McConnell Library Strategic Plan April 2011

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1 McConnell Library Strategic Plan April 2011 The resources and services you seek in the place you want to be! 1

2 McConnell Library: A Brief Overview From the moment that students first attended classes at Radford State Normal and Industrial School in 1913, the Library has been a core component of Radford s academic life. Originally staffed by four librarians, with a collection of several thousand books, the Library quickly outgrew its initial location within the original Administration Building. Responding to the need for a larger library, John Preston McConnell Library was built and opened its doors in With two expansions in the 1960s and 1990s, McConnell Library has grown and evolved to meet the ever-changing academic needs of Radford University s students, faculty, and staff. Today, McConnell Library provides modern resources and services for Radford s 21st century academic community. Students and faculty enjoy the services and amenities found in its physical building, logon to its website to use McConnell s robust collection of online resources, and come to McConnell to check out books, find a quiet corner to study, attend library instruction sessions, and use the Archives and Special Collections. LibQual Surveys show that students enjoy coming to McConnell Library for the study spaces, comfortable couches, computers, coffee shop, and library services. In , McConnell s instruction librarians taught 416 classes to 8,911 students, and the Radford University community checked out 49,419 books, CDs, and DVDs. Use of our online resources included over half a million visits to pages within the McConnell Library website, resulting in the downloading of 193,157 journal articles from our website s subscription databases (more statistics can be found in Appendix A). Clearly, McConnell Library delivers a greater array of resources and services than the original several thousand books that graced the shelves in It also takes far more than four librarians to provide the wide range of services and resources we offer now. As we developed this Strategic Plan, we realized that it would be useful to describe the various departments in McConnell Library, and explain what their roles are in delivering the services and materials that the Radford University community uses on a daily basis. McConnell Library consists of five administrative departments: Access Services, Reference/Instruction, Technical Services, Technology, and Archives and Special Collections. Each department plays a critical and unique role in fulfilling the overall mission of McConnell Library. Access Services includes the Front Desk, Circulation, Interlibrary Loan, and Reserves. The Front Desk is staffed by Access Services employees whenever the library is open. The Front Desk checks out materials, offers item paging and holds services, proxy checkouts, and online renewals. Front Desk workers also provide patrons with information about library services, and are responsible for opening and closing the building and monitoring the general safety and security of the library, staff, and patrons. The Circulation Unit maintains the patron database, makes daily financial deposits, handles billing and debt collection procedures and reports tracks item circulation and other statistics, searches for missing items, and supervises the approximately 20 undergraduate students and 3 Graduate Assistants who work in 2

3 Access Services. The Interlibrary Loan Unit borrows materials from, and lends materials to, other libraries throughout the world. The Reserves Unit places materials on reserve and monitors reserve copyright issues, either in a limited-access collection or in digital format online. Reference/Instruction staffs the reference desk, answers in-person and virtual reference queries, assists patrons in using the variety of computers, scanners, and other equipment in the library, and monitors silent and group study areas. They assist faculty with research projects, such as assisting with grant applications through helping with literature searches. Instruction librarians teach workshops on APA/MLA/Chicago- Turabian styles, RefWorks, and on specific databases. They work with teaching faculty to offer course-related instruction that focuses on using library resources such as online databases, electronic books, and journals. Reference/Instruction also oversees and manages the Winesett Library Research Award. Technical Services is responsible for the budgeting and procurement of all library books, online databases, journals, and other materials. The develop library collection policies based on usage, cost, and departmental needs. Technical Services maintains the library s online catalog, works with materials vendors, ensures the continuity of electronic resources, and maintains the physical collections through labeling, shelving, and mending. Archives and Special Collections collects, organizes, preserves, and provides finding aids for the RU Archives, Special Collections, Appalachian Collection, and Rare Books. The Archives digitizes materials for online access, maintains the Archives website and blog, creates exhibits and displays, and assists RU faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members in using photos, manuscripts, and other materials from the Archives and Special Collections. The Archives trains interns in archival practice through a collaborative program with the RU History Department, and oversees and manages the Winesett Book Collecting Contest. The Technology Department maintains the library s website and integrated library system, administers the many library servers, monitors access and security for the library s online materials, manages online databases, blog software, library intranet, and archival software used by the library faculty and staff. They also maintain and support the computers, printers, scanners, and software on all staff and public computers and hardware in McConnell Library. In addition, the library has an Administrative Council consisting of the University Librarian and department heads from these five departments. Many of the library s faculty and staff are highly engaged in the library profession, serving as leaders and holding memberships in state and national professional organizations, conducting research and publishing in academic library publications, attending and presenting at professional conferences, and taking coursework and seminars to keep abreast of the many changes in library practices, standards, and the ever-evolving field of library technology (see Appendix C). All library faculty hold a Masters of Library Science degree, or its equivalent, as do a number of the library s classified staff. 3

