Skip to main content

Strategic Planning

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

Update 10/16/2019 (livestream information)

Dear Colleagues,

Many of you have asked about alternate viewing options for those who aren’t able to attend the October 22 Strategic Plan Presentation and Discussion. The presentation will be livestreamed, and a taped version will also be made available for viewing after the event.
If you'd like to view the presentation via livestream:

  • Go to  https://bit.ly/2ONvXN6
  • The livestream will begin 15 minutes before the start of the event.  
  • When the stream starts, you will need to click on the “Play” icon on the screen to view the presentation.
  • The stream will have a delay of 30 to 45 seconds from the actual presentation. 

Update 10/14/2019

Dear Colleagues,

Our team met last week to plan an upcoming presentation on the strategic planning process to date. We will meet with the Leadership Team this week to finalize details. All staff will receive an Outlook invitation to this presentation shortly. Please see below for additional information.

October 22: Strategic Plan Presentation and Discussion

Please join the Penn Libraries Leadership Team and the Strategic Planning Steering Committee for a presentation and discussion of the Strategic Plan 2020-2025 on October 22, from 10 to 11:30 a.m., in Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion (6th Floor, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center). Beverages will be served.

Together we will review the milestones of the process and present organizational mission, vision, values statements, strategic priorities, and an overall framework for the plan. Time will also be allotted for Q&A.

October 28: Presentations by Athenaeum21 and DeEtta Jones and Associates

As a reminder, Athenaeum21 and DeEtta Jones and Associates will be on site to speak with Libraries staff and the Penn community about digital strategy and the strategic planning process on October 28. 

Athenaeum21 will present from 1:00 to 2:30 pm, and DeEtta Jones and Associates from 2:30 to 3:30 pm., in Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion (6th Floor, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center). All staff were invited to these presentations via email last week. To RSVP for them, please contact Aleta Arthurs at arthurs2@pobox.upenn.edu.

Update 10/07/2019

Dear Colleagues,

Last week the Strategic Planning Steering Committee met twice with Vice Provost and Director of Libraries Constantia Constantinou. During two extended meetings, we worked through the current drafts of mission, vision, and strategic priorities as well as an overall framework to provide organizational context. 

Our team suggested and made changes to content and language to ensure that the plan best reflects inputs we’ve received from Libraries staff and stakeholders across Penn.

In addition we drafted values statements based on the organizational values that were identified by Penn Libraries Staff earlier in the strategic planning process.

We also gathered examples of successful Libraries collaborations with Penn faculty and students to inform the strategic planning presentation Constantia will make to the University’s Academic Planning and Budget Committee (APBC) later this month. We will meet with her again this week to complete the drafting of the plan and continue preparing for the APBC presentation. 

The Leadership Team and the Strategic Planning Steering Committee are planning an all-staff event in coming weeks to share the strategic plan draft so far. Please stay tuned for an invitation.

Update 09/30/2019

Dear Colleagues,

Last week the Strategic Planning Steering Committee met to workshop organizational mission and vision statements together. Beginning with statements that Jon Shaw and Mary Ellen Burd took the lead in drafting, the committee refined language based on inputs we’ve collected from staff across the Libraries and stakeholders across the Penn community over the course of the strategic planning process.

At the end of the day Friday, we delivered a series of options for vision and mission statements to Vice Provost and Director of Libraries Constantia Constantinou for her review.

Meanwhile the Leadership Team is working on a next draft of strategic priorities. When that draft is complete, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee will review it.

Update 09/23/2019

Dear Colleagues,

Over the last week our team continued to transcribe and synthesize outputs from the Community Café sessions held earlier this month. This data will inform the implementation phase of the strategic plan.

This week Jon Shaw and Mary Ellen Burd will initiate the drafting of organizational mission and vision, with input from other members of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee. The committee will also begin to refine language that describes the organizational values that were identified during all-staff Values Sessions earlier in the process.

Meanwhile the Leadership Team is working on a next draft of strategic priorities. When that draft is complete, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee will review it.

Update 09/16/2019

Dear Colleagues,

Over the last week our team

  • Met with Vice Provost and Director Constantia Constantinou.
  • Met with the Leadership Team.
  • Began to transcribe outputs from the Community Café sessions held earlier this month. 

Strategic Priorities and the Work Ahead

Last week the Strategic Planning Steering Committee met with Vice Provost and Director Constantia Constantinou to discuss a compressed timeline for completing the strategic plan and to clarify roles going forward. The deadline for producing a final draft of the strategic plan has moved up to September 27 in anticipation of Constantia presenting the plan to the University’s Academic Planning and Budget Committee in October.

With this compressed timeline, the Leadership Team’s involvement in writing the plan has accelerated. Between now and September 27, the Leadership Team will work directly with DeEtta Jones and Associates to draft the plan.

The Strategic Planning Steering Committee also met with the Leadership Team last week to facilitate this transition. During the meeting the two teams worked together to refine strategic priorities, and the Strategic Planning Steering Committee provided context for the high-level concepts we’ve highlighted up to this point and the language choices we’ve recommended. In addition we provided the Leadership Team with a succinct summary of divisional goals across the Libraries. In the coming week we will also share summaries of staff input from the Values Sessions and the Community Cafes.

Looking ahead, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee will continue to play an advisory role in the strategic planning process and will continue to meet and operate in this capacity to ensure a smooth transition to the plan’s implementation phase in January 2020. As such, we are still available to field questions and comments from staff.

 

Update 09/09/2019

Dear Colleagues,

Over the last week our team

  • Held a second Community Café session. Thanks to all who joined us!
  • Revised language used to express our emerging strategic priorities.

