Who We Are
From the Dean
Know the Libraries
Perhaps at no time in the past has the impact of the external
environment on universities and their libraries been so evident as
now. The endeavors of learning and teaching, creating and
disseminating scholarly knowledge, and extending services both on and
off campus take place in increasingly complex times. Technology,
economics, demographics, and other forces now frequently present
challenges and opportunities that refuse to follow patterns that have
been familiar for decades. While this kind of change understandably
produces discomfort, the planning efforts of the Purdue University
Libraries have helped us to focus on the needs of library users in
light of the future.
The Libraries' focus on the future began with our first strategic
A Shared Commitment to Excellence: A Plan for the Future,
1992-1997. The value of that plan arose from the vision, mission, and actions
created to guide the Libraries through the 1990's and beyond. The
actions, which yielded concrete results for the Purdue University
community, met user needs and changed the campus discourse regarding
the Libraries. Implicit in the planning process and implementation was
a significant shift in the Libraries' internal culture toward shared
goals, evidenced in such initiatives as the installation of
state-of-the-art library information technology and the ongoing
development of an information literacy curriculum.
Subsequently, under the leadership of a group of Libraries faculty and
staff (Team 2004), a new plan was developed to guide the Libraries
into the twenty-first century. A thoughtful analysis of the outcomes,
strengths, and weaknesses of the first plan resulted in a
reaffirmation of the vision as an image of a desirable future for the
Libraries and our clientele, and a recommitment to our mission. A
realization also emerged that our new plan needed to better equip the
Libraries to respond rapidly, and with greater flexibility, to
challenges and opportunities as they arise. This sense was underscored
by the insights that emerged as campus deans, the University Library
Committee, and the entire Libraries staff participated in a series of
environmental scans to identify changes in higher education and in
information and communication technology, and to consider their impact
on the Libraries. The result was
Plan 2004: A Framework for Action (1999-2004), a plan with four
strategic directions (The Learning Library, Scholarly Communication,
User-Centered Services, and Infrastructure) and a group of
outcome-oriented strategic goals for each direction.
In response to the development of the University's strategic plan for
2001-2006, the Libraries Policy and Planning Team reworked
Plan 2004. The result,
Plan 2006: A Framework for Action (2002-2006), includes the vision (which incorporates values and culture), mission,
strategic directions and goals, as well as metrics that will allow us
to assess progress on our strategic goals. Specific actions and
appropriate targets for metrics will be determined in annual planning,
supporting the desired ability for rapid and flexible response to the
environment, and permitting the adjustment of targets based on
The plan now before you,
Plan 2006: A Framework for Action (2002-2006), shares with its
predecessors a firm grounding in the arenas of learning, discovery,
and engagement that define the Libraries and the University. Building
upon this foundation, the structure of this plan equips the Libraries
for the nimble response required to meet the information needs of the
Purdue community in an increasingly dynamic environment. Please join
the faculty and staff of the Libraries as we direct our thoughts and
energies toward an increasingly flexible, diverse, and
"user-empowered" information environment.
In the twenty-first century, the Purdue University Libraries
provide optimum access to and delivery of information to the Purdue
University community. Expert faculty and staff instruct and assist
the members of the Purdue community in becoming proficient and
productive users of information.
As partners in the discovery, learning, and engagement missions of the
University, the Purdue University Libraries provide sophisticated,
user-centered information services to facilitate faculty and student
productivity, enhance individual and group learning, and enrich
engagement initiatives. The Libraries provide access to and rapid
delivery of information in a variety of formats from local, regional,
national, and international services.
Electronic and other forms of access, document delivery services, and
Purdue's own collections are carefully managed in response to an
ongoing needs assessment. The user's ability to access information,
regardless of location, and the outcomes of the use of the
information, together constitute the measure of the Libraries success.
This measure relies in part on, but is increasingly less defined by,
the local collection. The Libraries success is evaluated in light of
the requirements of scholars and students in disciplines as diverse as
sciences, engineering and technology, humanities, and the social
A strong instruction program, closely coordinated with other faculty,
is provided for all students, with emphasis on critical thinking,
information literacy, and lifelong learning skills for undergraduates.
The Libraries information consultants work closely with individuals
and groups to understand the context of their information needs, and
to develop programs, systems, and technological applications to help
them retrieve, manage, use, and communicate information more
efficiently and effectively. The faculty and staff expertise,
services, and collections extend beyond the West Lafayette campus
through programs designed to provide rapid access to information for
individuals, not-for-profit agencies, governmental units, and
businesses, both within and outside the state of Indiana.
