University Library Unveils New Strategic Plan

Submitted by libbairdca on
Filed under Library News:  Mills Innis Thode

McMaster University Library is pleased to unveil a new Strategic Plan covering the years 2010 to 2013.  The Plan sets the Library on an ambitious course in pursuit of its vision to becoming Canada’s most innovative, user-centred academic library.  
The new set of objectives continues to put key focus on the students, faculty, staff and outside researchers who comprise our user community.  We are committing ourselves to enhancing the quality of services available to both in-person and virtual visitors, to dramatically improving learning spaces and to facilitating both the access to and discovery of our rich collections.  The commitment is externally focused and transformative:  we will strive, not just to deliver traditional services, but to integrate ourselves more fully into the University’s teaching, learning and research mission.  

We recognize that the development of our staff is essential to ensuring success in meeting our other objectives.  The new plan commits us to providing meaningful training opportunities and to creating a healthy, collaborative and dynamic work environment for all our employee groups.

In this period of challenging fiscal restraints, internal efficiencies and financial health are also key focuses.  The new plan draws greater attention to rationalizing our processes and securing appropriate financial resources to maintain a world-class research library.

The New Library Scorecard Framework

McMaster is one of four libraries in North America participating in the Association of Research Libraries’ (ARL) Library Scorecard Pilot, based on the Balanced Scorecard framework created by Harvard business professors Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton. The Scorecard allows us to examine our current and future performance based on four balanced perspectives (the user, staff learning and growth, internal processes and financial health).

We have identified 10 objectives, each of which corresponds directly to one of the 4 perspectives above. The objectives are also linked to one of 25 measures, some, standardized tools that can be benchmarked against other libraries (e.g. LIBQUAL results), others, in-house instruments designed to capture aspects unique to our local environment.

We have set targets for each measure and have scored ourselves as green (meeting the target), yellow (approaching the target, but not there yet), or red (not meeting the target).  To view our progress, please visit:

Strategic Initiatives:  Seeing the Plan at Work

Following broad consultation with staff and campus partners, 13 strategic initiatives were identified for 2010/2011.  The initiatives were chosen because they reflect a significant and positive change in direction or focus; are directly linked to improving our results in one or more strategic measures; and require regular review and discussion by the Library’s senior leadership group.
The initiatives are bold and innovative.  Each project forces us to reevaluate past practice and to move in new directions (e.g., reexamining our models for delivering classroom instruction or crafting a new strategy for transforming our physical collections).  Many involve strong collaborations with the campus community (e.g., creating the Lyons New Media Centre). To see a complete list of initiatives, please visit: