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Mission, Vision, Goals

Seton Hall University Libraries, Strategic Plan: 2012 to 2020

Preamble and background

The Libraries in many ways instantiate the University’s academic ambitions and this Plan articulates the role we can play in the greater social, moral-ethical, and democratic goods that are embodied in Seton Hall’s Mission and Strategic Plan.

Like all strategic plans, this one will be iterative, but our statements of mission, vision, values, and goals are meant broadly to set the trajectory of our work for the better part of the next decade. It is our objectives that will be reviewed annually; progress will be assessed and they will be renewed as a guide to our daily, weekly, monthly, semester and year’s work. In other words, specific activities and projects will be undertaken to accomplish our objectives, which in turn are meant to be specific articulations of the work needed to accomplish our goals, in turn shaped to articulate our means of achieving our vision, mission, and embody our values. All of this is of course in parallel to and in support of the broader ambitions of Seton Hall University, which are articulated in the “Strength to Strength” document of 2011.

The Seton Hall University Libraries’ Strategic Planning process began immediately upon the arrival of the new Dean of University Libraries with an adaptation of the SWOT Analysis process conducted through individual meetings with all library staff and faculty, starting July 3rd, 2012. Those meetings finished in three weeks on July 24th, 2012. The results were compiled and analyzed and edited. It was distributed, along with background documentation on the processes and trends in the profession, in preparation for a July 30th, 2012 all-library meeting to discuss the results, and a draft of a Mission, Vision, and Values document. As a result of the July 30th meeting and the strong consensus around those documents coming out of the meeting, volunteers were requested to assist the Dean in the formulation of the rest of the Strategic Plan: honing and editing the Mission, Vision, and Values document and discussion of goals within its context along with the SWOT Analysis. By August 1, the committee was complete, and thanks and acknowledgement here go to Marta Deyrup, Tracy Jackson, Kathleen Dodds, Paul Chao, James Harrington, and Denise D’Agostino for their reading, editing, commentary, and discussion in shaping this plan.

The Strategic Planning Committee met, reviewed and revised drafts of these documents in the month of August, with work concluding in the first weeks of September 2012. Broadly adapting the work of Matthews , this Strategic Plan consists of 1) this Preamble giving background on the process; 2) the Libraries’ Mission, Vision, and Values statements; 3) nine broad Goals derived from those statements; 4) an Objectives document (appended here); 5) an internally distributed Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Analysis document; with 6) an internally distributed document titled “Organizational Culture, Climate and Interaction” as an appendix. Items 1 through 4 will be posted on the Libraries’ web page, along with periodic renewals and revisions.

The entire Seton Hall University Libraries organization has expressed a strong desire for renewal, growth, and vital contribution to the work of the University. This Strategic Plan was able to be formulated relatively quickly because of the urgency of those sentiments. Our next steps are to affirm and carry through on this important work and achieve our organizational ambitions in helping the Seton Hall communities.

Mission, Vision, and Values Statements

Mission (why we exist)

The Seton Hall University Libraries support excellence in academic and individual work, enable inquiry, foster intellectual and ethical integrity and respect for diverse points of view through user-focused services and robust collections as the intellectual and cultural heart of the University.

Vision (what we want to be by 2020)

The Libraries are at the heart of Seton Hall’s intellectual ambitions and the first source for scholarship and information where students’ needs are the library's top priority, faculty find the resources essential for their teaching and research, and students graduate with the realization that the library is indispensable.

Core Values (what we stand for)

  • Service: We provide user-centered, prompt, responsive, and friendly services, spaces, and robust collections for Seton Hall and our local and world communities; we value professional growth by study, anticipation, and response to the evolving needs of our communities with flexibility, innovation, and continual reassessment.

  • Access: We provide unhindered and clear access to all forms of information while respecting individual privacy, autonomy, and free inquiry.

  • Learning: We educate and assist our users to identify, evaluate, and utilize information and its tools in their coursework, research, careers, and daily lives.

