LSU Libraries Strategic Plan 2012-2020

Supporting the LSU Flagship 2020 Agenda


Technology has been the driving force of change in libraries for hundreds of years. As we have moved from papyrus, to parchment, paper, and finally pixels, the rate of technological change has accelerated. That acceleration will continue in the coming years with profound results for universities and the libraries that serve them.

In January 2012, the New Media Consortium (NMC) brought together 100 experts who served on past NMC Horizon Project Advisory Boards and collectively represented every sector of formal and informal education. The experts identified 28 “metatrends” that they believe will influence education in the future.

Four of these metatrends will without doubt affect the LSU Libraries. Quoted here with commentary, they provide a summary of the challenges that the LSU Libraries’ strategic plan must address.

  • “The Internet is becoming a global mobile network — and already is at its edges. Mobithinking reports there are now more than 6 billion active cell phone accounts. 1.2 billion have mobile broadband as well, and 85% of new devices can access the mobile web.” 1
    • LSU Libraries will improve mobile access to its catalog and discovery tools. As new devices and ways of access are adopted by the public, LSU Libraries will need to match its method of delivery to users’ preferences by continuously assessing technological trends and adopting successful innovations.
  • “Openness — concepts like open content, open data, and open resources, along with notions of transparency and easy access to data and information — is moving from a trend to a value for much of the world. As authoritative sources lose their importance, there is need for more curation and other forms of validation to generate meaning in information and media.”2
    • As LSU faculty move toward the open access model for publication, LSU Libraries staff will provide leadership in the creation of an institutional repository that will “de-silo,” publicize, and preserve the research, scholarship, and creative capital that LSU creates.
  • “The Internet is constantly challenging us to rethink learning and education, while refining our notion of literacy. Institutions must consider the unique value that each adds to a world in which information is everywhere. In such a world, sense-making and the ability to assess the credibility of information and media are paramount.”3
    • No longer gatekeepers, LSU Libraries staff must develop and own the role of facilitators of information access. We must radically reinvent librarians’ teaching role to provide students at their point of need with information literacy4 skills to achieve intellectual and personal development.
  • “Business models across the education ecosystem are changing. Libraries are deeply reimagining their missions; colleges and universities are struggling to reduce costs across the board. The educational ecosystem is shifting, and nowhere more so than in the world of publishing, where efforts to reimagine the book are having profound success, with implications that will touch every aspect of the learning enterprise.”5
    • As models of ownership and access change, LSU Libraries will redeploy staff resources and modify collection development strategies, to provide services, expertise and collections that make the most of existing resources, while building strategic partnerships and emphasizing the Libraries’ unique assets.

By critically examining the LSU Libraries’ mission, vision, values, and goals in light of developing technologies, we seek to create a strategic plan that through regularly planned revisions will shape our actions for success in support of the LSU Flagship 2020 agenda and beyond.


Serving the flagship institution of the state, the LSU Libraries provides foundational support for the academic core of Louisiana State University. Library staff organize, preserve, and share resources to meet the information needs of the university community, providing access to resources essential to teaching, research, and service. Our buildings provide both the physical space and the intellectual environment for students, faculty, and staff to meet, engage, learn, and create new knowledge. Library staff go beyond the role of information gate-keepers, teaching important information literacy and research skills and proactively preserving our region’s history and culture. Reaching beyond the university community, we extend information services to the state and make our unique holdings available to the world.


As economic forces and technological innovation bring major change to higher education, the LSU Libraries will transform itself so that it can continue to provide essential resources, both physical and intellectual, to support the students, faculty, and staff of the university in their pursuit of excellence. We will:

  • use our specialized expertise in information management to maximize access to needed information.
  • extend our teaching role to provide students with information literacy skills they need to achieve the highest levels of intellectual and personal development.
  • provide leadership in organizing, preserving and providing access to scholarship, research, and creative works produced at the university.
  • collaborate with teaching and research faculty, with business and industry, and with other libraries and organizations in order to share resources and better serve our constituents.
  • capitalize on the unique history and environment of Louisiana and LSU to enhance the LSU Libraries’ reputation as one of the top research libraries in the country.


Pursuing our mission, we will value and promote

  • an organizational culture of flexibility, fairness, collegiality, communication, diversity, and respect;
  • a service-oriented culture that makes the needs of LSU’s students, faculty, and staff its highest priority;
  • information literacy and other skills needed for lifelong learning;
  • strong and diverse information resources and collections that support the university’s mission and preserve of the unique history and culture of Louisiana and the lower Mississippi Valley;
  • ongoing planning, evaluation, and change to maintain improvement and respond to the changing needs of the university;
  • engagement with the university community, the public, and the profession of librarianship to promote positive change.


