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last updated: 7/29/2013

IUB Libraries: Mission


To support and strengthen teaching, learning and research by providing the collections, services, and environments that lead to intellectual discovery.

View the document here: Strategic Plan 2013-2016




Academic libraries are a powerful icon of intellectual discovery, academic community, and the preservation of

our scholarly achievements. Libraries also provide public spaces that serve as a source of intellectual inspiration and

a stage for public discourse. The IU Bloomington Libraries comprise one of the leading academic research library

systems in north America, providing strong collections, quality service and instructional programs, and leadership

in the application of information technologies. Our mission is to support and strengthen teaching, learning and

research by providing the collections, services, and environments that lead to intellectual discovery for students

and faculty. The Herman B Wells Library is the visual center of a multi-library system with 18 sites and a staff of

over 300 employees, including a team of specialists that select, manage, and build our research collections,

which include more than 7.8 million print and digital books, journals and databases in more than 900 languages

that serve approximately 2.3 million patrons annually.

For centuries, a research library’s function was to serve as a storehouse of information and assist in the

discovery of that information through selection, acquisition, cataloging, curation and consultation with researchers.

Today, while the development and preservation of collections remains paramount, changes in the information

landscape have shifted the flow of knowledge, supplementing the model of the repository with a dynamic information

interchange. The traditional role has not been diminished: IU Bloomington’s world-class collections are a major

draw attracting top-level scholars to the institution, and IU Bloomington’s librarians lead their field in providing

curatorial and information-discovery services. These responsibilities, however, now complement additional

roles in the process, production, and publication of scholarship.


To participate in scholarly exchange, researchers not only require in-depth collections of published resources,

but also state-of-the-art, self-service search tools and robust technologies and services that support the

communication of scholarship throughout all phases of its development. Students, meanwhile, must be taught

to navigate and evaluate this vast universe of data. They also need workspaces that accommodate both traditional

and emerging forms of knowledge acquisition.

The Foundation that Supports our Plans and Actions

• The IU Bloomington Libraries remain committed to a culture of innovation and experimentation in support of research, scholarship, teaching and learning.


• The IU librarians and library staff will continue the long history of working in close partnership with IU faculty, students, and researchers, actively seeking input and feedback to inform and guide change.


• The talented staff at the IU Bloomington Libraries provide the base for its continued growth and success.

A commitment to proper training, support for professional development and targeted recruitment of future staff

is critical to our evolution.


Diversity and the representation of varied perspectives are critical to intellectual vitality. The IUB Libraries

have a long-standing commitment to the recruitment and retention of a richly diverse workforce and to the

promotion of an environment where respect, equity, and inclusion are valued.


• Strategic partnerships and collaboration are critical to the IU Bloomington Libraries’ future. Working

collaboratively enables bold and innovative action, leverages limited resources, and inspires new working models.


• Investment in rapid deployment of and ongoing improvements to systems that enable discovery and usability

of the collections is vital to our future.


Technology continues to play an integral role in the enhanced accessibility and delivery of the

IU Bloomington Libraries’ core services. The IU Bloomington Libraries promote innovation in the creation and use of

leading edge resources to shape the Libraries’ future plans and organizational goals.


Assessment in the broadest sense – listening to the Libraries’ users and tracking data that can be used to

respond effectively and efficiently – is critically important in a time of competing needs across the academy.


Core Goal One: Re-Envisioning Collections

The IU Bloomington Libraries currently inhabit a transitional period, from predominantly print-based library collections of books, journals and other formats to predominantly digital. Changes in the use of scholarly information offer new opportunities for collaborative print and digital collection development and management, which we enthusiastically embrace. As many aspects of the scholarly communication ecosystem change and evolve, we remain committed to building and preserving superlative research-level collections in traditional and digital formats into the future.

Objective 1.1: Build rich physical collections through local acquisition as well as providing access to shared collections. 


Strategy A: Identify subjects and areas in which to continue acquiring physical resources, such as special formats or areas for which the physical artifact is critically important. 
Strategy B: Invest in collaborative shared print initiatives such as the CIC Shared Print Repository and other national and international print repository networks. 
Strategy C: Investigate the feasibility of expanded support for special collections that distinguish IU Bloomington Libraries in an environment of widely-accessible shared research collections. 
Strategy D: Expose through cataloging hidden collections that are currently not discoverable or browsable.

Objective 1.2: Steward the existing physical collection. 


Strategy A: Develop and implement a multi-year plan to shelve print and other physical collections in appropriate locations.  
Strategy B: Investigate the feasibility of new physical and service structures for access to physical collections, such as an area studies floor.

Strategy C: Prioritize and implement targeted preservation projects in collaboration with peer institutions. 
Objective 1.3: Build rich digital collections through local acquisition as well as seamless access to shared collections.


Strategy A: Extend library digital collections beyond locally owned resources with strategies such as patron-driven acquisitions, shared digital collections such as HathiTrust, and collaborative collection development initiatives. 
Strategy B: Identify subjects or areas in which digital is the preferred format based on demonstrable usage patterns, and take steps to transition to digital.


