February 28, 2019 Meeting of Library Strategic Planning Team

Time and Location of Meeting

February 28, 20193:30 pm - 5:00 pm Main - 323c

Agenda Details


  1. Introduction of LSPT members
  2. Presentation of scope and timeline of work
  3. Discussion of alignment between the Library’s and University’s SPs (re: pre-meeting preparation questions)
  4. Discussion of process (SOAR analysis and division reports), external influencers, data needed: sources of existing data, new data to be collected
  5. Resources for our work together
  6. Box folders
  7. Template for your SOAR report
  8. Location of LSPT documentation – inside/outside the team
  9. Co-Chair Office Hours
  10. Questions?

Next meeting: Thursday, 3/7/2019 3:30-5:00 pm – Library – Main 323c (300-4151) > Understanding our data needs

Minutes Details


Thursday, February 28th, 3:30-5:00 pm in Main 323c

In attendance: Clara Chu, Co-Chair; Merinda Hensley, Co-Chair; Jim Hahn (Central Public Service); Joanne S. Kaczmarek (Special Collections); Erin E. Kerby (Life Sciences); William H. Mischo (Physical Science and Engineering Libraries); JJ Pionke (Social Science); Matthew J. Roberts II (Arts and Humanities); William A. Schlaack (Technical Services); Mara Thacker (Area Studies); Tracy M. Tolliver (Staff and Auxiliary Services); Jen-chien Yu (Assessment, Ex-Officio); Courtney Horry (Mortensen, taking minutes)