Community Café Sessions and the Work Ahead

Thanks again to all Libraries staff members who joined us for Community Café sessions. Your feedback helped us refine the language used to describe our strategic priorities, and it gave the Libraries valuable insights to consider when implementing the eventual strategic plan.

The Strategic Planning Steering Committee also met with Vice Provost and Director Constantia Constantinou last week to discuss and refine emerging strategic priorities. In the coming days, we will continue conversations with Constantia and the Leadership Team as the Libraries move closer to producing a strategic plan. We will continue to update you on the process.

Update 09/03/2019

Dear Colleagues,

Over the last week our team

  • Held the first of two parallel Community Café sessions. Thanks to all who joined us!
  • Began to outline a process for drafting the final strategic plan and a timeline for delivery.
  • Began discussions toward creating a Penn Libraries mission statement.

Community Café Sessions and the Work Ahead
Thanks again to all Libraries staff members who joined us last week for a Community Café session. 

If you weren’t able to attend, please join us for a parallel session TOMORROW, September 4, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion (6th Floor, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center). Snacks will be served. 

During the session we will ask for your participation in structured discussion around key concepts toward our strategic priorities. We’ll also ask you to imagine your future work in context of those priorities. 

In the coming weeks, we will refine and expand our strategic priorities and join them with organizational mission, vision, and values to form the strategic plan.

Key Concepts for Strategic Priorities (08/28/2019)

Dear Colleagues,

Over the last week, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee met twice with the Libraries Leadership Team and DeEtta Jones and Associates to begin shaping the strategic priorities that will form the basis for our strategic plan. We’d like to share some key concepts toward those priorities with you now in advance of the two Community Café sessions scheduled for Thursday, August 29, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., and Wednesday, September 4, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Please note that what follows is a ROUGH DRAFT. During the upcoming Community Cafés, we will facilitate structured discussion around these concepts and ask you to imagine your future work in context of them. Then, in the coming weeks, we will refine and expand on them, and join them with organizational mission, vision, and values to form our strategic plan.

Key Concepts for Strategic Priorities

Lead and partner in creating, acquiring, providing access to, and preserving the cultural and scholarly record for a diverse global audience.

Examples:

  • Build and steward unique world-class collections.
  • Make world-class collections accessible to researchers, students, and others across the globe.
  • Ensure the accessibility and usability of cultural and scholarly content by current and future generations.
  • Invest in the lifecycle of knowledge in its many forms, from ideas to preservation.
  • Increase support for the open dissemination of Penn scholarship and develop sustainable national and global models for open access publishing.

Engage students, researchers, and communities to transform research and teaching for the future of humanity.
Examples:

  • Proactively integrate the Libraries into all aspects of the lifecycle of teaching and research at Penn.
  • Seek out opportunities to support research and teaching needs and take a leadership role in providing them.
  • Develop strategic partnerships and mutually beneficial relationships at Penn and throughout Philadelphia.
  • Equip students, faculty and researchers with the means to reach their fullest potential.

Invest in organizational growth and empowerment.
Examples:

  • Develop an adaptive workforce with skills for the 21st-century library through recruitment and professional development opportunities.
  • Foster a culture of learning and assessment.
  • Encourage a culture of mutual respect and professional regard.
  • Build technical, structural, and human capacity for the changing landscape of Penn and academic libraries.
  • Embrace a shared vision that fosters innovation. 

Empower users with dynamic services that allow them to engage with and contribute to a world of knowledge.
Examples:

  • Working with users, develop a suite of services that adapt to the emerging needs of scholars of all types.
  • Provide inclusive and accessible experiences of our digital and physical spaces and services.
  • Promote engagement with our offerings through a well-articulated identity.

Update 08/26/2019 (corrected)

Dear Colleagues,

In recent days, our team

  • Completed a series of horizon discussions with individual members of the Leadership Team and their colleagues to learn about each of the Penn Libraries’ divisions’ current and future challenges and opportunities.
  • Met collectively with the Leadership Team to begin shaping the strategic directions that will form the basis for our strategic plan draft. These strategic directions will be shared in advance of the two Community Café sessions scheduled for Thursday of this week and Wednesday next week. We encourage all staff to make plans to attend one of these parallel sessions.


Join Us!

Please join us for one of two Community Café sessions happening this week and next week. Parallel sessions will be held Thursday, August 29, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. and Wednesday, September 4, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion (6th Floor, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center). 

During these sessions, Strategic Planning Steering Committee members will facilitate structured discussion around draft elements of the strategic plan. Refreshments will also be served.

Update 08/19/2019

Dear Colleagues,

In recent days, our team

  • Finalized plans for Open House sessions this week and Community Café sessions later this month. We encourage all staff to join us.
  • Continued our deep dive presentations and discussion with the topics of (1) preservation, (2) pedagogy, and (3) partnerships.

Join Us!

Please join us for an Open House session on either Tuesday, August 20, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. or Thursday, August 22, from 10:30-11:30 a.m. in Class of '55 Conference Room (Room 241, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center). During these parallel sessions, Strategic Planning Steering Committee members will be available to discuss and answer questions about the seven deep dive topics we researched in partnership with the Libraries Leadership Team.

We will post short PowerPoint presentations on each deep dive topic to the Strategic Planning Lib Guide this afternoon. Please review the presentations in advance of the Open Houses and come ready to ask questions.

In addition, we hope all Libraries staff will join us for one of two Community Café sessions later this month. Parallel sessions will be held Thursday, August 29, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. and  
Wednesday, September 4, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion (6th Floor, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center).

