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University Libraries Announces Strategic Plan

First Name
Last Name
Morgan Spehar
April 16, 2021
Ohio University Libraries 2021-2023 Strategic Plan Teaser Graphic

Ohio University Libraries is excited to announce its Strategic Plan 2021-2023, which will help guide the Libraries’ strategy and direction into the future and affirms the Libraries as the academic heart of the University. The plan results from a process, led by Libraries’ staff in 2020, that sought to advance the Libraries’ goals of promoting collaboration and connecting Libraries users across all Ohio University campuses.

“Throughout the process, our staff engaged virtually with students, faculty, staff, alumni and other stakeholders to create a renewed mission, vision and strategy for the Libraries,” said Neil Romanosky, dean of University Libraries. “Focusing on three overarching themes: connect, empower and sustain, this plan positions and affirms the Libraries as the heart of the University. I am extremely proud of the work our staff did in developing this plan.” 

Informed by the direction of the new strategic plan, the University Libraries’ mission is to “[embrace] a culture of connection, empowerment and sustainability to reimagine services, anticipate needs and manage change to create a better future for students, faculty and all internal stakeholders.”

Ryan Spellman, library support specialist, and Katy Mathuews, interim head of regional library managers and head of collections assessment and access, co-chaired the coordinating committee and organized the strategic planning process. 

“Often libraries will hire an outside consultant, but we really desired something more personal to make sure that we were in touch with our values and our staff, and we were really comfortable with a staff-led approach to creating the plan,” Mathuews said. 

Three subcommittees were created, and each were tasked with reviewing different aspects of the Libraries. One of the subcommittees conducted an environmental scan, another looked at stakeholder research and the final group brought everything together into themes and initiatives. 

“I can’t say enough that a lot of credit goes to our subcommittees on the actual groundwork that was done,” Spellman said. “They were phenomenal.”

The themes in the Strategic Plan are broad, so they can be applied to all of the work that goes on at the Libraries in support of the University and allows for flexibility as the Libraries continues to grow and adapt over the next few years.

“[Whether] it is developing ... innovations to help students learn information literacy skills, or whether it is thinking of new ways to conduct collection development to ensure that marginalized voices are reflected in our collections ... the Strategic Plan can be woven into our everyday work to support stakeholders,” Mathuews said.

Ohio University Libraries is a catalyst for research, knowledge discovery, and student success and transformation at the University. The Libraries will use the Strategic Plan to empower students, faculty and staff, to reimagine services, anticipate needs and connect with the community. 

“When people read the plan, I hope that they can see it and see themselves included in the plan, and how it will work for them, because that’s the whole idea,” Spellman said. 

Going forward, the Libraries will bring this spirit of cooperation and stakeholder involvement to its holistic decision-making process. By empowering the communities that are served, the Libraries will continue to uphold and advance the University’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

In the spirit of transparency, the Libraries will regularly share its progress on its new strategic directions.

“I look forward to sharing updates on the work we undertake to advance this strategy in the months ahead. I also welcome any feedback and suggestions our users might have on how University Libraries can better support their goals,” Romanosky said. 

Read the Libraries’ Strategic Plan 2021-2023 here.

Graphic Design by Victor Lowe/Ohio University Libraries