The programs and services of the Libraries are carried out by a
diverse group of faculty and administrative, professional, and support
staff. The "library family" is characterized by high morale, a strong
sense of common purpose, and social responsibility. Faculty and staff
from all employee classifications work together in flexible teams to
analyze issues and opportunities, recommend actions, and participate
Effective communication throughout the Libraries and an active staff
development program contribute to a positive organizational climate
and the successful achievement of the Libraries mission. Library
faculty and staff maintain excellent communication with the Libraries
partners in the University.
The Libraries are partners with the schools and departments of the
University in meeting the discovery, learning, and engagement
commitments of Purdue University.
The Libraries primary role is embodied in five components of the
mission: information transfer, a partner in teaching and lifelong
learning, a partner in discovery, a partner in engagement, and a
repository of the intellectual record.
The Libraries facilitate the identification and delivery of
information, regardless of format, in support of the University's
discovery, learning, and engagement commitments, guided by an ongoing
assessment of the information needs of the Libraries primary user
population. Although print has historically been the medium of
information transfer, trends suggest that scholarly information, both
current and retrospective, will increasingly be transferred by
A PARTNER IN TEACHING AND LIFELONG LEARNING.
As the role that higher education institutions play in lifelong
learning becomes increasingly clear, so too does the role of the
library in helping individuals acquire the skills of lifelong
learning. The ability to obtain and critically evaluate information is
one hallmark of a university education. Increasingly, the skills of
self-directed learning form another such hallmark. In partnership with
faculty across the University, the Libraries offer a program of
information literacy that emphasizes critical thinking skills,
addresses the use of information in a variety of formats, and prepares
students for a lifetime of learning.
Through collaborative efforts with faculty in other disciplines, the
Libraries faculty not only respond to trends in higher education
affecting teaching and learning, but also participate in shaping
curricular innovations made necessary by changes in the environment.
Information resources required in support of these innovations are
thus identified and access is facilitated as part of a broadened
process at the University. The Libraries maintain an ongoing awareness
of the curriculum and use this information in designing services and
in the building and maintenance of collections. Distance learning
capabilities permit the extension of this mission component beyond the
West Lafayette campus to those participating in the University's
lifelong learning programs.
A PARTNER IN DISCOVERY.
The Libraries continually gather information regarding the research
interests of Purdue faculty and students, for use in designing
services and developing collections. Information resources required in
support of the University's discovery initiatives are thus identified
and access to them facilitated, regardless of location.
A PARTNER IN ENGAGEMENT.
The Libraries recognize a twofold responsibility in regard to the
University's outreach role. In addition to direct service to
individuals and groups both on and off campus, the Libraries provide
informational support to University divisions and programs that have
off-campus engagement commitments.
A REPOSITORY OF THE INTELLECTUAL RECORD.
To support the mission of the University, the Libraries provide access
to a carefully selected portion of the intellectual record. Due to
cost and space requirements, this access increasingly involves other
libraries' collections, whether in traditional or electronic and other
nonprint formats. The expertise of Libraries faculty and staff
increasingly focuses on facilitating access to content, including the
interpersonal interactions involved, in contrast to the activities of
acquiring the containers in which content may reside. The Libraries
have repository and archival responsibility for Purdue publications,
and provide a physical environment and remedial treatment conducive to
longevity for library materials.
Higher education today is marked by a growing emphasis on the learner
and the learning experience. As knowledge in all disciplines changes
rapidly, one of the primary tasks of the undergraduate student is the
mastery of information strategies and skills that are transferable
across subject areas and serviceable for a lifetime. All members of
the university community, in fact, require learning experiences
designed to support the broadening, upward spiral of the continuous
learning process. These must include a variety of opportunities to
learn and discover, whether the individual visits the library
physically or virtually.
+ The University community values information literacy.
- Number of credit courses that include an information literacy
+ Prior to graduation, students demonstrate a mastery of both
information literacy and lifelong learning skills via assessment
methods developed jointly by Libraries faculty and the faculty in
- Development of information literacy skills assessment tools
+ Learning of information strategies and skills occurs wherever and
- Use of online tutorials, research guides, and point-of-use
+ Purdue students, faculty, and staff in all disciplines learn to
use changing information technologies.
