Coordinator Appointed and Call for Steering Team Members (LIBNEWS 11/6/14)

Sent: Thursday, November 06, 2014 2:16 PM
Subject: Library strategic planning


In 2011, the Library undertook an effort to articulate a short-term plan for Strategic Initiatives, in recognition of impending leadership transitions. That plan (, intended to carry us through FY14, was a helpful bridge and carried us through my first year in the Library. Also in my first year I initiated the un-retreat as a way to give attention to more pressing areas of need. This, too, helped us continue to move forward aggressively on areas of importance to the campus and the Library.

It’s time we undertook work to update our strategic planning, both to guide our activities in the coming years and to provide a framework for conversation with the campus. Indeed, some elements of our budget and our data collection (e.g., for DMI) are driven by strategic planning.

My goal is that in this new process we create a framework for long-term planning that recognizes the grand elements of our mission, and can then guide us in assembling shorter-term action plans.

There are several elements of recent national efforts that I would like to adopt in our process. I was very pleased by the iterative and inclusive process undertaken by the Association of Research Libraries in its recent “Strategic Thinking + Design” process: I would like to engage as many of you as practical over a longer time horizon than a single planning retreat, and I would like to reach out to some areas of the campus. I believe that the ACRL Plan for Excellence provides a superb balance of vision and direction (e.g., eschewing detail):

With this in mind, and in conversation with the Executive Committee and members of Cabinet, I have asked Lisa Hinchliffe to coordinate this activity and will be appointing a team to assist in organizing and conducting the work. I’d like to hear from you if you are interested in serving on this team or volunteering in some other capacity in this process. Please let me know if you are interested by the end of the day on Tuesday, November 11.

The January 9, 2015 retreat is nearly here and there’s much to be done, particularly if we are to use some early results from this process to influence the FY16 budget request. We’ll start right away, and I’ve asked Lisa to share an initial communication about process and timeline. Expect that in the coming week.

I’m looking forward to the work ahead and to contributions from across the Library.


John P. Wilkin
Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson Dean of Libraries and University Librarian
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
230 Library, MC-522
1408 W. Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61801
217-333-0790 (voice)
217-244-4358 (fax)