University of Mississippi Libraries Strategic Plan, 2005-2010
The mission of the University of Mississippi Libraries is to serve the University's students and faculty by supporting the curricular and research programs, and secondarily to serve all Mississippians by preserving a current and retrospective record of their heritage. Library faculty and staff acquire, organize, and preserve collections in all viable formats, provide access to information sources, and instruct library users in library research methods. The Library faculty establishes priorities to further the University Libraries' mission by engaging in original research and continual assessment activities. It is through this ongoing assessment that the Library faculty determine the appropriate facilities, services, and resources to provide and any areas for improvement.
The increased dependence on electronic resources raises the need for a reliable method of electronic archiving. The University Libraries are already developing an electronic archive of locally produced materials, but we do not have a plan for permanently preserving our licensed, electronic resources. Many options exist for this type of electronic archiving.
Students view themselves as customers and consumers, expecting high-quality facilities and services. UM Libraries advocate high-quality, customer-friendly library facilities and services.
Free public access information still needs to be vetted, edited, organized, and disseminated in logical ways. UM Libraries will continue to provide open access to scholarly research through technology.
Privacy continues to be an important issue in librarianship due to advances in technology. The University Libraries provide online access without compromising patron privacy.
The University Libraries provide print, online, archival and special collections to support the teaching and the research needs of the faculty and students.
The University Libraries continually assess programs, services, and collections through the LibQual+™ library survey and the University bi-annual assessment process.
Journal inflation, flat state appropriations and fluctuating endowment income result in an unstable serials budget. Serial cuts leave holes in the University Libraries’ collection, undermining the Libraries’ reputation and ability to support faculty research and teaching.
The inherent nature of technology causes important library infrastructure to become obsolete before the library is prepare to replace it, causing slow-downs or break-downs in public services and in staff workflow.
The skill set for librarians must continue to evolve in response to the changing needs of patrons.
Entry-level salaries are increasing for a myriad of reasons, including competition with other libraries for a decreasing pool of applicants and competition with the private sector for employees with the capabilities demanded by the professional standards of librarianship. Salary compression continues to be an issue for academia, including the University Libraries, due to flat state appropriations.
Compared with peer libraries, the Libraries are significantly understaffed, including faculty and staff.
Privacy continues to be an important issue in librarianship. Due to advances in technology, personal information is more easily captured and used for purposes counter to the ethical standards of librarianship. The University Libraries have some privacy measures in place, e.g. authentication and/or password access to online resources, and circulation privacy measures, but situations can still arise in which the library's measures are circumvented or overruled.
Hiring of new staff and retraining current staff will give us the skill sets needed to meet the changing expectations of users. The University Libraries continue to develop products and services, such as online library tutorials for the increasing number of distance education students.
Additional outsourcing of routine tasks and optimizing technology can increase efficiency and effectiveness.
Slowing demand to some traditional library services is freeing up resources for new services.
The University Libraries have the opportunity to implement information literacy on a campus-wide basis due to changing curriculum and assessment expectations.
The University Libraries can use consortial arrangements to expand resources and services.
The addition of a development officer to the library staff is creating new opportunities.
The flat state funding, the increase in minimum wage, academic journal inflation, and the consolidation of for-profit information providers all create difficulties in maintaining and/or expanding library collections and services.
Libraries must find new sources of revenue to provide access to electronic content while continuing to meet the demand for print resources.
Students and faculty have expectations for faster and broader access to services, creating challenges for librarians related to the selection of materials and material formats.
A lack of an institution-wide cyclical funding plan, especially in instruction and staff resources, limits accessibility, production, and learning capabilities.
1 From: “Top ten assumptions for the future of academic libraries and librarians.” American Library Association. 2007. http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlpubs/crlnews/backissues2007/april07/tenassumptions.htm (Accessed 18 Jun, 2007).