Aligned with the LSU Flagship 2020 agenda goals of discovery, learning, diversity, and engagement, the LSU Libraries has identified strategies and performance indicators that will guide our efforts to convert our aspirations into material accomplishments.

  1. Discovery: Increase the visibility, use, quantity, and quality of library resources and services in support of teaching, research, and creative activities.

    Background: The LSU Libraries has been a frontrunner in developing networked information resources in Louisiana, providing leadership in the establishment and development of LOUIS and the LOUISiana Digital Library. Through grant-funded projects, the Libraries has provided access to more than 100,000 pages of historical Louisiana newspapers, and well as some 50,000 images of primary source materials on Louisiana history. In 2012, we received a Board of Regents Traditional Enhancement Program grant to digitize 10,000 pages of Army Corps of Engineers documents. Over the last five years, the Libraries has increased electronic access to full-text journals. Through the LOUIS consortium, the Libraries began in 2012 offering access to the EBSCO Discovery Service, a single-source search engine for accessing all library resources.

    • Facilitate the creation of an institutional repository, conduct a comprehensive assessment of faculty and graduate student research production and create appropriate data management plans, including preservation and access strategies, for that material.
    • Continue to implement and develop improved “one-stop shopping” discovery tools to provide access to library resources, across all platforms (desktop and mobile).
    • Develop a library-wide approach to public relations to increase constituents’ awareness of Libraries’ resources and services, and the value thereof, along with assessment tools for determining progress.
    • Reallocate resources to increase electronic access to the Libraries’ rare and unique resources on a programmatic basis.
    • Augment financial resources devoted to technology, staff, and collections through grants, partnerships, and cultivation of donors.

    Performance indicators:
    • The existence of a functioning institutional repository or repositories by the end of FY2013.
    • Successful implementation of a single-source discovery tool indicated by a 5% increase in aggregate use of library resources by the end of FY2014.
    • Increased awareness of the Libraries’ resources and value as indicated by annual assessments.
    • Increased digitization of the Libraries’ rare and unique holdings by 10% each fiscal year.
    • Increased non-university funding (grants, donations) for library operations by 2% of the Libraries’ budget each fiscal year.
  2. Learning: Support undergraduate and graduate learning through library instruction, teaching information literacy, and through direct provision of resources needed for learning and scholarship.

    Background: Libraries’ faculty have increased and diversified teaching of “Library Research Methods and Materials” (LIS1001). It is offered both in person and as an online class. In Spring 2012, an advanced version, LIS4001, was offered for the first time. In Fall 2012, a section of LIS1001 will be offered specifically for Global Connection Residential Life students. We are working with the Honors College to provide an information literacy component to the new Honors 1000 course In Fall 2012. LSU Libraries regularly participates in outreach events such as the Freshman Information Fairs, Kickoff LSU, McNair Scholars, Preview LSU, Residential Life Information Fair, Spring Invitational, and STRIPES. We provide tours and instruction to high school students from schools such as Dunham School and Episcopal High. We submitted a QEP proposal focused on information literacy to the SACSCOC Quality Enhancement Plan Task Force (April 2012).

    • Develop and utilize assessment tools to determine impact of various library instruction efforts in order to guide ongoing activities.
    • Continue diversification and restructuring of library instruction, with increased focus on providing help at students’ point of need. This includes building collaborative relationships with faculty to integrate teaching of information literacy – critical thinking, problem solving, communication skills – into the fabric of student learning.
    • Collaborate with student support services to assist more actively in off-campus recruitment of students.
    • Collaborate with the Center for Academic Success to assist more actively in retention of students.
    • Collaborate with academic departments to assist in recruitment of graduate students and faculty.
    • Develop and implement plans to provide safe, healthful, and accessible library facilities for learning and working, as well as an appropriate environment for the Libraries’ collections.

    Performance indicators:
    • Assessment data is used to guide development/continuation/elimination of various library instruction methods and efforts, so that the methods we continue increasingly demonstrate that students who participate are more likely to succeed.
    • More types of library instruction offerings and more courses in which information literacy skills are embedded with the assistance of library faculty, adding at least one per year.
    • Increased participation of Libraries staff in recruitment of students, adding at least one new activity or offering per semester.
    • Increased participation of Libraries staff in retention of students, adding at least one new activity or offering per semester in collaboration with the Center for Academic Success and other student support services as appropriate.
    • Increased participation of Libraries staff in recruitment, retention, and outreach activities serving graduate students and faculty, adding at least one new activity or offering per semester.
    • Improved library facilities offering more study space for students and better environmental conditions for Special Collections and rare government documents over the next three years.

  3. Diversity: Foster diversity among our faculty and staff. In addition, we will foster diversity in the information resources we collect and to which we provide access, as well as in the services we provide, the better to serve our varied constituencies.