During these sessions, Strategic Planning Steering Committee members will facilitate structured discussion around draft elements of the strategic plan.

Highlights of Deep Dives

Strategic Planning Steering Committee members and Libraries Leadership members have formed teams to explore topics of current interest to libraries and other large information organizations. Together, team members look at key trends, other institutions' models and structures, impact on users, and how we might apply what we learn at Penn. This week we considered the topics of (1) preservation, (2) pedagogy, and (3) partnerships.

Preservation

We explored key trends, including:

  • Digital preservation
  • Collections care
  • Disaster plans
  • EDI in preservation resourcing and measures
  • Collaboration - with partners and publishers

 

Key takeaways include:

  • We are developing tools that can be used at a national level to inform standards and best practices.
  • We can become leaders in the conversation about preservation, conservation, digital preservation, platform migration, perpetual access to vendor-based resources.
  • We as a library have a role to play in curating the large volume of our digital content to determine what actually needs to be preserved.
  • We can learn from deaccessioning data and sunsetting best practices. 
  • Digital and physical preservation have the same goal but may require completely different skill sets and support structures. 

Pedagogy

We explored key trends, including:

  • Active and engaged learning
    • Object-based learning
    • Active learning classrooms
    • Making and multimedia assignments
    • Learning through meaningful work
  • Open Educational Resources and other learning objects
  • Critical information literacies, digital literacies, data literacies
  • Personalized learning (from personal librarians to responsive/interactive apps)
  • Collaborations with faculty, with students, between students, between staff, including project-based learning and learning groups

Key takeaways include:

  • We have a rich history and vibrant present landscape of teaching and learning.
  • We teach professors and kindergarteners, international grad students and non-Penn Philadelphians.
  • Our teaching and learning culture is a unique asset of the Penn Libraries.
  • In the next five years, we could make strong, supported programs out of what are now the labors of individual librarians.

Partnerships

 

We discussed the need to make tacit understanding of partnerships goals explicit. For example, the Penn Libraries enter into partnerships in order 

  • To enhance pedagogy through innovation
  • To develop and implement projects beyond the capacity of any one individual, group, or institution
  • To obtain grants that support innovative projects or engage new audiences
  • To bring together non-financial resources (staff expertise, collections) at different institutions
  • To bring together disparate disciplines and organizations around common interests and goals

    Key takeaways include:
  • The Penn Libraries and the University have longstanding partnerships, including those with locally based organizations like PACSCL (Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries) and Consortium for History of Science, Technology, and Medicine (formerly known as PACHS--Philadelphia Area Center for the History of Science), and K-12 school such as Lea Elementary School.
  • Philadelphia is home to some of the best libraries and research collections in the country, but our collective offerings can be difficult to navigate and time-consuming to assemble for any specific project even for the most experienced researchers and scholars.
  • There is potential for forming deeper relationships to ensure we have a meaningful impact in the region.

Update 08/12/2019

Dear Colleagues,

During our weekly meeting on August 9, our team

  • Finalized dates for Open House and Community Café sessions later this month. We encourage all staff to join us.
  • Continued our deep dive presentations and discussion with the topics of (1) organizational workforce and culture and (2) user experience.

Save the Dates
Please mark your calendars and join us for an Open House session on either Tuesday, August 20, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. or Thursday, August 22, from 10:30-11:30 a.m. in Class of '55 Conference Room (Room 241, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center). During these parallel sessions, Strategic Planning Steering Committee members will be available to discuss and answer questions about the seven deep dive topics we researched in partnership with the Libraries Leadership Team. We will make short PowerPoint presentations available on each topic in advance.

In addition, we hope all Libraries staff will join us for one of two Community Café sessions later this month. Parallel sessions will be held Thursday, August 29, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. and Wednesday, September 4, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion (6th Floor, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center). During these sessions, Strategic Planning Steering Committee members will facilitate structured discussion around draft elements of the strategic plan.

Highlights of Deep Dives

Strategic Planning Steering Committee members and Libraries Leadership members have formed teams to explore topics of current interest to libraries and other large information organizations. Together, team members look at key trends, other institutions' models and structures, impact on users, and how we might apply what we learn at Penn. This week we considered the topics of (1) organizational workforce and culture and (2) user experience.

Organizational Workforce and Culture

We explored key trends, including:

  • Building organizational capacity
    • To fulfill mission and perform functions “effectively, efficiently, and sustainably”
    • For change, new initiatives, and future challenges/crises
  • Supporting individual staff members’ growth and success
    • Professional development and training
    • Promotions, salary increases, career goals
    • Collaboration, engagement, and mentorship
  • Building trust and community
    • Inclusion, communication, and transparency
    • Decisions based on evidence
  • Addressing issues related to equity, diversity, and inclusivity among library staff
    • Increase workplace diversity by recruiting talent to library profession and/or organization
    • Increase diversity in management and leadership positions
    • Increase staff awareness 

User Experience

We explored key trends, including:

  • Focusing on user experience (UX) in all library services, not just digital realm. Libraries increasingly apply UX principles to everything from website design, navigation, and content, to search and discovery capabilities, physical space design, signage, services and programs, and marketing.
  • Considering libraries within their larger ecosystems. 
  • Looking beyond standard quantitative data and feedback and considering context.
  • Moving from ad hoc UX methods to planned and funded UX. 
  • Taking desirability into account when designing programs, communications, etc: aesthetics, emotional appeal, and personal connection.
  • Valuing word of mouth and human to human interaction.
  • Appreciating that UX can support both organizational alignment and diverse users (e.g., providing a unified set of tools that empower staff in all areas to design programs and services that meet the very specific needs of different user groups).

