University Library Strategic Plan 2015-2020, Refreshed Fall 2017


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;
  • Make decisions based on evidence and utilize resources with transparency;
  • 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 curriculum-driven collections;
  • Providing guidance on scholarly communication, copyright, and open access;
  • Acquiring and making discoverable information resources in multiple formats;
  • Ensuring access to Library resources and services;
  • Managing and supporting the Library’s human and financial resources;
  • Managing the Library’s technology infrastructure;
  • Creating and maintaining inviting, safe, and productive physical spaces; and
  • 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, 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, standing committee, or individual. Conveners will be responsible for initiating each goal and are expected to leverage the expertise within the Library.

This strategic plan was amended in Fall 2017 through a “refresh” process to account for accomplishments and reflect changes in the environment. Accomplished goals from the original plan are at the conclusion of this plan. New or heavily revised goals are indicated with an asterisk.

Strategic Direction 1, Educational Partnerships for Student Success: The Library will lead in exploring, planning, and assessing programs that ensure and enhance student learning and success as related to inquiry and information literacy.


  1. Collaborate with campus partners to explore opportunities to develop first-year students’ 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 & Learning)
  2. Identify, implement, and assess instructional approaches in order to improve student engagement in information literacy learning experiences within and beyond the classroom, with particular attention to courses with an increase in student enrollment caps and increasing sections of high-demand courses. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Teaching & Learning)
  3. 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 and positively impact time to graduation. (Planning begins 2016-17; convener: Teaching & Learning)
  4. Create infrastructure to support partnerships to ensure new and transfer student preparation in critical thinking and information literacy skills. (Planning begins 2017-18; convener: Academic Transitions Librarian)*
  5. Identify and pursue space-independent approaches to teaching and learning with particular attention to students who may access the Library solely online. (Planning begins 2018-19; convener: Teaching & Learning)*

Strategic Direction 2, Information Resources Supporting Curriculum: 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, curriculum-driven collections for existing and new degrees and programs, with particular attention to supporting online learning. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Collections Committee)
  2. Assess media collections and services within the context of evolving media platforms to ensure they are accessible and relevant to the curriculum. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Collections 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: Collections, Delivery, and Access)
  4. Promote and support open access scholarly communication through educational programming and faculty partnerships. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Scholarly Communication Task Force)
  5. Pursue and implement strategies and initiatives that address economic barriers to student access of required course materials (e.g., the Cougars Affordable Learning Materials initiative). (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: Collections Committee)

Strategic Direction 3, User-Focused Space Design: 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, learning activities, and Library programming. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Space Committee)
  2. Cultivate new partnerships with campus stakeholders for innovative Library space and service development. (Planning begins 2017-18; convener: Space Committee)*
  3. In strategic partnership with relevant campus units, create processes, procedures, and policies that foster an inviting, safe, and productive environment for the campus and community during all operational hours. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Library Administration)
  4. Identify and implement design improvements to the Library’s in-person user experience to ensure accessible and inclusive use of spaces and services. (Planning begins 2017-18; convener: Space Committee)*
  5. Evaluate public space and collection storage needs for Special Collections and University Archives in order to facilitate ongoing growth. (Planning begins 2017-18; convener: Library Administration)*
  6. Evaluate the usability of the University Library service points to determine the most effective and streamlined approach to providing in-person services. (Planning begins 2018-19; convener: Teaching & Learning and User Services)*

Strategic Direction 4, Data-Driven Decision Making: 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 transparent, data-driven decision-making model to gather, communicate, and effectively use Library data. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Library Administration)*
  2. Identify and implement improvements to the Library’s online user experience in order to enhance discovery of and ensure equitable access to Library resources and services. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Web & User Experience Committee)*
  3. Lead the CSU Libraries to continuously improve library management systems in order to support student learning, enhance library services, and streamline workflows. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Library Cabinet)
  4. Undertake assessments to identify and prioritize approaches to further facilitate and support the student and faculty experience through library resources, services, and/or staff. (Planning begins 2016-17; convener: Library Administration)

Strategic Direction 5, Community Engagement: 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 San Diego County area.


  1. Identify opportunities for Library partnerships with the local business community to document and contribute to regional growth. (Planning begins 2017-18; convener: Library Administration)*
  2. Implement an external relations program that includes communications, publications, and donor cultivation and stewardship. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Library Administration)
  3. Implement recommendations of the recent special collections feasibility study in order to preserve and document the history of North San Diego County. (Planning begins 2017-18; convener: Library Administration)*
  4. Create an infrastructure to pursue external funding opportunities (e.g., private and grant funding to ensure sustainable Library growth and long-term community partnerships. (Planning begins 2018-19; convener: Library Administration)

Strategic Direction 6, A Just and Inclusive Library: The Library will invest in organizational and employee growth and embody the social justice mission of the University.


  1. Create infrastructure for a strategic and sustainable organizational development program for Library employees in order to continuously enhance skills, foster knowledge sharing, promote innovation, and increase engagement with the vision of the Library. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Professional Development Committee)*
  2. Ensure the Library actively contributes to diverse groups and communities by collectively advocating for social change, fostering inclusion, and celebrating difference. (Planning begins 2017-18; convener: Diversity Advisory Group)*
  3. Improve strategies to recruit and retain a diverse Library faculty and staff. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Library Administration)
  4. Ensure the Library draws a nationally competitive pool of applicants in its faculty searches by making adjustments to faculty recruitment processes. (Planning begins 2015-16; convener: Library Administration and Faculty)
  5. Conduct a Library-wide assessment of organizational climate and working conditions as a basis for formulating strategies to respond to areas identified for improvement. (Planning begins 2018-19; convener: Library Cabinet)*

Accomplished Goals as of Fall 2017

  1. 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. (Previously SD 1, Goal 3)
  2. Evaluate the Media Library and second floor study space to reflect demands for changing technologies and multiple types of study spaces. (Previously SD 3, Goal 2)
  3. Ensure a clean, comfortable, and inviting learning environment for the campus and community during all operational hours. (Previously SD 3, Goal 4)
  4. Conduct an annual campus-wide survey to more systematically make decisions based on user needs. (Previously SD 4, Goal 4)
  5. Target areas to streamline resource allocation and create more efficient practices, policies, and processes. (Previously SD 4, Goal 6)
  6. Create and market Library services, collections, and programs to the local K-12 education community. (Previously SD 5, Goal 2)
  7. Conduct an updated archives/special collections feasibility study in order to curate and make accessible unique regional collections. (Previously SD 5, Goal 4)


FINAL 2/2018