Strategic planning at the University of Minnesota

The University’s 2014 Strategic Plan sets an ambitious vision for the institution: “The University will be preeminent in solving the grand challenges of a diverse and changing world.”

The University Libraries’ plan, framed around the University’s goals, supports and advances this vision.

Download the University Libraries Strategic Plan in PDF format or view below:

University Libraries strategic plan 2016-2020

The University’s 2014 Strategic Plan set an ambitious vision for the institution: “The University will be preeminent in solving the grand challenges of a diverse and changing world.” Overarching and interrelated goals support that vision, providing a framework that encompasses grand challenge research and curriculum, field-shaping researchers and teachers, mutual engagement within communities, and support of excellence.

The University of Minnesota Libraries has a distinctive dual role, serving as both a service agency and an academic agency in its own right. Libraries’ services support the tri-partite mission of the institution: education, research, and service. And as an academic agency, the Libraries provides intellectual leadership and expertise in areas associated with the full life cycle of knowledge resources, from creation to curation.

The Libraries’ plan for 2016-2020, framed around University’s goals, captures the vital role of the Libraries in achieving the university’s vision.

The University Libraries is a strategic asset for the University and the global advancement of knowledge, providing intellectual leadership, vital collections, and essential expertise.


  • Knowledge: We develop exceptional collections, programs, and technologies that directly support teaching, learning, and research.
  • Openness: We advocate for open and enduring access to resources.
  • Service: We have dedicated staff and innovative spaces responsive to the needs of our campus and community.
  • Collaboration: We partner to drive innovation and advance scholarship to address grand challenges.
  • Diversity: We strive to reflect our community by embracing the diversity of people and ideas.


  • People: We provide expertise, leadership, and support in advancement of the University’s mission.
  • Location: We are a preeminent research library within a diverse urban environment.
  • Perspective: We bring a broad institutional lens to facilitate connections and drive innovation.
  • Collections: Our extraordinary resources are the foundation for exceptional research and learning.
  • Partnerships: We promote local, national, and international collaborations to share, manage, and preserve information.

The University Libraries:

♦ Advances University Priorities for Research, Enabling Grand Challenges Research & Supporting Field-Shaping Researchers

The Libraries brings deep expertise in facilitating and supporting both the products and processes of scholarship.

  • Provide leadership in developing a comprehensive and robust knowledge infrastructure — content, technologies, and policies — that advances research and learning.
  • Invest in content resources aligned with University academic priorities, strategies to advance new forms of scholarship, and collaborations to further a coordinated network of research libraries collections.
  • Design innovative services to enhance research of individual disciplines and to facilitate cross-disciplinary connections among researchers.
  • Maximize the impact of the University’s scholarship and advance open models for disseminating the products of research.

♦ Partners in Teaching and Learning, Reinforcing Grand Challenges Curriculum & engaging Field-Shaping Educators

The Libraries integrates discipline-based knowledge, specialized expertise, and innovative learning spaces to advance learning and promote student success.

  • Collaborate with campus e-learning and online education initiatives to stimulate innovative teaching and with colleges in advancement of the coordinated learning support network.
  • Promote the integration of inquiry skills and learning analytics in the curriculum in support of student learning outcomes.
  • Partner with faculty to reduce student costs and increase access to course content by advancing open models and leveraging Libraries’ resources.
  • Transform library spaces to stimulate innovation and experiential learning experiences.

♦ Supports Reciprocal Engagement With External Communities & Leverages the Distinctive Urban Location of the University

The Libraries’ strong collections and expert staff fuel collaborations to benefit state and regional communities.

  • Strengthen the capacities of Minnesota’s educational and cultural institutions through Minitex, by providing access to University resources, services, and expertise.
  • Accelerate the pace at which knowledge and discovery at the University benefit the public through systems that bring visibility and provide enduring access to the products of University research.
  • Advance partnerships with University colleges and community organizations to deliver mutually beneficial outreach programs and further the University’s diversity goals.
  • Pursue external collaborations that expand the recognition, resources, and support for the Libraries.

♦ Embraces Excellence & Rejects Complacency in Developing Programs in Support of University Goals

The Libraries has a longstanding, exemplary record of strategic resource reallocation and agile response to campus priorities and emergent academic interests. 

  • Leverage strategic collaborations with campus partners and other institutions and organizations to extend operational capacities at unprecedented scale and to achieve significant economies and new benefits.
  • Leverage collective action to bring about a sustainable economic model for disseminating and preserving knowledge resources.
  • Foster an organizational culture that values collaborative and multi-disciplinary strategies for advancing Libraries’ goals.
  • Aggressively recruit and empower a diverse staff who further institutional priorities and provide exceptional leadership within the University and professional communities.