Update 08/05/2019

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past week, our team

  • Hosted a strategic planning Open House with Local 590 union members. Thanks to all who attended!
  • Met with Vice Provost and Director Constantia Constantinou.

Libraries Staff Engagement and Input
Thank you to members of Local 590 who attended our strategic planning Open House last week and gave us honest feedback about issues that concern their work. We made note of the questions asked and answers presented during the session, and we will share them with the Libraries’ Leadership Team and Labor Management and recommend that they review them.

Last Wednesday, we met with Vice Provost and Director Constantia Constantinou to continue our planning conversations with her. We discussed a timeline for completion and release of the Athenaeum21 report on digital strategy. We anticipate that the final report will be released to Libraries staff in September. The Strategic Planning Steering Committee looks forward to reading it.

We will meet again with Constantia this week to discuss potential formats for the final strategic plan and potential implementation strategies. As we move forward, we will provide meeting notes in the Meeting Summaries section of the Strategic Planning LibGuide.

Update 07/29/2019

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past week, our team

  • Hosted two all-staff strategic planning sessions in partnership with DeEtta Jones & Associates. Thanks to the many staff members who attended!
  • Began planning a number of future staff engagement activities.
  • Continued our deep dive presentations and discussion with the topic of privacy.

All-Staff Sessions

Thank you to all Libraries staff who joined us last week for strategic planning sessions with DeEtta Jones & Associates. Session slides have been posted to the Strategic Planning LibGuide. They include additional details beyond the presentations, including links to relevant content. Video from the sessions will be posted in coming days.

Libraries Staff Engagement and Input

Later this week, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee will meet with Vice Provost and Director Constantia Constantinou to continue our series of planning conversations with her. We are also beginning to schedule individual meetings with members of the Leadership Team. 

As we move forward, we will provide meeting notes in the Meeting Summaries section of the Strategic Planning LibGuide.

Highlights of Deep Dive

Strategic Planning Steering Committee members and Libraries Leadership members have formed teams to explore topics of current interest to libraries and other large information organizations. Together, team members look at key trends, other institutions' models and structures, impact on users, and how we might apply what we learn at Penn. This week we considered the topic of privacy.

We identified a series of tensions between privacy considerations and the role of the 21st century library:

  • Ideology vs pragmatism.
  • Advocacy for patrons’ privacy and outreach/education on these issues vs. access.
  • Stewardship (vs. “ownership”) of user data and responsible and ethical use of analytics.
  • Protection of user identity vs. protection of resources from misuse by those users.

We explored a number of key topics and themes, including:

  • Exposure, retention, and unintended uses of user data.
  • Many vendors provide content but their real product may be analytics.
  • Certain unique digital resources require users to sign up and provide data.
  • Open source solutions require more investment of time and expertise and knowledge.
  • Privacy is becoming a focus of governmental policy and international standards just as vendors are launching streamlined but potentially data-hungry initiatives.
  • Other forms of identity management are useful for scholarship itself (beyond access).
  • Intellectual freedom remains a key issue.
  • Data is an ecosystem but privacy maintenance is distributed discretely.
  • The “arms race” effect: As hackers and bad actors develop new attacks, new defenses are developed, often adding friction and making the discovery experience less friendly.
  • In the absence of official guidance, and in the need to get work done, the burden of making decisions that may impact library user privacy falls upon library staff.

In addition, this deep dive opened our eyes to the wide variety of staff across the Libraries whose work involves privacy considerations. In talking with our colleagues, we found that privacy is a theme that pervades many departments and groups, and staff are grappling with its challenges in divergent ways.

Update 07/22/2019

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past week, our team

  • Finalized plans and presentations for TODAY’S strategic planning sessions with DeEtta Jones & Associates.
  • Traveled to LIBRA. Thank you to all who met with us there!
  • Summarized our environmental scans—and discussed how to continue monitoring the work of our peers and generating ideas moving forward.

Join Us Today for All-Staff Sessions

We hope all Libraries staff will join us today for a strategic planning session with DeEtta Jones & Associates. Please choose to attend either a morning or an afternoon session, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. or 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion.

These sessions will include the following activities:

  • The Strategic Planning Steering Committee will present a summary of learnings from our peer and aspirant-peer institution scans.
  • DeEtta Jones & Associates will present takeaways from the Strategic Planning Focus Groups held with stakeholders across the Penn community.
  • The Strategic Planning Steering Committee will share foundational themes and compelling highlights that emerged from Values Sessions with Libraries staff.
  • In addition, there will be opportunities for feedback from Libraries staff, and refreshments will be served.

Libraries Staff Engagement and Input

Last week we took our Strategic Planning Open House on the road to LIBRA. We talked with staff there about strategic planning activities to date, resources available to keep staff informed about the process, and their thoughts on how an ideal future organization would function. They also gave us a tour of their complex and impressive operation. 

Later in the week, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee reviewed a summary of information gathered through our environmental scans and discussed ways to continue to monitor and evaluate the work of our peers now that we’ve completed the formal scan portion of the planning process.

Over the last few months Libraries staff have shared tips with us on the challenges and opportunities other institutions are facing and how they’re addressing them (beyond our official peer and aspirant-peer list). We hope you will continue to share information and suggestions as we move forward. We feel strongly that active and attentive environmental scanning is important to the future of the Penn Libraries, and we hope that scanning and idea sharing will continue both formally and informally beyond the strategic planning process.