4 Mission The mission of McConnell Library is to build strong relationships and advance learning with all members of the Radford University community. Vision Statement We will enhance services, collections, and spaces to invite and inspire learning, intellectual and artistic creativity, and the free and open exploration of ideas. Values Statement We value the free expression and sharing of information, and recognize the library s need to serve all members of the Radford University community. To this end we will: Focus on responsive and quality service to the Radford University community of learners; Encourage and enable the exploration and expression of diverse, free, and creative ideas; Be responsible stewards of resources; Seek creative and progressive solutions; and Seek input and respond with openness and transparency. We strongly support and abide by the American Library Association s Library Bill of Rights that promotes the free expression and sharing of all information and points of view. Goals Goal 1: Make McConnell Library a Radford Destination The library will work closely with consultants, architects, contractors, and Facilities Planning to transform the library building into a more inviting and intuitive space that attracts students, faculty and visitors. Goal 2: Enhance Spaces for Study and Collaboration The library will work closely with consultants, architects, contractors, and Facilities Planning to enhance spaces and room for individual and collaborative study. Goal 3: Provide Technology and Support to Improve User Access The library will effectively deploy electronic resources, technologies, and staff to expand access to information for students and faculty. Goal 4: Enhance and Expand Archives and Special Collections The library will continue to build unique collections that attract specialized researchers and contribute to Radford University s reputation. 4

5 Goal 5: Community Engagement The library will actively participate in university-wide initiatives and events, and will host events in the library. Goal 6: Develop Staffing Priorities The library will evaluate staffing, make adjustments, and develop staffing priorities to better serve the university community. Goal 7: Pursue Development Opportunities The library will identify funding possibilities within the library and will work with the Radford University Foundation to create a development program. Goal 8: Create an Assessment Plan The library will implement a focused assessment plan to demonstrate library stewardship and impact. Goal 9: Demonstrate Agility and Support Innovation The library will demonstrate agility in response to unforeseen opportunities and challenges ahead and will encourage and support staff creativity and innovation. 5

6 Detailed Strategic Priorities Goal 1: Make McConnell Library a Radford Destination The library will work closely with consultants, architects, contractors, and Facilities Planning to transform the library building into a more inviting and intuitive space that attracts students, faculty and visitors. Specifically, we will: Objective 1.1. Work to insure that the library exterior and entrance are welcoming and accessible. Objective 1.2. Enhance and improve advertising tools to market library programs and events. Objective 1.3. Use color, signage, furniture, flooring and accessories to make navigating the building more intuitive for library users. Objective 1.4. Create space to showcase student art and achievements. Objective 1.5. Remodel the atrium to improve the visibility and flow of library services. Objective 1.6. Seek input from library users as we plan these changes. Goal 2: Enhance Spaces for Study and Collaboration The library will work closely with consultants, architects, contractors, and Facilities Planning to enhance spaces and room for individual and collaborative study. Specifically, we will: Objective 2.1. Rebuild student study spaces that reflect and serve a variety of individual and group study needs including improved lighting, furnishings, technologies and noise management. Objective 2.2. Create a new graduate study space. Objective 2.3. Investigate, select and approach departments at Radford University that offer academic support services, with the goal of partnering with them to enhance faculty and student services in the library. Goal 3. Provide Technology and Support to Improve User Access The library will effectively deploy electronic resources, technologies, and staff to expand access to information for all students and faculty, including those with special needs. Specifically, we will: Objective 3.1. Update the library collection development policy to more aggressively expand electronic resources, to improve use and to more effectively balance needs for browsing, in depth research and available 6

7 space. Objective 3.2. Investigate and implement individual ebook purchasing and approval plans. Objective 3.3. Investigate, select and purchase streaming media resources. Objective 3.4. Improve the layout and storage of collections to make browsing and finding resources easier for users. Objective 3.5. Improve access to wireless and wired Internet connectivity throughout the building. Objective 3.6. Investigate, select and implement mobile interfaces to electronic resources. Objective 3.7. Investigate the use of research portals for upper level classes, graduate programs, and academic departments that would incorporate blogs with embedded federated searches, RSS feeds, interactive capacity, and related technologies. Goal 4. Enhance and Expand Archives and Special Collections The library will continue to build unique collections that attract specialized researchers and contribute to Radford University s reputation. Specifically, we will: Objective 4.1. Use sustainable, green architectural elements whenever possible. Objective 4.2. Work with consultants, architects, contractors, and Facilities Planning to create a distinctive archives and special collections area that reflects the unique and prominent collections with user spaces, collections and staff offices in closer proximity. Objective 4.3. Create secured storage and staff work areas with appropriate environmental controls to preserve collections. Objective 4.4. Address structural and environmental building deficiencies that compromise preservation of collections. Objective 4.5. Partner with the Radford University Foundation to identify funding possibilities in special collections. 7

