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Strategic Planning

Information about Penn Libraries Strategic Plan, coordinated by the 2019 Strategic Plan Steering Committee

Penn Libraries Strategic Plan 2020-2025 (10/22/2019 text)

Penn Libraries Strategic Plan 2020-2025

Note: This penultimate draft was presented to Penn Libraries staff on October 22, 2019.


The Penn Libraries is a diverse community striving for inclusive excellence. We provide services and collections to further the University of Pennsylvania’s research, teaching, and learning mission and to address the essential challenges and opportunities presented by a rapidly changing world. Our 2020-2025 strategic plan aligns our work with the Penn Compact 2020 pillars of inclusion, innovation, and impact and the University’s goal of advancing knowledge for good.
Through engagement efforts over the last seven months, we have actively gathered and synthesized information and feedback from staff across the Libraries and stakeholders across the Penn community. This collective journey led us to think strategically about such concepts as cultivating knowledge, inspiring inquiry, engaging communities of researchers and learners, and empowering people.
As an organization, we recognize that our success depends on investment in building technical, structural, and human capacity for the changing landscape of Penn and academic libraries.
Together, we will construct a unified approach to library services. We will develop an adaptive workforce with skills for the 21st-century library through recruitment and professional development opportunities. We will foster organizational learning and a culture of mutual respect and professional regard.
Our strategic priorities provide the compass for navigating our future. They are supported by an ongoing investment in building the organization's capacity and learning, and informed by a commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. The priorities are also steeped in the following values, identified by Penn Libraries staff.



The Penn Libraries’ staff value:
  • Communication, recognizing the importance of relaying essential and accurate information clearly, openly, and in a timely manner for the health of our organization.
  • Empowerment, providing the tools and support necessary to create an agile, adaptable, and resilient workforce.
  • Collaboration, sharing information, ideas, and approaches and connecting with colleagues across the Libraries, at Penn, and beyond.
  • Innovation, encouraging experimentation and risk-taking in initiating creative approaches to current challenges and new directions.
  • Respect, acknowledging the value of every individual within our organization and their contributions to its success.
  • Transparency, acting with clarity, honesty, and integrity.



The Penn Libraries will advance knowledge to power Penn and better the world.



The Penn Libraries partners with communities at Penn and beyond to produce, preserve, and provide access to knowledge. Together we build dynamic resources, tools, and expertise that inspire critical inquiry and creative expression.


Strategic Priorities

Expand partnerships to advance knowledge for good
1. Share Penn Libraries' knowledge and support learning through active collaboration with teachers and knowledge creators.
2. Embed the Penn Libraries’ expertise, technology, collections, and resources in all phases of the research lifecycle.
3. Inspire critical inquiry and creative expression through exhibits, events, and programming.
Advance practices that promote broad access to information
1. Enhance access and remove barriers to discovery of knowledge.
2. Create sustainable and innovative financial models to support scholarship.
3. Expand access to Penn scholarship locally, nationally, and globally.
Protect the world's cultural heritage by building and safeguarding collections and ensuring perpetual access
1. Lead and contribute to collaborative national and international preservation efforts.
2. Ensure the survival of the scholarly record through digital and material preservation and stewardship.
3. Ensure that cultural heritage is available through digitization and archival efforts.
Build the organization's capacity through ongoing assessment and development and informed by a commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
1. Create a culture for assessment, learning and best practices.
2. Align implementation of strategy with the Libraries’ values.
3. Equalize opportunity, develop leaders, and enrich the experience of all members of the Penn Libraries’ community.
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