  • Introduction of LSPT members
  • Presentation of scope and timeline of work, and resources
  • Overview – Merinda Kaye Hensley and Clara Chu announced that they will tag team facilitating activities during this process.
  • Group reviewed elements of the overview.  Draft strategic framework will look similar to the framework that already exists – it will not be a detailed, specific strategic planning document.  There is a protracted timeline and hopefully the completed draft will be completed by the established deadline. Each division will contribute a 10 page report.  If the condensed draft is not completed by the end of the timeline it is proposed that each 10 page report will be submitted.  Whatever collected documentation that is ready by the end of April or by the first week of May, will be made available library-wide.  Co-chairs have been asked to make this documentation available for the basis of the upcoming retreat.  Discussions and information along with documentation from the retreat will be used by the Executive Committee to craft a new strategic framework.
  • JJ Pionke restated for clarification that the Library Strategic Planning Team (LSPT)  will not be creating a strategic framework but will be providing data.  Merinda agreed and specified that LSPT members will be providing documentation.  Co-chairs will prepare an overview report from the collected documentation that will enable each division to be reflected in many areas of the new framework.
  • Clara notes that the team will not be crafting a new mission or re-crafting the existing principles. In the March 14th meeting team members may reaffirm the existing framework and principles as long as no division member has any concerns that they would like to bring to the Executive Committee.  Merinda and Clara would like to recommend that the term “principles” be changed to “values”.  Joanne  Kaczmarek asked Clara to explain the proposal to change the term “principles” to “values” on the existing framework. Clara explained that the term “value” relates more to the core values of work rather than “principles” which relate to an existing standard.  Clara noted that this will be proposed during the March 14th meeting if there are concerns or other ideas.  Representation – Clara noted that each attendee is a representative for their division. Library staff, Library IT, HR and other areas of the library will be represented by Tracy Tolliver. Jim Hahn asked if liaisons should be attending meetings during this process.  Clara replied yes – it is an open process and anyone who is a stakeholder in the division can attend future LSPT meetings. Clara mentioned that user information will not be covered in a separate area of the framework and that submitted SOAR reports should also include user data and information. Bill Mischo summarized for clarification that each division will submit a 10 page report that will be condensed to a 2-3 page overview. Clara confirmed that this is correct.
  • Resources – Clara mentioned that Jen-chien Yu will play a strong role during this reporting process. Clara announced that Kim Matherly and Lucretia Williams will offer assistance if any members would like to have a focus group.  Courtney Horry can assist with note taking as well.  If any support is needed to search, synthesize or transcribe data or to create data visualizations requests can be made to co-chairs who will submit them to Dean Wilkin.
  • Merinda Kaye Hensley mentioned that there is a short timeline on this collection of information because the Executive Committee (EC) would like to have the strategic planning faculty retreat before everyone departs for the summer.  Co-chairs would like to keep the pace moving along and would like to remind team members that report submissions do not have to be perfect.  The objective is really to pull ideas to the top from each division.
  • Merinda reviewed the timeline, report structure and where to post submissions. In March members are expected to be working with their divisions to develop a workflow for their report.  Office hours will be March 12th and March 28th.  Division members can visit on those scheduled days.  March 7th will be a mandatory meeting about understanding data – which data is already being pulled by unit heads, using other data and collecting new data. March 14 meeting will discuss mission statement, principles and review of the document.  April 5th – first document submission due.  Final reports will be due mid-April. Final due date will be added to timeline document. By April 18th, team members are expected to have read documents of other divisions.  April 18th meeting will be a group review of documents and information will be pulled for submission to EC.  Co-chairs will present report during April 24th meeting. Clara noted that dates have been set to cover time however some dates may be cancelled if there is no need to meet. Merinda opened the meeting to questions about the timeline – Mara Thacker expressed concerns about people not having enough time to review 100+ pages in a short period of time. Merinda noted that the unfinished documents will be available before the due date so that division representatives can review and that division reps should be reviewing documents as they are submitted before the final due date.
  • Discussion of alignment between the Library’s and University’s SPs (re: pre-meeting preparation questions)
  • Clara noted that an exercise had been devised to help team to become more acquainted with Strategic Planning documents.
  • Members took a few minutes to review the library’s previous strategic plan and then addressed which of the four areas have been guiding the work of their divisions.  Bill Mischo asked if the new library plan will have similar sections to the four areas that are included in the campus’ strategic plan. Merinda replied that this would be addressed later in the meeting as Dean Wilkin and EC would like to align the library closer to the plan for the campus.  Merinda noted that societal impact is not as prominent for the library plan structure as it is for the plan for the campus. Clara noted that this is also an opportunity to see where the library can lead a new area as a way of contributing. Bill Mischo referenced the 2005 and 2010 strategic plans and mentioned that after structuring there was no focused work done in many of the areas.  He noted that the 2010 version was a detailed plan that provided more flexibility in implementation and action.  Clara mentioned that later in the process co-chairs hope to meet with Dean Wilkin to report on implementation.  JJ mentioned the role of accountability to ensure that divisions complete implementation and planned actions.  Merinda responded that they would like to address that and hope to have that conversation later on in the process.
  • Units report on which of the four areas their division work is already in engaging in.
    • Mara – Area studies has been strong in all points of area 4.  Mentioned that division has made attempts to engage in increased outreach but has received pushback.  Efforts to create a committee were not supported.
    • Tracy – Has seen a lot of work in area 1 for research groups, faculty profile sharing, research data services, training faculty on tools and providing them with tools and solutions to scholarly publishing and publishing data sets.  Divisions are also aligned with area 2.
    • Joanne – Special Collections (SC) aligns with area 2 – optimizing discovery of access to and accessibility of resources and area 4 – expanding access to unique collections and resources. Noted that SC has more of a teaching role and asked for clarification on what is meant by 2C which references outreach, engagement and marketing. Joanne also noted there has been some mention that the library framework largely ignores the collection aspect of the library in favor of services and activities built around that. Perhaps SC is not as present in that document.