8 Objective 4.6. Digitize Radford theses and dissertations to improve access to Radford scholarship. Goal 5. Community Engagement The library will actively participate in university-wide initiatives and events, and will host events in the library. Specifically, we will: Objective 5.1. Create roles for all library staff members to participate in library outreach efforts including attendance at events, university committees and other partnerships. Objective 5.2. Create a social media plan to actively engage library users in meaningful dialog and to improve awareness of library resources and services. Objective 5.3. Create a mechanism to more fully involve students in library decision-making. Objective 5.4. Expand partnerships with other university offices to enhance services for students and faculty. Goal 6: Develop Staffing Priorities The library will evaluate staffing, make adjustments, and develop staffing priorities to better serve the university community. Specifically, we will: Objective 6.1. Evaluate staffing levels and develop staffing priorities. Objective 6.2. Create an annotated list of needed positions and evaluate needs as current staff positions become vacant. Goal 7: Pursue Development Opportunities The library will identify funding possibilities within the library and will work with the Radford University Foundation to create a development program. Specifically, we will: Objective 7.1. Identify funding opportunities above and beyond the normal scope of Educational and General funds. Objective 7.2. Work with the Foundation to create a Foundation liaison to work with the library (as suggested by President Kyle). 8

9 Objective 7.3. Work with the Foundation to identify potential donors and match them to specific funding opportunities (as suggested by President Kyle). Goal 8: Create an Assessment Plan The library will implement a focused assessment plan to demonstrate library stewardship and impact. Specifically, we will: Objective 8.1. Develop assessment priorities and define metrics that enable university and library leadership to monitor library performance. Objective 8.2. Create a data repository to facilitate access to all library raw data and statistical reports to inform decision-making. Objective 8.3. Create an assessment plan to record the library s impact on student enrollment, retention, learning, and graduate student research. Objective 8.4. Create an assessment plan to record the library s impact on faculty recruitment, teaching, research, and grant procurement. Goal 9: Demonstrate Agility and Support Innovation The library will demonstrate agility in response to unforeseen opportunities and challenges ahead and will encourage and support staff creativity and innovation 9

10 Appendix A Use of McConnell Library by the Radford University Community McConnell Library is used in different ways by various members of the RU community. Surveys show that RU s undergraduate population places a high value on materials and services found in the library building, citing the building s value as a place to study and receive instruction and reference assistance. While undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty all value online resources, faculty and graduate students tend to place greater value on online resources than undergraduates. The following statistics illustrate how McConnell Library is used, both as a physical place and as a collection of online resources. This covers the period from July 1, 2009 through June 30, Use of McConnell Library Visitors to McConnell Library (based on entering the front door): 305,021 Number of library instruction sessions taught: 416 Total number of students taught in library instruction sessions: 8,911 Total number of reference transactions: 5,649 Number of books, CDs, DVDs, etc., checked out: 49,419 Number of reserve books, CDs, DVDs, etc. checked out: 2,793 Number of items ordered from other libraries by Interlibrary Loan: 5,470 Number of items loaned to other libraries by Interlibrary Loan: 10,083 Use of McConnell Library s Website and Online Resources Total visits to McConnell Library s website s front page: 378,634 Total visits to individual pages in McConnell s website: 529,156 Number of logins to individual research databases: 455,076 Number of individual searches in research databases: 607,739 Number of full-text articles obtained from research databases: 193,157 Collection Statistics Total number of print books (volumes) in McConnell Library: 312,007 Total number of electronic books: 69,356 Total number of print and online serial titles purchased: 12,147 Total number of free online serial titles through consortia sources (VIVA): 18,833 Total number of online subscription databases: 267 Total number sound and video recordings: 16,051 10

11 Appendix B The Strategic Planning Process Recognizing the need for McConnell Library to update the library s Strategic Plan to plan for the future, the Library s Administrative Council began the strategic planning process in the Summer of A Strategic Planning committee was formed that consisted of members of the Administrative Council and additional faculty and staff from all library departments. The library worked with a consultant who specializes in academic library strategic planning. The Strategic Planning committee held a two-day planning session with the consultant at Selu in early August, which resulted in a working template and draft of the Strategic Plan. The library conducted a campus-wide survey to discover what the Radford University community valued in the library s services, spaces, and materials, as well as what we could do better. Survey respondents were asked if they would like to come to a follow-up session to discuss the library in greater detail, and a number of interviews were arranged based on there responses. Members of the Radford University administration, including President Kyle, were invited to meet with the library s Strategic Planning committee. Strategic Planning committee members met with President Kyle, several deans, faculty and staff members, and students during September and October, and their responses were incorporated into this Strategic Plan. 11

12 Appendix C Summary of Publications and Presentations by Library Faculty and Staff, Over the last five years, library faculty and staff have published peer-review articles, presented at national and state library conferences, written articles for professional newsletters, written reviews of books, CDs, and other materials for library publications, and made presentations on the Radford University campus. McConnell s librarians have also served as officers on national and state library organization boards and committees, have served as editorial staff for national publications, and have served as reviewers for conference presentations and journal articles. This is a summary of publications and presentations from by library faculty and staff: 18 articles in peer-review library and information science journals; 45 presentations at national or state library conferences; 12 articles in professional newsletters or non-peer review journals; over 100 book and materials reviews for library journals and publications; and several dozen presentations at Our Turn and other campus events. 12

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