Update 07/15/2019

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past week, our team

  • Worked on content for upcoming strategic planning sessions with DeEtta Jones & Associates.
  • Posted notes on our recent strategic planning conversations with Vice Provost and Director Constantia Constantinou.
  • Continued to engage Libraries staff through various meetings and activities. (Thank you for talking with us!)
  • Began our deep dive presentations and discussions with the topic of collections that reflect diversity.

Join Us for All-Staff Sessions July 22

We hope all Libraries staff will join us July 22 for a strategic planning session with DeEtta Jones & Associates. Please choose to attend either a morning or an afternoon session, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. or 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion.

These sessions will include the following activities:

  • DeEtta Jones & Associates will present takeaways from the Strategic Planning Focus Groups held with stakeholders across the Penn community.
  • The Strategic Planning Steering Committee will share foundational themes and compelling highlights that emerged from Values Sessions with Libraries staff.
  • The Strategic Planning Steering Committee will present a summary of learnings from our peer and aspirant-peer institution scans.
  • In addition, there will be opportunities for feedback from Libraries staff, and refreshments will be served.

Libraries Staff Engagement and Input

Over the past few weeks, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee has met twice with Vice Provost and Director Constantia Constantinou. Summaries of those meetings are now available on the Strategic Planning LibGuide.

Thank you to all staff members who attended divisional meetings last week and spoke with us there about the planning process. As we move ahead, a subcommittee of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee will look at the divisional goals created by Libraries staff last spring and identify common themes that can inform the strategic plan.

In addition, we are working on a concept map that will illustrate how divisional goals and other inputs generated outside the work of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee will inform the eventual strategic plan.

Highlights of Deep Dive

When we launched this process, Strategic Planning Steering Committee members and Libraries Leadership members formed teams to explore topics of current interest to libraries and other large information organizations. Together, team members look at key trends, other institutions' models and structures, impact on users, and how we might apply what we learn at Penn. This week we considered the topic of collections that reflect diversity.

We looked at four key trends:

1.    Collections development policies and strategies that affect collections’ content

  1. Research-level collections
  2. Representative collections
  3. Archival collections and collections of ephemera
  4. Digitization plans
  5. Open access initiatives
  6. Course materials and textbooks 

2.   Description, metadata, and other points of access

3.    Spaces, programming, and instruction related to collections 

4.    Representation on staff and increased staff awareness of EDI issues

Our high-level takeaways included the following:

  • As equity, diversity, and inclusion are fundamental values for libraries, we should strive to provide equitable access to engaging services, resources, and spaces that serve all members of the greater Penn community.
  • Many Penn Libraries staff are already working toward greater equity, diversity, and inclusion through collections and metadata, but this work is not well known nor coordinated across divisions.
  • There is wide recognition that gaps exist between what we can achieve and what we have achieved in this area, without a clear path forward to focus resources and achieve more.

Notification 07/08/2019

Due to the Independence Day holiday on Thursday, July 4th, the team did not meet on Friday, July 5th.

Update 07/01/2019

Dear Colleagues,

Over the last week, our team

  • Met with Vice Provost and Director Constantia Constantinou.
  • Worked with DeEtta Jones and Associates to plan all-staff meetings for July 22.

Libraries Staff Engagement

Last week we met with Vice Provost and Director Constantia Constantinou for a second strategic planning update and discussion. Later, as a team, we debriefed about our conversations with Constantia and discussed ways to shape equitable and transparent internally-facing communication within the Libraries.

These conversations between Constantia and the Strategic Planning Steering Committee will continue over the coming months. We will meet with her every three weeks and will continue to post summaries of these meetings. We are also meeting with the Leadership Team in two weeks. Per our Guiding Principles, we will post summaries of these additional meetings as soon as possible.

Join Us for All-Staff Sessions July 22

We also spoke virtually this week with DeEtta Jones and Associates about the structure of the All-Staff Sessions on July 22. (As a reminder, these sessions were moved from July 9 to July 22.) Co-facilitated by the Strategic Planning Steering Committee and DeEtta Jones and Associates, the content of these meetings will include:

  • A summary of what we have learned from our peer and aspirant institution scans by the Strategic Planning Steering Committee. 
  • DeEtta Jones and Associates will report on what they learned from the Strategic Planning Focus Groups.
  • The Strategic Planning Steering Committee will share foundational themes and compelling highlights that emerged from our Values Sessions.
  • DeEtta Jones and Associates will lead an exercise that will guide staff in implementing the findings from the Values Sessions into our work and the work of Penn Libraries.

Looking Ahead

We are planning Community Cafés and other ways to engage staff across the Libraries later this summer. These engagements will take place in August.  Details and schedules are forthcoming.

Update 06/26/2019 (Emergency Date Change)

Hi all,
Due to emergency on DeEtta Jones’s team, they will not be able to come on July 9.  Instead we will meet on July 22. There will be all-staff meetings from 10 to 11:30 and 2 to 3:30. These sessions will still cover the takeaways from the values sessions held on May 30 and 31 and from the focus groups. And there will still be snacks!  

Attendance at one of these session is requested of all staff. A calendar invite from Constantia’s office is forthcoming.

Update 06/24/2019

Dear Colleagues,

Mary Ellen Burd is on vacation, but we want to make sure to keep you up to date on strategic planning goings-on. Over the last week, our team

  • Held our second Strategic Planning Open House, traveled to the Library at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, and met with Vice Provost and Director Constantia Constantinou. Thanks to all who talked with us!
  • Worked together to answer the questions Libraries staff have been asking us in person and emailing to us.
  • Continued processing outputs from the Strategic Planning Values Sessions held in May.
  • Continued our peer environmental scan with Cornell University Library.

