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Catalyst - strategic plan for the 22-23 academic year

Recapping another successful year of strategic planning

The end of the academic year marked the end of the third year of Catalyst, the Libraries’ strategic plan. Catalyst is a nimble approach to strategic planning, with yearly initiatives anchored by three goals focusing on community, services, and partnerships. This year, five teams convened to work toward projects ranging from staff recruitment and hiring to redesigning classroom spaces. This year’s initiatives also focused heavily on collaboration with partners around the university.

Goal 1: Develop talent, resources, and experiences that facilitate an inclusive community.

Pipeline of Inclusive Talent Initiative

Workgroup members developed a document of hiring best practices to make the Libraries' hiring practices more inclusive. This team is also developing marketing materials to show prospective candidates what it’s like to work in the Libraries through video interviews with staff members and a webpage.

Heanon Wilkins Fellow

The Libraries worked with the Provost’s Office to join the Heanon Wilkins Fellows program. A team outlined expectations for the librarian position and developed guidance for running the program within the Libraries. With the structure now in place, the Libraries will be able to seek out a candidate.

Commitment to Inclusive Excellence

The Libraries convened a workgroup to make recommendations for how the Libraries can become a more diverse, inclusive, and welcoming organization. This team produced five recommendations to put into place over the next two years, which are documented in the Libraries’ Commitment to Inclusive Excellence. The plan outlines plans of work to improve specific parts of the Libraries’ collections, people, services, and spaces. The workgroup also developed the University Libraries’ Diversity Statement.

Goal 2: Transform the Libraries’ environment and user-centered experience to anticipate evolving modes of learning.

Infrastructure Improvements

A workgroup was tasked with transforming the former Center for Information Management space into a new classroom and open study space. The team surveyed classrooms around the campus and recommended ways to use the space, resulting in plans for a new functional area that includes a 24-seat classroom, conference room, breakout rooms, and open study space and lounge. With construction to begin this fall, the area's design and materials will set the standard for the work still to come in our plan for the first and ground floors, and ultimately, the whole building.

Goal 3: Forge meaningful partnerships that foster affordability, ensure relevancy, and cultivate life-long connections.

External Funding

By working with the Office of Research and Innovation and University Advancement, the Libraries are equipping staff with the knowledge, resources, and opportunities to pursue external grants and cultivate donor relationships. To that end, an External Funding workgroup is clarifying procedures, developing guides, and creating training programs, among other foundation-building tasks. This work will continue throughout the 2023-2024 academic year.

Planning for Catalyst ‘24 is already underway, and the strategic planning process for the Libraries will resume in September 2023.

More information on Catalyst can be found at