University Library Strategic Plan 2015-2020, Approved Spring 2015


The CSUSM University Library will be an innovative leader in the CSU system. We will accomplish this by inspiring learners, stimulating curiosity, and promoting intellectual exchange and diverse perspectives for all.


The University Library is an essential partner in teaching and learning, research, and community engagement at CSUSM. We collaborate with our diverse campus community to ensure user-centered learning experiences, welcoming environments, and accessible information resources in order to facilitate scholarly inquiry and prepare students to be critical thinkers who are engaged members of their local, regional, and global communities.


The employees of the CSUSM University Library: 

  • Honor the centrality of student learning;
  • Ensure inclusiveness, celebrate diversity, and foster social justice;
  • Pursue excellence in support of the intellectual needs of Library users;
  • Exercise mutual respect and share information broadly;
  • Commit to responsive communication and collaboration with Library stakeholders;
  • Advance the creative thinking and infrastructure necessary for innovation; and
  • Strive for continuous improvement to meet the changing requirements of the information environment and needs of Library users.


While this plan articulates strategic directions that will be emphasized in the next five years, the University Library at CSUSM is committed to sustained excellence in the ongoing, day-to-day activities that are essential to the teaching, learning, and research activities of the university community. These include:

  • Partnering with faculty to create, provide, and assess learning experiences and environments.
  • Teaching students and assisting users in various settings.
  • Cultivating and managing curricularly-driven collections.
  • Providing guidance on scholarly communication, copyright, and open access.
  • Acquiring and making discoverable information resources in all formats.
  • Ensuring access to Library resources and services.
  • Managing and supporting the Library’s human and financial resources.
  • Managing the Library’s technology infrastructure.
  • Maintaining clean, secure, and inviting physical spaces.
  • Collecting, reporting, and interpreting Library data.


Over the next five academic years, the CSUSM University Library will take action to make progress in six strategic areas, listed below as “strategic directions.” Each strategic direction includes a number of more specific goals. While initial planning start dates are indicated (which are frontloaded to the first three years of the plan), it is expected that implementation of these goals will last through 2020. A “working strategic plan” will be used to document planning, timelines, and measurable outcomes for each goal and to track progress over the five years. Each goal will be spearheaded by a “convener,” which is identified at the level of a Library unit or standing committee. Conveners will be responsible for initiating each goal and are expected to leverage the expertise within the Library.

Strategic Direction 1: The Library will lead in exploring, planning, and assessing programs that ensure and enhance student learning and success.


  1. Collaborate with campus partners to explore opportunities to develop first year and general education students’ engagement and ability to pursue inquiry both within and beyond the classroom in order to increase retention and positively impact time to graduation. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Teaching and Learning(T&L))
  2. Identify, implement, and assess instructional approaches in order to improve student engagement in their learning experiences even as the student population continues to increase. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Teaching and Learning(T&L))
  3. Work collaboratively with campus stakeholders to pilot a program to encourage and reward undergraduate students who pursue exemplary research approaches that make use of Library resources, faculty, and staff. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Undergraduate Research Task Force)
  4. Establish sustainable campus partnerships to strategically integrate information literacy within the upper-division and graduate curriculum in order to cultivate graduates’ ability to pursue inquiry in their chosen field of study. (Planning begins 2016-17; convener: Teaching and Learning(T&L))
  5. Identify and pursue partnerships with regional community colleges to ensure transfer student preparation in critical thinking and information literacy skills. (Planning begins 2017-18; convener: Student Success Pipeline Task Force)

Strategic Direction 2: Information resources provided by the Library on behalf of the campus community will facilitate innovative, student-centered teaching and learning.


  1. Ensure sufficient resources are available to create accessible, curricularly-driven collections for existing and new degrees/programs. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Collection Committee)
  2. Assess the media collection to ensure it is curricularly relevant and accessible. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Collection Committee)
  3. Investigate and implement technologies in order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of collection management with a particular focus on electronic resource management. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Library Systems)
  4. Promote and support open access scholarly communication in partnership with faculty. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Scholarly Communication Task Force)
  5. Pursue and implement strategies that support the Cougars Affordable Learning Materials (CALM) initiative in order to reduce the cost of instructional materials to students. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Scholarly Communication Task Force)
  6. Create a systematic collection management cycle that follows a regular timeline, which will include collection evaluation, management of budget allocation, and deselection processes. (Planning begins 2016-17; convener: Collection Committee)

Strategic Direction 3: The Library will cultivate learning environments and spaces reflective of the wide diversity of user needs for a growing campus community.


  1. Guided by a multi-faceted understanding of user needs, meet increased demand for diverse study and gathering spaces, librarian-led information literacy instruction, and instructionally-related events. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Space Committee)
  2. Evaluate the Media Library and second floor study space to reflect demands for changing technologies and multiple types of study spaces. (Planning begins 2015- 16; convener: Library Administration)
  3. In partnership with appropriate campus units, implement processes, procedures, and policies that cultivate a welcoming, safe, and inclusive environment. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Library Administration)
  4. Ensure a clean, comfortable, and inviting learning environment for the campus and community during all operational hours. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Library Administration)
  5. Evaluate the Barahona Collection space on the fifth floor to determine its best use. (Planning begins 2017-18; convener: Library Administration)

Strategic Direction 4: The Library will implement processes that more systematically incorporate the needs and expectations of Library stakeholders into its services and business processes.


  1. Develop a multi-faceted approach to decision-making by creating a Library data repository and information dashboard. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Library Administration)
  2. Identify and implement improvements to the Library’s online presence in order to increase awareness of, and access to, Library resources. (Planning begins 2015- 16; convener: Web & User Experience Committee)
  3. Lead the CSU system in fully implementing all aspects of the Alma library management system in order to more efficiently acquire, manage, and share library resources at the system and local levels. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Web & User Experience Committee)
  4. Conduct an annual campus-wide survey to more systematically make decisions based on user needs. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Library Administration)
  5. Undertake assessments to identify and prioritize approaches to further facilitate and support faculty research through library resources, services, and/or staff. (Planning begins 2016-17; convener: Library Administration)
  6. Target areas to streamline resource allocation and create more efficient practices, policies, and processes. (Planning begins 2016-17; convener: Library Administration)

Strategic Direction 5: The Library will engage with external partners to curate collections of regional interest and cultivate a donor network to support the Library as an essential resource to the communities of the North County San Diego area.


  1. Identify and prioritize opportunities for Library partnerships with the regional community. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Library Administration)
  2. Create and market Library services, collections, and programs to the local K-12 education community. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Library Administration)
  3. Implement an external relations program that includes communications, publications, and donor cultivation and stewardship. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Library Administration)
  4. Conduct an updated archives/special collections feasibility study in order to curate and make accessible unique regional collections. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Library Administration)
  5. Create an infrastructure to pursue external funding opportunities, including donations, endowments, and grants to ensure sustainable Library growth and long-term community partnerships. (Planning begins 2016-17; convener: Library Administration)

Strategic Direction 6: The Library will continue to invest in the development and retention of all employees.


  1. Recommend and implement a strategic and sustainable professional development program for Library staff in order to continuously enhance skills and increase engagement in the vision of the Library. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Library Advisory Council)
  2. Improve strategies to recruit and retain Library faculty and staff in ways that underscore the Library’s commitment to inclusion and diversity. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Library Administration)
  3. Ensure that the Library is nationally competitive in its faculty searches by making adjustments to faculty recruitment processes. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Library Administration)