Libraries Staff Engagement and Insights

In the last two weeks, we’ve held two Strategic Planning Open Houses in Van Pelt. We also traveled to the Library at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies to meet with staff there.

We will be planning additional open houses at other times and locations over the next few months. In the meantime we’re working on posting answers to questions gathered during those sessions to the Questions & Answers section of the Strategic Planning LibGuide, and we hope you’ll take a look. You’ll also see questions that we’ve received from staff via email and our answers to them.

Last Thursday we met with Vice Provost and Director Constantia Constantinou for a strategic planning update and discussion, and we will meet with her again this week. Summaries of both meetings will be posted to the Meeting Summaries section of the Strategic Planning LibGuide soon.

Join Us!

Our next all-staff sessions with DeEtta Jones and Associates will take place Tuesday, July 9. Please plan to attend either a morning session from 10 to 11:30am or an afternoon session from 2 to 3:30pm in the Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion.

The Strategic Planning Steering Committee is working to transcribe and depersonalize data collected during the Values Sessions held May 30 and 31. The DeEtta Jones team will then synthesize the data and present the results—along with the results of stakeholder focus groups—to all Libraries staff on July 9.

 

Highlights of Peer Environmental Scan

For each institution in our peer environmental scan, we review key data and resources, vision and strategic directions, evidence of impact on users, innovation/“aha” moments, change management learnings, and potential influence on the Penn Libraries. This week we looked at Cornell University Library. Highlights appear below:

  • Our sense of Cornell University Library is that it’s effectively putting its strategic priorities in action, from focusing on “providing an outstanding experience for all students” to prioritizing staff work by “thinking strategically about where to focus [a] tremendous level of staff expertise and passionate commitment.”
  • Cornell is heavily invested in partnerships across the University and the local community. For example, the Library has partnered with Cornell University Press to provide open access to backlisted books, and it used grant funding to partner with a local museum to expand access to the museum’s materials.
  • Cornell puts people front and center in presenting its services and its impact. Testimonials from students and faculty, attesting to the effectiveness of specific services and or availability of resources, appear across its website and publications. Its annual report pairs numerical metrics with narrative impact stories in equal measure.
  • The people-first approach also appears to frame workplace culture and policies. Examples include an extensive staff recognition and appreciation program (which includes both supervisor-nominated and peer-nominated categories) and transparent and clear promotion guidelines.

Update 06/17/2019

Dear Colleagues,

Over the last week, our team

  • Held our first Strategic Planning Open House. Thanks to all who joined us!
  • Met briefly with the Leadership Team.
  • Worked to process outputs from the Strategic Planning Values Sessions held in May.

Join Us!

During last week’s Strategic Planning Open House we talked about planning activities to date and the resources available to keep staff informed about the process. Then we opened the floor to questions. Couldn’t make it? We’re hosting an additional Open House this week. Please join us this Thursday, June 20, from 2 to 3pm in the Class of 55 Conference Room.

In addition, we urge all Libraries staff to join our next sessions with DeEtta Jones and Associates on Tuesday, July 9. Please plan to attend either a morning session from 10 to 11:30am or an afternoon session from 2 to 3:30pm in the Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion.

The Strategic Planning Steering Committee is working to transcribe and depersonalize data collected during the Values Sessions held May 30 and 31. The DeEtta Jones team will then synthesize the data and present the results—along with the results of stakeholder focus groups—to all Libraries staff on July 9.

 

Engagement and Insights

Last week representatives from the Strategic Planning Steering Committee met briefly with the Leadership Team to talk about effective ways to engage with them throughout the planning process. This week the entire committee will meet with Vice Provost and Director Constantia Constantinou for a strategic planning update and discussion.

Engagement with and feedback from all Libraries staff is important to us. During last week’s Open House, a staff member asked if the committee would consider best practices gleaned from professional meetings and organizations during the planning process. Staff have also offered to talk with peers at other institutions about topics relevant to strategic planning and convey the information to us.

We welcome you to share your learning and insights with us.Whether you’re attending a conference, or having in-depth conversations with peers at other times, your insights and the insights of peers and friends at other institutions are valuable to us. We’re very interested to know what challenges and opportunities other institutions are facing and how they’re addressing them. Please share your thoughts and conversations with us at libstratplancommittee@o365lists.upenn.edu.

Update 06/10/2019

Dear Colleagues,

In our 6/7/19 meeting, we accomplished the following:

  • Discussed and created a plan to host Strategic Planning Open House sessions with Libraries staff twice this month.
  • Continued our environmental scan with New York University Libraries—and also took an informal look at the University of British Columbia’s just-released strategic framework.

Join Us!

We invite all staff to join us for Strategic Planning Open House sessions on Thursday, June 13, from 10 to 11am, or Thursday, June 20, from 2 to 3pm in the Class of 55 Conference Room. We will give updates on the strategic planning process followed by an open forum for questions. We’ll also describe our plans to engage staff in the strategic planning process moving forward.

In addition, we urge all staff to join our next sessions with DeEtta Jones and Associates in July. Outputs from both the values sessions and the focus groups held in May will be synthesized in the coming weeks, and DeEtta Jones and Associates will present the results to Libraries staff during on-site sessions on July 9. Please plan to attend either a morning session from 10 to 11:30am or an afternoon session from 2 to 3:30pm in the Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion.