    Background: Over the last five years, the LSU Libraries has hired four staff members from groups who are currently underrepresented. Libraries’ faculty provide presentations tailored specifically for diverse campus groups such as the McNair Scholars, the Summer Scholars, the LA-STEM students, and the Osher Lifelong Learners Institute. We have purchased African-American research materials such as Black Short Fiction and Folklore and Black Thought and Culture (databases offered by Alexander Street Press), subscribed to the Oxford African-American Studies Center database, and subscribed to the journal Du Bois Review: Social Science Research.

    • Develop an internship program for minority librarians, making use of vacant positions as they occur and/or with support from donors or grants.
    • Develop assessment tools to guide measures to improve collegiality and morale and implement needed actions as indicated by those tools.
    • Develop assessment tools to determine how library services can best be individualized to meet the diverse needs of students and faculty and implement those customized services.
    • Augment outreach to communities in Louisiana who are underrepresented in our collections in order to foster increased collection development and preservation of unique resources.

    Performance indicators:
    • Increased number of library faculty and staff from groups that are currently underrepresented by approximately 10% (1 hire) per year.
    • Statistically significant improvement in collegiality and morale as indicated by assessment tools.
    • Implementation of at least one new service per year designed specifically to reach diverse constituencies, including but not limited to underrepresented groups, non-traditional students, and people with disabilities.
    • Increased resources documenting the history and culture of Louisianans who are currently underrepresented in our holdings, especially emphasizing African-American resources : seek a minimum of 5 new contacts with potential donors and at least one donation per year.
  4. Engagement: Foster engagement of Libraries’ faculty and staff to promote excellence and continuous improvement within our own organizational structure, achievement as researchers/scholars, and service to the profession and community.

    Background: The library has a mentoring program in place that has been successful in assisting tenure-track librarians to achieve promotion and tenure. Internal training sessions occur on a bi-weekly basis, and most staff and faculty participate in two or more continuing education opportunities each semester. In the last five years, six staff have earned advanced degrees (four in Library and Information Science) and four staff have participated in the university’s Lead/Emerge Program. Faculty have been selected to participate in the Harvard Institutes for Higher Education Leadership Institute for Academic Libraries and the Archives Leadership Institute funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Faculty members have held twelve elected or appointed positions in national professional organizations, and more than a dozen positions at the regional, state, and local levels. More than a dozen faculty and staff have received national, regional and state-level awards for professional achievement or service. Faculty serve on state and national advisory boards, including the Louisiana Historical Records Advisory Board, the Louisiana Advisory Council for the State Documents Depository Program, and the federal Depository Library Council, which advises the Public Printer of the United States.

    • The Dean’s Advisory Group will monitor implementation of the strategic plan, with a formal quarterly review. Bringing in additional personnel as needed, the AG will conduct an annual review of the plan, revising and updating it annually to maintain its usefulness.
    • The Dean’s Advisory Group will examine the library’s organizational structure and make recommendations to adapt to emerging needs.
    • Adopt the Google 80/20 model to encourage innovation and engagement.
    • Create a Staff Recognition Committee led by the Personnel Coordinator that will develop a staff recognition program to encourage personal and professional development promoting excellence in library service.
    • Augment support for faculty and staff development by applying for grants and cultivating donors and other partners.

    Performance indicators:
    • The Libraries has an up-to-date strategic plan that enumerates the Libraries’ current goals, performance indicators, and strategies.
    • Annual reports and other assessments show that the library is consistently evolving to match its resources and services to the University’s needs.
    • Documentation of 2 innovative services/projects per year generated by staff participating in the Google 80/20 model.
    • One annual awards ceremony recognizing staff achievements, as well as recognition in online internal and external (Libraries’ blog) publications.
    • Non-university financial support for faculty and staff development of at least $10,000 per year.

PDF Version of the LSU Libraries Strategic Plan 2012 - 2020

1 A Communiqué from the Horizon Project Retreat,” An NMC Horizon Project Publication. accessed February 14, 2012. Leaders from six companies joined the dialog as event co-sponsors: Hewlett Packard, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Apollo Research Institute, Enterprise Hive, Cisco, and Quantum Thinking.

2 Ibid.

3 Op. cit.

4 “To be information literate, a person must be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information [regardless of format]. Producing such a citizenry will require that schools and colleges appreciate and integrate the concept of information literacy into their learning programs and that they play a leadership role in equipping individuals and institutions to take advantage of the opportunities inherent within the information society. Ultimately, information literate people are those who have learned how to learn. They know how to learn because they know how knowledge is organized, how to find information, and how to use information in such a way that others can learn from them. They are people prepared for lifelong learning, because they can always find the information needed for any task or decision at hand.” "Presidential Committee on Information Literacy: Final Report", American Library Association, July 24, 2006. (Accessed April 4, 2012). Document ID: 106e5565-9ab9-

5 Op. cit.


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