Objective 1.4: Create local and distributed digital collections that enable traditional and new opportunities for knowledge transmission and the creation of new knowledge. 

Strategy A: Negotiate for and implement capabilities embedded in licensed and locally-created digital content, such as mobile access, bibliographic management and sharing tools, current awareness services and data mining rights. 
Strategy B: Seek out and pilot new forms of scholarly communication strategies that enable the transmission and advancement of knowledge, such as digital scholarly editions, open access initiatives, and scholarly publishing innovations. 
Strategy C: Create new digital collections reformatted from existing physical collections, locally and in partnership with others. 
Strategy D: Build expertise in Intellectual Property/Copyright management and digital preservation.


Core Goal Two: Developing and Embracing Technology

Technological advancements continue to be key factors in the ongoing evolution of research, scholarship, teaching and learning. To capitalize on these innovations, the IU Bloomington Libraries remain leaders in developing and supporting new models for publication and scholarship, access to digital collections, and enhancement of online teaching and learning.

Objective 2.1: Develop services that support robust and innovative use of technology in research and scholarship. 

Strategy A: Implement appropriate technical platforms for online publishing and dissemination of research and scholarly output. 
Strategy B: Take a leadership role within the campus and university in the development of services to support research data management. 
Strategy C: Partner with faculty and other campus units to develop services to support new and emerging forms of digital research and scholarship. 

Objective 2.2: Take a user-focused approach to the development of online services that enables a seamless, flexible user experience and meaningful access paths to collections. 


Strategy A: Streamline user workflow for online access to library collections and services. 
Strategy B: Overhaul and redesign the IU Bloomington Libraries’ web presence. 
Strategy C: Integrate library services and collections into online environments being used by students and faculty in their teaching, learning, and research activities. 

Objective 2.3: Build strategies and technical infrastructure to support digital collections. 

Strategy A: Develop systems and strategies for digital preservation to support both born-digital collections as well as collections in original formats for which digital has become the primary copy. 
Strategy B: Implement technical platforms to provide flexible and appropriate online access to digital collections to support teaching, learning, and research. 
Strategy C: Increase discoverability of and online access to media collections. 
Strategy D: Expand the IU Bloomington Libraries’ capacity to develop and customize software to meet service needs.


Core Goal Three: Enhancing the Physical Environments for Research, Scholarship, Teaching and Learning

The IU Bloomington Libraries are a well-established campus destination for quiet study, individual reflection, research support and collaborative learning. In addition to these traditional priorities, the IU Bloomington Libraries, working with strategic partners, will continue to advance our mission by providing the physical spaces that promote and foster the activities of our scholarly community.


Objective 3.1: Identify and modify existing physical spaces within our Libraries that have an impact on the teaching and research mission of Indiana University. 

Strategy A: Anticipate and respond to current and emerging needs of students and researchers through proactive attention to changing patterns of building use and scholarly needs . 
Strategy B: Create a culture of partnership by leveraging limited resources to meet mutual needs with shared services and synergies gained from co-location in the library space.

Objective 3.2: Conduct ongoing assessment of physical environments. 

Strategy A: Develop a methodology to determine the future direction of Indiana University Bloomington Libraries physical spaces, understanding each location has different space needs. 
Strategy B: Develop a survey to assess space needs and interests of partners on campus. 
Strategy C: Establish a committee to advise library’s leadership regarding physical space issues. 

Core Goal Four: Partnering in the Teaching and Learning Process

As librarians become increasingly integral to the success of a 21st-century learning organization, their connection to the teaching and learning process will be imperative. Librarians at IU Bloomington are prepared to collaborate with faculty toward the full integration of information literacy into the undergraduate and graduate curricula in order to ensure that students possess the knowledge to access, use, interpret, and evaluate information. Through teaching and outreach initiatives focused on faculty collaboration and student success, librarians will develop, implement, and assess information literacy outcomes across disciplines in order to improve learning at all levels.

Objective 4.1: Promote teaching competency within IU Bloomington Libraries.


Strategy A: Focus on teacher development for librarians and staff. 
Strategy B: Align the IU Bloomington Libraries information literacy initiatives with campus learning goals.

Objective 4.2: Increase collaboration and outreach to students and faculty. 

Strategy A: Build on the success of the Information Fluency Grants. 
Strategy B: Create opportunities for building communities with students, faculty and staff. 

Strategy C: Expand instructional support for online education.


Objective 4.3: Provide the tools and environments required for excellent instruction and consultation. 


Strategy A: Create an internal centralized instruction management system that enables self-assessment and tracking of teaching output.

Strategy B: Develop a faculty toolkit for information literacy.  
Strategy C: Embed instructional help and teaching support in library and campus virtual environments.  
Strategy D: Pursue opportunities to increase access to digital collections for online education. 




last updated: 7/29/2013