 

Highlights of Peer Environmental Scans

For each institution in our peer environmental scan, we review key data and resources, vision and strategic directions, evidence of impact on users, innovation/“aha” moments, change management learnings, and potential influence on the Penn Libraries. This week we looked at New York University Libraries. We also informally reviewed an emergent strategic plan from the University of British Columbia Library.

  • New York University Libraries’ current strategic goals are broad, and they were directly informed by the goals of the Libraries’ last two strategic plans.
  • We saw some similarities to Penn in NYU Libraries:  namely, NYU Libraries saw a recent change in leadership, and there is a focus moving forward on improved communication and increasing external collaborations and partnerships. While NYU’s new leader inherited a strategic plan, and ours is leading the creation of a fresh plan, we felt we could learn a lot through future discussion with NYU staff in terms of exploring changes in organizational culture.  
  • The University of British Columbia Library released a new strategic framework on June 7. We took a brief look at the framework as a group and admired the way mission and goals were framed as pointing to a larger vision and guided and supported at every step by shared values. UBC emphasizes—and we recognize and appreciate—that transparent communication and organizational culture are larger than a strategic planning process and crucial to a strategic plan’s implementation and success.

Update 06/03/2019

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you to all who attended values sessions last Thursday and Friday. Together, with guidance from DeEtta Jones and Associates, we began to articulate our current shared identity and behaviors—and those that we aspire to share in the future.


Values Sessions and Focus Groups

 

During the values sessions, we worked in small groups to describe and discuss our organizational culture. See the Strategic Planning LibGuide for a worksheet with the framework we used for group discussions. A video recording of the opening presentation by the Strategic Planning Steering Committee and DeEtta Jones and Associates will be posted to the LibGuide soon.

 

The DeEtta Jones team also held focus groups Thursday and Friday with Penn deans and administrators, faculty and instructors, graduate and undergraduate students, and with Local 590 union leadership.

 

Outputs from both the values sessions and the focus groups will be synthesized over the next few weeks, and DeEtta Jones and Associates will present the results to Libraries staff during on-site sessions on July 9. Please stay tuned for more information on exact times, and plan to attend either a morning or an afternoon session.


Staff Engagement and Information Flow

Following Friday’s values session, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee discussed our role in facilitating staff engagement and information flow during the strategic planning process. Specifically we explored how we can ensure a process that is inclusive and transparent for the entirety of the Penn Libraries staff, across professional staff, union staff, and senior leadership.

With this week’s all-staff sessions in mind, we also began to explore how we can weave those values—and others that were expressed by our colleagues during the sessions—into our organizational culture for the long term. Your participation is crucial to shaping our future organization. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts this week and as we move forward.

Update 05/28/2019

Update 05/20/2019

Dear Colleagues,

In our 5/17/19 meeting, we accomplished the following:

  • Discussed logistics for upcoming focus groups and values sessions.
  • Continued our environmental scan with the UC Berkeley Library.  

All-Staff Values Sessions

DeEtta Jones & Associates will be on site May 30 and 31 to conduct focus groups with external stakeholders and values sessions with Libraries staff. Values sessions will include

  • Updates from the Strategic Planning Steering Committee and the DeEtta Jones team on process and accomplishments to date.
  • Structured activities with groups of 8-10 staff members to guide us in thinking about and articulating our shared identity and behaviors.
  • Snacks!

We’ve sent Outlook invitations for values sessions on May 30, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., and May 31, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Please plan to attend ONE of these values sessions.

Highlights of Peer Environmental Scan

For each institution in our peer environmental scan, we review key data and resources, vision and strategic directions, evidence of impact on users, innovation/“aha” moments, change management learnings, and potential influence on the Penn Libraries. This week we looked at the UC Berkeley Library.

  • UC Berkeley Library divides its top-level strategic directions into two categories:  “to serve our core mission” and “to build the organizational capital we need to succeed.” 
  • Services and resources provided suggest a culture that is well informed about its users and aims to meet them where they are. For example, Berkeley’s Affordable Course Content Pilot Program was adopted in over 40 courses, affected 2,400 students, and provided an estimated $200K in savings for students.
  • Level Up, a digital and information literacy program, is well packaged and branded (in terms of content, language, and presentation) for the student audience it aims to serve.
  • There’s a high level of transparency across communications and information shared publicly, from a letter written by the University Librarian regarding budget cuts and their effect on scholarly resources to committee lists, charges, and meeting schedules.
  • From the strategic plan presentation to a news site and a multimedia magazine, the Library presents itself through people-centered stories, using clear, friendly, and jargon-free language and high-quality images and video.

Next Steps

Our Strategic Planning LibGuide addresses questions we’ve received in person or via email.  Visit https://guides.library.upenn.edu/libstratplan to view the Q&A page, an archive of weekly messages, meeting summaries, and additional resources.

Update 05/13/2019

Dear Colleagues,


In our 5/10/19 meeting, we accomplished the following:

 

  • Finalized dates for focus groups, values sessions, and presentations of the results.
  • Continued our environmental scan with two peer institutions, Duke University Libraries and Johns Hopkins University Libraries.  

 

Save the Dates!

At the end of this month, DeEtta Jones & Associates will be on site to conduct focus groups with external stakeholders and values sessions with Libraries staff. Please plan to attend a values session at one of the following times:  May 30, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. or May 31, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

In addition, the DeEtta Jones team will be on site July 9 to share the results of the focus groups and values sessions with Libraries staff. Times are TBA, but look for an invitation in the near future. Two identical sessions will be scheduled (one morning and one afternoon); please plan to attend one of them.

