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Guide to the Washington University Libraries 2017 Strategic Plan

Vision: Curation, Collaboration and Community

The vision for the libraries is now captured by three words: Curation, Collaboration and Community. Curation – organizing and maintaining collections-- is at the heart of our bibliographic traditions. Collaboration speaks to our desire to partner and engage in the dynamic academic environment. By including Community, we focus our attention on both the work environment, our library community and beyond.

Mission: Balance traditional and emerging elements

It is a leadership priority of the libraries to balance traditional elements of the libraries' mission of providing access to books and print or electronic resources, expertise in research, and quiet contemplative spaces for students and scholars to study – with the emerging elements of digital archiving, instructional technology, data visualization and data-intensive scholarship, enriching our special collections, collaborating with external organizations, and providing a collegial social environment for student exploration and learning. Tension among these elements of our mission is to some degree inevitable, and we will need to be vigilant to ensure that the libraries' full story is heard in all our communications and reflected in our decisions.


The libraries will develop and support services and programs that meet the teaching, research and study needs of the faculty and students we serve, while building a positive and inclusive work environment for our people.


1. Facilitate seamless access to robust and distinctive collections

2. Support new models of research, scholarship and funding

3. Facilitate the creation, analysis and curation of knowledge and data

4. Actively partner with faculty to develop collections


5. Provide an environment that promotes productivity and collaboration

6. Develop inspirational learning spaces and services that accelerate student success


7. Recruit and retain excellent and diverse staff

8. Cultivate a climate of participation and empowerment

9. Engage with the intellectual life of university by cultivating strategic partnerships and assuming leadership roles