The University of Iowa Libraries

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Strategic Plan 2010-2015


Foster critical inquiry and enable the creation of knowledge.


Campus Engagement and Content Development

Offer and promote innovative, high-quality cost effective services that meet the curricular, research and evidence-based clinical needs of library users by engaging with students and faculty through a network of active library liaisons and other library specialists dedicated to teaching and learning, collection development, scholarly communication, and reference and research, and by providing campus leadership in data curation.

  • Strengthen the role of liaison librarian with their respective departments/colleges
  • Strengthen undergraduate engagement with libraries, especially the first year undergraduate experience
  • Increase instructional technology and support for library liaisons
  • Respond to increasing international students enrollment and ensure that staff and services are sensitive to cultural differences in order to meet the needs of all students
  • Strengthen University Press partnership and e-journal initiatives in Digital Library Services
  • Explore creating a liaison to campus disability services
  • Preserve and promote the University’s scholarly output by raising awareness of and adding content  to Iowa Research Online
  • Expand and support faculty research through collaboration on creative scholarship, digital collections and electronic publishing
  • Complete CIC environmental scan and follow-up; identify faculty support for open access and build expertise among our librarians
  • Adjust  Libraries’ priorities to match outcomes of current campus planning efforts and cluster hire priorities
  • Develop capacity for e-research and cyber-infrastructure (e.g. digital humanities center)

Access and Community Outreach

Provide timely and user friendly access to the information resources needed to foster and enhance learning, research, clinical care, and creative endeavors; collaborate to promote and implement economically sustainable models of scholarly communication and technological infrastructures that foster rapid sharing of scholarship and creative activity; and serve as a critical information resource for the greater research community and the state of Iowa.

  • Process collections and refine procedures for delivery of content from the Libraries’ Annex
  • Consolidate successfully the Psychology, Mathematics, Geosciences, and Physics Libraries into the Hardin, Main and Biological Sciences Libraries; create an interdisciplinary Sciences Library
  • Significantly expand e-book access and delivery
  • Continue to experiment with on-demand acquisition of e-books
  • Fully incorporate finding aids with other library metadata  through increased use of standards and integrated discovery tools
  • Enhance SmartSearch (including Primo upgrade)
  • Explore and plan next generation discovery tools and library management systems
  • Seek manageable ways to integrate emerging technologies into services (e.g. mobile devices, e-book readers, podcasting, social media, collaboration tools)
  • Participate in Hathitrust/Google mass digitization and shared repository project
  • Strengthen electronic access to content for users with print disabilities
  • Explore and experiment with streaming media
  • Protect essential services within reduced  budgetary climate
  • Identify and implement ways to make our physical library spaces more appealing and tailored to changing user needs
  • Advocate policy changes that explicitly recognize open dissemination of scholarly publications as an essential, inseparable component of the research process
  • Identify and embrace opportunities for inter-institutional initiatives that increase access and/or reduce costs
  • Serve the state health sciences library needs in light of the closure of the State Medical Library
  • Take a leadership role in the development of a statewide disaster plan for libraries, archives, and museums

Workforce Development and Diversity

Develop a flexible, diverse workforce that can meet the evolving needs of our users and that appreciates and is sensitive to cultural, global, and other differences.

  • Promote training and development to position staff for the challenges of a rapidly changing information environment
  • Manage the disruption of job loss from budget cuts and realign staffing to adjust for positions lost through attrition
  • Determine primary needs and fill key vacancies within budget limitations
  • Continue to diversify the workforce
  • Offer training and support for liaisons on scholarly communication and outreach issues
  • Strengthen leadership and supervisory skills at all levels


Make effective use of limited space to create stimulating, comfortable, and technologically rich environments where learning and collaboration are fostered; and make wise fiscal and strategic decisions that foster learning and research and ensure the long-term preservation of resources.

  • Maximize efficiency and cost-effectiveness of operations, aligning resources (including human resources) with campus and libraries priorities
  • Make wise use of resources through “green computing” and other energy saving strategies
  • Plan for sharing responsibility for the storage of print books and journals, e.g. ISU/UW project, and participate in new cooperative endeavors that align with strategic priorities
  • Continue to address library space needs
  • Assess library programs and outcomes to make the most effective use of resources
  • Identify campus needs and study trends in data sharing and open access data
  • Develop strategies/workflows and build capacity for long-term preservation of digital files and other non-print collections
  • Identify, collect and preserve at-risk content across the institution