Highlights of Peer Environmental Scan

For each institution in our peer environmental scan, we review key data and resources, vision and strategic directions, evidence of impact on users, innovation/“aha,” change management learnings, and potential influence on the Penn Libraries. This week we looked at Duke University Libraries and Johns Hopkins University Libraries. Highlights appear below:

 

  • Both Duke University Libraries and Johns Hopkins University Libraries see themselves as important agents in open access advocacy, and both are strong hubs for data visualization.
  • Throughout its website and its strategic plans, Duke University Libraries presents itself as central to the university and as active rather than reactive in terms of an evolving information ecosystem. Duke also positions itself as (1) user-centric (reflected in user’s needs as the organizing principles for website design and in language throughout its strategic plans) and (2) an important agent in changing scholarly communications, especially in terms of open access.
  • Duke offers ScholarWorks, which guides users from their particular concerns in scholarly communications (“Share Your Work,” “Increase Your Reach and Impact,” “Know Your Copyrights”) to Duke University Libraries-based services.
  • Johns Hopkins University Libraries has a strong focus on data services and offers a comprehensive suite of services and facilities, including a Visualization Studio.
  • Project MUSE debuted in 1995 as a collaboration between the Johns Hopkins University Press and the Milton S. Eisenhower Library at Johns Hopkins University, the first of its kind in scholarly humanities publishing.

 

Next Steps

Our Strategic Planning LibGuide is live! Visit https://guides.library.upenn.edu/libstratplan for an archive of weekly messages, meeting summaries, and additional resources connected to the strategic planning process.

Please send questions or feedback to the Strategic Planning Steering Committee at  libstratplancommittee@o365lists.upenn.edu.

Update 05/06/2019

Dear Colleagues,

 

In our 5/3/19 meeting, we accomplished the following:

 

  • Began our environmental scan of two peer institutions, Yale University Library and University of Toronto Libraries.
  • Reviewed key data and resources, vision and strategic directions, evidence of impact on users, innovation/“aha,” change management learnings, and potential influence on Penn.

 

Highlights of Peer Environmental Scan

 

  • Both Yale and Toronto offer robust advice to researchers on safeguarding of intellectual property. Yale provides advice on copyright through a Lib Guide, including what to do in the case of take-down notices. Toronto Libraries’ checklist to spot deceptive publishers became a national resource.
  • University of Toronto Libraries partnered with the office of the University president to author and disseminate guidelines on avoiding predatory publishers.
  • Yale University Library was the key partner in building and launching a library at Yale-NUS, a Singapore-based liberal arts college founded by Yale and the National University of Singapore in 2011.
  • Yale University Library has an extensive committee system, which is very clearly documented on its website.
  • Toronto initiatives and communications give the sense that the Libraries are leading compelling conversations and using of-the-moment tools and resources. Examples: an active Indigenous Matters Committee; a Wikipedian in Residence; a strong, visually appealing newsletter that tells vivid stories of the Libraries and makes a strong case for funding/valuing them.
  • We noted that many of the challenges that the Penn Libraries face are not unique to us. For example, Yale is facing the challenge of choosing between collections space and space for patrons. Toronto is facing an increased need to secure funding and raise revenue.

 

Next Steps

 

As mentioned last week, we are working on an online space to save all communications, up-to-date information, and additional resources connected to the strategic planning process. After testing and further thought, we’ve decided to use LibGuides because it an open, barrier-less platform that many Penn Libraries staff members are familiar with.

 

Look for the launch of the LibGuides site soon, along with an email address where you can reach Strategic Planning Steering Committee members with questions.

Update 04/30/2019

Dear Colleagues,

 

The Strategic Planning Steering Committee has been charged with designing a powerful mission and actionable vision for the Penn Libraries informed by an analysis of trends across and beyond the library profession, an examination of the current state of our peer and aspirational peer institutions, and structured conversations with Penn Libraries staff about developing collective strategic directions for our organization.

 

The committee will meet weekly. Please look for an email update from us every Monday, summarizing the past week.



Quick Scan

 

In our 4/26/19 meeting, we accomplished the following:

 

  • Named Kate LynchKatie Rawson, and Mike Williams as Strategic Planning Steering Committee facilitators.
  • Finalized a list of peer and aspirant institutions for an environmental scan.
  • Selected seven topics for deep-dive analysis.
  • Most importantly, we crafted six guiding principles for this process. These principles are our promise to you about how we will engage in this work, and how we hope that you will engage with us.

See below for more detailed information on these topics.



Peer and Aspirant Institutions

 

  • Columbia
  • Cornell
  • Duke
  • Johns Hopkins
  • New York University
  • Princeton
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Toronto
  • Yale



Deep-Dive Topics

 

Our exploration of these topics will be informed by a commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

 

  • Collections that reflect diversity
  • User experience
  • Collaboration and partnerships, especially at Penn and cultural institutions in Philadelphia
  • Pedagogy
  • Preservation
  • Privacy and user data
  • Organizational culture and workforce 



Guiding Principles

 

  • We will provide transparent, timely, consistent two-way communication throughout the process.
  • We will be in sync with the University’s forward direction and demonstrate value toward the University’s overall mission.
  • We will model and contribute to library best practices and the role of libraries in society.
  • We value the work of all staff and their contributions to our strategic goals and will seek your input throughout the process.
  • We will celebrate the exemplary work being done at the Penn Libraries in the process of crafting our strategic plan.
  • We will focus on our collective aspirations and what we seek to create and become together.



Next Steps

 

In the coming days, we will establish a Canvas site where up-to-date information and additional resources will be available, and an email where you can contact the team. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.