Vision Statement and Strategic Goals
Draft, July 22, 2005


"The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas."
          -- Dr. Linus Pauling

Over the next five years, the Rutgers University Libraries will develop collections and services that are focused on undergraduate students and researchers and that are integrated into the instructional and research programs of the university. The combined themes of focus and integration will guide decision-making, task selection, and priority setting for collections, services, technology, buildings, and human and financial resources.


The 21st century will be a time of great change for research libraries. During the coming decades, the Rutgers University Libraries and its peers will be challenged to find their way in a world where information is abundantly available, where expectations come from many contexts, where new infrastructures must be built, where there is an imperative to provide easy access to scholarly resources, and where there is opportunity and obligation to provide leadership on campus in matters that contribute to the public good. At the same time, there will be competition for the financial and human resources required for meeting these challenges. With a rich, complex environment typical of a large public research university and ambitions of becoming a first rank institution, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey needs libraries that are recognized as excellent that are responsive to institutional change and priorities, and that provide university leadership in areas of their expertise, such as copyright, intellectual freedom, and access to government information.

President Richard L. McCormick has introduced a number of important initiatives, and each of these affects the Libraries.

Rutgers students and faculty are diverse racially and ethnically and have high expectations for library resources and services

Rutgers faces the same challenges as other research universities in acquiring adequate financial resources. The Rutgers University Libraries compete with other units of the university for their share of the institution's resources, which generally means a piece of a smaller state allocation. They also compete for attention and support from the university and the foundation, which is required to raise external funds from government programs, foundations, and individual donors. At the same time, the costs of acquiring scholarly resources continue to rise dramatically.

To fund areas of excellence and priority, Rutgers has created a number of internal grant programs and a presidential excellence fund. The State of New Jersey has provided bond programs for higher education that have made funds available for buildings and computing equipment. The Libraries have benefited with funding from these programs, but these special funds do not assure continuing investment in the Libraries' infrastructure, collections, and human resources.


In response to this environment, the Libraries will focus on the undergraduate and the researcher. Undergraduates are the university's largest population, and a focus on them will serve as a gateway to the Libraries for the entire university community. The focus on the researcher will concentrate on the university's core academic disciplines, especially those of national and international excellence, and the university's strategic research areas. Graduate students will benefit both from satisfying the informational needs of the undergraduates and those of the professional researchers.

Some general principles for achieving this focus are:


Building upon the technological achievements of A Bridge to the Future: The Rutgers Digital Library Initiative, the Libraries will deepen the value and impact of their resources and services by making them easy to access, customize, and integrate into the university's instructional and research programs. There are now available so many scholarly resources, in every format and language possible, that students and researchers recognize that order and assistance are necessary. The Libraries will provide that organization and assistance in the various styles that students and faculty need and in the places, both physical and virtual, where they learn and create knowledge.

Some general principles for achieving this integration are:

Focus and Integration

Some general principles for achieving both focus and integration are:

Strategic Goals

The Rutgers University Libraries will build its work on the following interpretation of university goals. Over the past year and a half, the Libraries have consulted broadly with the university community and identified numerous activities where students, faculty, and administrators believe the Libraries can positively impact their work. In addition, the university librarian's cabinet invited statements from librarians and library staff on topics of particular concern and interest. User and library recommendations are incorporated into this goals statement:

Academic Excellence

Strategic Goal: Improve the quality of scholarly resources and information services that support the advancement of academic excellence at Rutgers

Students and Campuses

Strategic Goal: Enhance the effectiveness of library services for students and the development of library facilities as learning spaces

Service and Constituency Relations

Strategic Goal: Improve awareness of the resources, services, and support available to all of the Libraries' constituencies

Resources for Rutgers

Strategic Goal: Increase the Libraries' resources to the levels of peer AAU public universities and manage those resources more strategically and efficiently

Leadership and Administration

Strategic Goal: Continue to develop an organization and the human resources to achieve the Libraries' strategic goals

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