- Number of disciplines for which instruction is offered
- Number of participants in instructional offerings
+ The Libraries support lifelong, self-directed, and distance
learning by identifying needs, creating and providing opportunities
for effective learning experiences, and promoting the value of such
- Development and promotion of programs and tutorials
The familiar terrain of scholarly publishing is undergoing a
transformation. Multiple forms of publication are now possible, and it
is not clear what the balance will be in the future between owning a
physical copy of a document and accessing the document via digital
means. In some disciplines, for example, the sciences, the balance has
already tipped as electronic versions of journals complement, compete
with, and even replace those in printed format. Scholars are modifying
the way they communicate, and a new integration of text and technology
increasingly characterizes the creation, transfer, and utilization of
knowledge. As information and communication technologies permit
experimentation with new forms of scholarly publishing, intellectual
property issues, including copyright, become the focus of national
+ The Libraries management of both ownership of and access to
information is informed by an awareness of the changing needs of the
Purdue community and by an understanding of the context of these
- Expenditures in emerging and interdisciplinary fields
+ The Libraries provide a gateway to a continuously changing
environment of scholarly communication by evaluating, selecting, and
providing access to scholarly information in varying formats,
independent of location.
- Number of print resources
- Number of electronic resources
- Percentage of ILL requests filled
+ The Libraries demonstrate tools and procedures that increase
scholars' productivity in creating, communicating, and acquiring
- Investment of funds in new tools and procedures
+ The Libraries are partners with scholars in creating knowledge
and in developing, sharing, and accessing emerging forms of
- Use of the Center for Scholarly Communication
+ The Libraries educate users regarding the legal aspects of
scholarly communication in a networked environment.
- Use of University Copyright Office
+ The Libraries written collection management policy reflects and
accommodates the balance of ownership and access to information,
including acquisition and retention in the local collection.
- Development of a written collection management policy
The value and benefits of the human interface become ever more
critical as the access to digital materials increases and the concept
of a library is transformed by new approaches to learning and
scholarly communication. In this rapidly changing environment,
libraries focus on offering services that effectively meet the needs
+ The Libraries are the campus leaders in the provision and
evaluation of information.
- Percent of University investment in content (print and electronic
resources) administered by the Libraries for campus-wide access
+ The Libraries resources and services are provided to users where
and when they are needed, and users have choices regarding how they
interact and communicate with the Libraries.
- Number of options for access to resources and services
- Evaluation of user satisfaction
- Number of point-of-use instruction sessions
+ Approachable, knowledgeable, and technically skillful library
faculty and staff act as partners in defining and procuring needed
information while instructing users.
- Number of hours per FTE in staff development
+ Effective user service is the most important priority in the work
of library faculty and staff.
- Evaluation of user satisfaction
+ Focusing on the needs of users, the Libraries develop new
services and plan the incorporation of changing technologies.
- Selection/development of new services
- Evaluation of user satisfaction
+ The Libraries commitment to user-centered services drives the
recruitment, training and development, performance management, and
scheduling of faculty, staff, and student employees.
- Evaluation of the effectiveness of operational structures
Success in the strategic directions of The Learning Library, Scholarly
Communication, and User-Centered Services requires a strong foundation
in the form of the Libraries infrastructure: knowledgeable faculty and
staff; appropriate technologies, facilities, and communication
mechanisms; internal and external funding; continual adjustment of
budget resources; outcome-oriented assessment methods; and informed
priorities. Ongoing evaluation of the infrastructure involves a
combination of user input and self-evaluation to measure the Libraries
contribution to successful user outcomes.
+ The Libraries faculty and staff engage in an ongoing process of
assessment and readjustment of services, facilities, staffing, and
+ The Libraries faculty and staff communicate and cooperate as one
staff and utilize a variety of communication methods both within the
Libraries and with the Purdue community.
- Consistency of message and image presented to the Purdue community
+ An ongoing staff development program provides opportunities for
Libraries faculty and staff to enhance their knowledge, skills, and
personal effectiveness to better contribute to the strategic
directions and goals.
- Number of opportunities/programs and number of participants
+ Budget planning, proposals, and adjustments reflect the priority
given to those activities, programs, and projects that support the
strategic directions, while allowing the flexibility to take
advantage of unanticipated opportunities to achieve a goal.
- Extent to which investments match the prioritized annual actions
that support the strategic plan
+ University funding reflects the Libraries leadership in the
provision of information.
- Extent to which University funding matches inflation rates for
- Investments in resources supporting new programs and curricula
+ An active public relations and external fundraising program helps
to support the strategic directions.
- Percentage of budget derived from annual gift-giving
The Libraries information access, collection ownership, and
instructional services are designed to support the goals of academic
programs. The selection of peer institutions for learning, discovery,
and engagement benchmarking by the Schools impacts the Libraries
identification of appropriate academic libraries for the purpose of
benchmarking. Therefore, a key factor in implementing the Libraries
strategic plan, following approval by the President, will be the
selection of peer institutions for benchmarking based on those
selected by the Schools. Annual action planning will identify
opportunities and key priorities, and guide resource allocations, for
achieving progress toward the Libraries strategic goals. Together with
the Purdue community, the Libraries faculty and staff look forward to
building an increasingly flexible, diverse, and "user-empowered"