  • Community: We create community and a welcoming environment conducive to research, dialogue, and work by treating our colleagues and users with dignity, honesty, and good humor, with respect for social and cultural diversity and through our own cooperation and clear communications.

  • Collaboration: We actively seek partnerships to improve service and increase access to information as we collaborate among library staff, within Seton Hall and within the broader library community.

  • Preservation: We share with all libraries the responsibility of preserving the cultural and intellectual legacy of human endeavor and knowledge for current and future use, particularly those materials that speak to the University’s Catholic mission and tradition of service.

Strategic Plan Goals

Goal 1) Provide expert assistance, instruction, and an innovative suite of user services which are responsive to the needs of our community and changing circumstances.

Goal 2) Build up and preserve print, digital, and other materials using selection criteria that reflect the academic priorities of the University, current collection strengths and significant research in all areas of study pursued at the University.

Goal 3) Provide effective organization and presentation of information and collections and access to information located elsewhere.

Goal 4) Create and maintain a physical environment that fosters learning and research and encourages use and interaction.

Goal 5) Communicate the library’s services and resources effectively, expand outreach and develop opportunities for our users to communicate about and shape those services and resources.

Goal 6) Develop strategic alliances and cooperate with other organizations for the advancement of scholarship, efficiency, and University goals and objectives.

Goal 7) Contribute to the academic, ethical, and cultural growth of the University community.

Goal 8) Foster an organizational culture and work structures that are agile, communicative, transparent, resilient and flexible, embrace change and encourage teamwork.

Goal 9) Secure the resources to meet Seton Hall University Libraries’ goals and objectives.

Strategic Plan Objectives to July 2020

The Goals addressed in the Strategic Plan are in bold parentheses at the end of each Objective

Objective 1: Design, staff, and build an opening day collection and space for the Integrated Health Sciences campus and the new School of Medicine (1-9)

Objective 2: Implement the Libraries’ Technology Strategic plan ( (1-3, 5-9)

Objective 3: Continue to improve library-wide coordination and communication: collections coordination (electronic, print, and repository) across all relevant units, meetings with functional supervisors, occasional staff/area meetings, all-library meetings and with library faculty, library newsletter for better functioning and transparency (2-5, 8)

Objective 4: Reformulate the liaison model: create and embed learning objects as close to the point of need as possible and deploy alternate service/teaching tools and technologies, document encounters like embedded Library faculty work, online reference, online course development, assignment development, library faculty and Dean outreach efforts (1, 5, 8)

Objective 5: Manage services more effectively: deeper data randomly collected, assessment of services and teaching, develop and/or partner to offer staff Patron Services training/best practices (1, 3, 5, 8)

Objective 6: Organize, document, expose, and preserve Gallery and Special Collections materials: manage that space efficiently and effectively, produce finding aids, continue developing modern collections handling procedures and implement them, develop a digital preservation program, update skills where needed (1-4, 7-8)

Objective 7: Continue to configure Walsh Gallery programing for long term sustainability (3, 7-8)

Objective 8:  Develop cohesive messaging and outreach: utilize newsletter/digital signage/web page, conduct ongoing surveys on Libraries’ web pages, provide feedback channels to the Library administration (1, 4, 5-7)

Objective 9:  Maintain and increase Libraries’ role in/leadership of campus scholarly activities issues: copyright, fair use, open access, licensing, data visualization, data management plan to support grant proposals (1, 3, 5-7)

Objective 10:  Continue to deploy more sophisticated mapping, wayfinding, signage and/or digital signage for the stacks and the building (1, 3-5)

Objective 11: Deploy the Alumni portal (1, 3, 5-7)

Objective 12: Develop Electronic Resources workflows and collections monitoring (1-3, 5-9)

Objective 13:  Expand access to electrical power for students throughout the building (4, 9)

Objective 14:  Partner w/Security for better evening security coverage (7-8)

Objective 15: Address legacy issues with our print collections (2-3, 5, 8)

Objective 16: Grow the budget to address curricular and research needs (2, 9)

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