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Strategic Initiatives

Based on our mission, vision, and values, these are the Libraries' major goals, strategies, and initiatives.

Goal Areas

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User-centered Excellence and Innovation

Enable and catalyze our University community’s success by applying innovative, user-centered approaches in our programs, services, and spaces.

Strategies & initiatives
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Social Justice

Deepen the impact of our values-based work in the Libraries, partnering with others to promote democracy, social justice, and equitable participation in our society.

Strategies & initiatives
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Strengthen the Libraries’ positive influence, reach, and reputation through new and existing strategic partnerships.

Strategies & initiatives
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Organizational Capacity

Ensure the Libraries’ continued organizational capacity, resources and sustainability so that strategic goals can be reached.

Strategies & initiatives

Strategies and Initiatives

User-Centered Excellence and Innovation

  • Identify, collect, and integrate performance data to inform decisions and align the Libraries with the university’s performance indicators.
  • Redefine our collections with data and models to better inform collections funding and bring our practices in line with UMD’s academic curriculum and priorities.
  • Charge a new, interdisciplinary group, working title: Scholars Brain Trust, to explore and create structures to address Big Challenges such as scholarly communications, anti-racism work, and digital scholarship trends.
  • Contribute to the university’s pandemic-related crisis and recovery efforts to ensure short- and long-term success of UMD.
  • Co-lead a collaborative Open Educational Resources and Affordability Initiative to address college affordability and access to knowledge as an ethical issue.
  • Enhance and redesign Libraries’ user-centered public website and interfaces.
  • Carry out first phase of the Big Ten Academic Alliance Libraries’ Discovery to Delivery initiatives.

Social Justice

  • Make our collections, data, and exhibits more open and accessible through digitization and other tools.
  • Document and preserve the student experience, including student life, social justice activism, and stories of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Partner with ARHU’s Center for Literary and Comparative Students to deliver Anti-Racism series of events and actions.
  • Carry out COVID-19-related community engagement projects that will mitigate disproportionate negative impact of the crisis on some students, faculty, and members of the surrounding community.
  • Follow through on commitment to anti-racism and social justice work, ensuring we are considering BIPOC constituents in all that we do using anti-racism and inclusive research and applied solutions in our work and operations.
  • Explore options and implement changes to integrate library teaching and outreach into the campus’s implementation of the university-wide Diversity Education Task Force (DETF) recommendations and into the IDEA elements of Terrapin Strong improvements related to orientation.
  • Reclaim our purpose and values as sources of knowledge, service, and hope through promotion of values-based work to the community.
  • Support and broaden the work of the Libraries’ Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) Committee.


  • Participate fully in the Big Ten Academic Alliance BIG Collection Initiative related to consortial licensing and large-scale acquisitions.
  • Lead Project 1856, the university’s participation in Universities Studying Slavery -- and an international consortium of over 60 universities sharing best practices in addressing their institution’s past.
  • Expand use of the Center for Research Libraries collections for research and learning.
  • Collaborate with the iSchool’s Trace Research and Development Center to pilot test use of tools to improve technological accessibility.
  • Provide leadership in USMAI as the consortium plans and implements a systems migration to a Next-Generation Discovery Platform, Integrated Libraries Systems (ILS), and Resource Sharing System.
  • Join the Google Books library project to expand searchable, full-text content.
  • Contribute content to the HathiTrust Research Center.
  • Strengthen collections-based relationship with AFL-CIO, LABF, NPR, and international partners.
  • Partner with the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA), Merrill College of Journalism, iSchool to launch the WHCA Pool Reports Archive.
  • Create a new Digital Collections Collaboratory Program with the iSchool and and the Digital Curation Innovation Center.

Organizational Capacity

  • During COVID-19 hiring freeze and beyond, focus on improving professional development and retention strategies to fill gaps in staffing and experience levels.
  • Run a library-wide planned abandonment exercise to decommission programs and services that are no longer as relevant for users to increase capacity for new initiatives across the Libraries.
  • Investigate automation and semi-automation tools to more effectively run operations and allocate staff time.
  • Improve organizational policies and processes to incorporate anti-racist and inclusive principles into our practice of librarianship and library operations.
  • Modernize and scale up to cloud-based infrastructure for digital collections.
  • Develop and implement Avalon, an open-source streaming media system.
  • Streamline Libraries faculty processes as much as possible.
  • Develop and operationalize a new comprehensive communications plan.
  • Strengthen development and fundraising efforts, emphasizing building of endowments and fostering donor relations.
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