem.

  1. Lead regional and national efforts to shape cooperative collections and related services.
  2. Expand access to unique collections and resources.
  3. Leverage international engagement to develop unique collections, services, and partnerships that support the University’s globalization efforts.
  4. Provide education and training programs to enhance the research library workforce.
  5. Foster a culture of collective and individual research and development that investigates and disseminates innovative practices.