Carolina University Manuel Library Strategic Plan 2021-2023

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Carolina University Mission Statement 

Carolina University is a Christ-centered university committed to educating aspiring leaders worldwide through exceptional teaching, scholarly research, creative innovation, and professional collaboration.

Manuel Library Mission Statement

The George M. Manuel Library exists to support the needs of Carolina University students, faculty, and staff by providing access to resources, information literacy tools, instruction, and other means of equipping the university for success. 

Introduction & Summary

The George M. Manuel Library at Carolina University has a rich tradition of supporting the educational goals of its students and faculty by providing the highest quality resources and services. As of 2020, the library currently holds over 63,000 books, 250,000 ebooks, 40 databases, as well as a generous rare book collection and university archive. With the initiation of several new degree programs and the expanding population of the school, the George M. Manuel Library is committed to matching the needs of Carolina University by strategically furthering its mission of educating the next generation of leaders. 

To accomplish the library’s mission, the library has identified three integral strategic priorities to drive its operations: (1) Growth & Development, (2) Student Learning & Engagement, and (3) User Experience & Accessibility. These principles work in concert with one another to provide a foundation for the library’s strategic plan, overlapping in many areas since they are closely interconnected. Each is absolutely essential for the success of the library’s plan over the next several years. 

The first strategic priority is Growth & Development, which reflects the recent expansion of the library’s home institution. Carolina University has gone through much growth over its history, including mergers with different institutions and additions of new academic programs. To keep up with the university’s expansion, the library must grow in tandem with the university itself. To do this, the library will focus on adding new resources to meet the needs of the university, without abandoning the maintenance of existing resources and collections.

Next, the library prioritizes Student Learning & Engagement. The focus of Carolina University rests on educating students to become leaders in their fields. The library likewise exists for the purpose of training and supporting students in their academic endeavors. As the home for research at an institution, an academic library should be a hub for student learning; the Manuel Library has the opportunity to become such a hub by working to improve the student learning and research experience both inside and outside of the library. Therefore, the library will implement new educational programs and events to help students make the most of their time at CU. 

Finally, prioritizing User Experience & Accessibility coincides with the university’s mission by removing barriers to research and learning. The library’s mission statement focuses on serving students, faculty, and staff, so the needs of those patrons must always be a key driving factor of the library’s initiatives. The library will do this first  and foremost by facilitating the use of library resources. The library will also strive to create a welcoming presence, both physically and digitally, that makes every member of the CU community feel a sense of belonging and inspires them to ask questions, conduct research, and think creatively. 

To move toward a full expression of these strategic priorities, we have set goals that apply to each one, and strategies for meeting each goal. Each goal and strategy will guide the operations of the library on a day-to-day basis and altogether they provide a roadmap for the next three years. 

Goals and Strategies

  • Strategic Priority #1: Growth & Development
    • Goal #1: Focus Collection Development Efforts on Needed Areas (CU Strategic Plan B5)
      • Strategy #1: Continue to expand business and leadership resources.
      • Strategy #2: Help small social science programs grow by collecting in the following areas: counseling, criminal justice, education psychology, sociology. 
      • Strategy #3: Start collecting more public health resources.
      • Strategy #4: Build the sign language collection, focusing on more nontraditional formats.
      • Strategy #5: Assess collection and plan for new academic programs as they are added. 
    • Goal #2: Collect More Non-Print Formats (CU Strategic Plan B6A1)
      • Strategy #1: Add additional technology resources (laptops, iPads) to the technology lending program.
      • Strategy #2: Begin collecting emerging technologies (for example, 3D printers, laser cutters) to establish a Makerspace.
      • Strategy #3: Manage individual journal subscriptions through W.T. Cox subscription services.
      • Strategy #4: Investigate and subscribe to additional subject-specific databases.
    • Goal #3: Manage University Archives (Archives Plan) (CU Strategic Plan B5)
      • Strategy #1: Organize and process existing archival materials to make them usable and findable for potential research opportunities.
      • Strategy #2: Add additional archival materials as they become available.
    • Goal #4: Reorganize Physical Collection (CU Strategic Plan B5)
      • Strategy #1: Shift shelves to make room for more books
      • Strategy #2: Weed collection of outdated/duplicate materials.
      • Strategy #3: Deaccession old periodicals to make additional space for collections.
  • Strategic Priority #2: Student Learning & Engagement
    • Goal #1: Create Opportunities for Library Instruction (CU Strategic Plan L1)
      • Strategy #1: Visit more classrooms and support faculty in information literacy instruction.
      • Strategy #2: Create and post online video tutorials to demonstrate how to use e-resources. 
      • Strategy #3: Add more instructional research guides to direct researchers to appropriate resources.  
    • Goal #2: Host Educational Programming and Events (CU Strategic Plan L1)
      • Strategy #1: Plan events that invite students into the library space to help them become familiar with it. 
      • Strategy #2: Lead library-based workshops that teach attendees how to use library resources.
      • Strategy #3: Invite faculty and visiting researchers to present their research. 
  • Strategic Priority #3: User Experience & Accessibility
    • Goal #1: Raise Awareness of Library through Marketing Efforts 
      • Strategy #1: Obtain a library logo and supplemental branding materials. 
      • Strategy #2: Send out monthly or bimonthly newsletter to library patrons highlighting library events, new resources, and underutilized resources.
      • Strategy #3: Create topical displays in exhibit cases and rotate them frequently. 
      • Strategy #4: Use social media to advertise the library. 
      • Strategy #5: Create a brochure describing library services. 
    • Goal #2: Update Library Web Presence
      • Strategy #1: Update library website to incorporate library logo and branding.
      • Strategy #2: Rearrange site links and webpages to maximize usability.
      • Strategy #3: Add a page highlighting services specifically for faculty.
      • Strategy #4: Allow patrons to renew books online through a library account. 
    • Goal #3: Modernize and Update Library Physical Space
      • Strategy #1: Move to a more spacious location. 
      • Strategy #2: Replace the older furniture with new, modern furniture.
      • Strategy #3: Obtain signs that convey what the space is for and coincide with library branding. 
    • Goal #4: Improve Accessibility of Special Collections & Archives
      • Strategy #1: Move the archives to a larger location. 
      • Strategy #2: Make archival finding aids available to public. 
      • Strategy #3: Move rare books to climate controlled environment. 
      • Strategy #4: Conduct an inventory of rare books.
      • Strategy #5: Deaccession most print periodicals, and catalog those that remain.