    • Jim Hahn – Central Public Service (CPS) aligns with area 1 in the work of the scholarly commons and area 2.  CPS would like to see more outreach and there is an opportunity there to form a committee.
    • JJ Pionke – Noted that the Social Science division has seen a decrease in staff/faculty and is not currently seeing alignment of division work with any of the areas listed due to this decrease.
    • Matthew Roberts – Arts and Humanities division aligns with expanding collections. Division is pushing to create strategies to acquire collections that reflect the existing student population. Their work aligns with areas 1 and 4. Division is considering for area 3, how they can redesign their room to make it more user friendly. Division would also like to do a survey with undergraduates and graduates to understand how to create a more user-friendly space.
    • William Schlaack – Technical Services (TS) – agreed with Joanne that there is a need for the framework to highlight the collections aspect of some of the areas rather than some of the younger public-facing services.  Work of TS aligns with area 4 – digital content – collections and acquisitions.  Division would like to take a greater look at diversity and inclusion as well as considering inclusions to the framework outline.
    • Erin – Life Sciences (LS) – recent work aligns with area 3 – renovation and changing of spaces. Recent renovation impacted a new service model. ACES is considering a reconfiguration and aligns with area 2 – providing a better service to users. Biodiversity heritage library and research data services work. Division is interested in getting involved with outreach and engagement and is looking for someone to help with pushing efforts forward in that area.
    • Bill Mischo – Physical Science and Engineering Libraries (PSEL) – work aligns with area 1 – research data services, full life cycle of scholarly communications..  One staff member does a lot of work with data management instruction and training. Data services has been a collaborative effort.  More focus now on knowledge creation than scholarly communication. Division is now more involved in knowledge creation process from beginning to end also providing information on venues to publish in. Working closely with research groups – one project with Illinois Cancer Center on research impact visualizations under NIH grant process.  Expecting to be doing many more visualizations with a lot of other organizations. Provides scripts to grad students. Area 2 – optimizing discovery – developing tools – easy search. Aligns with areas 2D, 3B, 4C. Division work aligns with all 4 areas.
  • Clara grouped members into pairs and initiated an activity to review strategic plan goals – members were asked to read the list and put a check next to goals that the library is already doing and a circle next to the ones that are not yet being done.  Each group presented one item from their assigned goal.
    • Goal 1 – Mara & Tracy – the library is already working on A – strengthening faulty and aligning resources with academic and research units to capitalize on scholarly synergies across campus.  One opportunity is E – enriching interdisciplinary connections.
    • Goal 2 – Joanne & JJ – 2A. does not apply. Opportunity areas are C, D and G. Some library renovations are already happening (G). Other areas happening to  some degree are B, E, and F.
    • Goal 3 – Jim & William S. – Did not find that many sub-points were applicable.  Jim did not see Arts and Humanities represented well in this goal but felt that perhaps there were other libraries and divisions that aligned better.
      • Bill Mischo discussed a number of projects he is aware of that align with this goal.
      • Jen-chien Yu noted that it is up to the library to determine what overall projects ultimately align so it is not necessary for divisions to take on as much burden of aligning each item of work with listed goals. This should help to remove some stress in the process.
    • Goal 4 – Erin, Jen-chien & Bill – checked goal 4Ai about budgets and finances. Team agreed that the library has been proactive with budget management. There may be a limited opportunity in exploring additional revenue sources since the library does not enroll students.  Team agreed that 4C did not apply.  4D is being done but work can be expanded on.
  • Clara reiterated the concern about the topic of societal impact not having a strong presence in the library framework and noted a desire to address this in a later meeting.
  • Joanne responded to question 2 from email regarding what is missing, from the view of their division, from the university strategic plan. Two division members mentioned that the University Strategic Plan is missing any direct mention of university libraries or university archives and could benefit from mentioning these areas more.  JJ Pionke mentioned that the library is known for its collections and special collections and agreed that these are not mentioned in the University plan.
  • Clara discussed the SOAR process and mentioned that the goal is to work with data that is already accessible and collection of new data is not necessary.
  • SOAR – strengths, opportunities, aspirations and results
    • Co-chairs have provided a SOAR report template (pg. 3 of strategic plan overview document).  Divisions can plug their information into this template.  The first part of the format is an overview of the division and the population.
    • JJ asked Clara to clarify what is meant by “overview” of the division and its population and what “data” is meant to be collected.  Clara mentioned that divisions should only provide data that will provide an understanding about who their users are. Bill mentioned that the table provided in the template may have been pulled from the DMI standard report. Jen-chien reiterated that only information pertinent to the division and its users should be pulled.  It is not necessary to provide or to review any further data.
    • Strengths – divisions can provide a simple bullet pointed list or give detailed explanations of each point.
    • Aspirations – list should have no more than 3 bullet points and no more than 200 words if a detailed explanation is given. This list should take up no more than page.
  • Joanne explained that her approach will be to email all division members and have them submit responses for either the division or their unit and she will complete the division report from these responses.
  • William Schlaak asked if it is a good idea to put out general questions to all division members, compile the submitted answers and then meet with division heads to discuss the findings and get their input.  Hierarchical fashion. Co-chairs agreed and supported this approach.
  • Clara noted that anything that is not included in the 10 page report can be submitted via appendices.
  • Jim Hahn mentioned that his division has a series of 4 meetings set up and will write their report collectively.
  • Merinda mentioned that she is in the process of creating a library web site for this work.  All LSPT members have been invited to a Box folder that has subfolders for draft, final and data submissions.  Each member has sole access to their folders.  After drafts are submitted access will be opened to all LSPT members for review.
  • Clara mentioned that each member will be asked which email address they prefer to use so that they can access the notes and minutes via Google Docs. Tracy mentioned that everyone should be using their illinois.edu email address.
  • The group discussed whether Google Docs or Box should be used for minutes and notes.  Many members agreed that Box should be used as the main source to access all materials. Everyone should have access to Box folders for their division, plus “Resources,” “Logistics,” and “Assessment.” If you have trouble accessing any of the files, please contact Merinda at mhensle1@illinois.edu

Adjourned 5:02pm

Next meeting: Thu 3/7/2019 3:30-5:00 pm – Library – Main 323c (300-4151) > Understanding our data needs