• Humanities and Social Sciences
• Biological and Physical Sciences
• Special Collections, Area Studies, &
Government Documents Task Force
• Undergraduate Education
Strategic Plan Pending
Background to 2006 changes
In September 2006 UF Provost, Janie Fouke, charged the Future of the Libraries Committee to prepare a report to address how the rapid changes occurring in libraries over recent years affected our libraries at UF. Given the importance of libraries in the academic community, the Committee identified several key issues and assessed how well the UF library system is responding to them:
- Fiscal support that affects all parts of the organization: – there is a need for increased operating funds, as well as certain types of new space to meet basic requirements in UF’s academic programs.
- Librarians and Library Services – there is a need for hiring library staff trained as experts in new technology, for the recognition of this professionalism, and for the introduction of programs to gain full use of such talents.
- Collection Balances – the inevitable shift toward digital acquisitions should not mask the need for continued attention to printed materials, particularly in the humanities.
- Role in the Capital Campaign – UF should assume an appropriate funding goal (suggested $25 million) that recognizes the central importance of the library.
- Integration of the UF Libraries - UF should strengthen relationships among its three major libraries: Smathers, Health, and Law.
The complete report is available at: http://www.aa.ufl.edu/search_committees/futureofthelibrary/documents/FOL%20Final%20Report.pdf.
The committee came away with a renewed appreciation for the absolute importance of the library in a major research university where it should occupy a central role. Indeed, the library has been called “the DNA of the academic institution,” determining our quality and directions. UF is fortunate to have a library that is vital and valued, but like many libraries, it stands in a precarious position.
As the libraries proceed with planning and with continued efforts to integrate and adapt to change, it is particularly important to put access to information resources at the center of our planning efforts and to hear directly from our users and other constituents about their current and future service requirements. The strategic planning process begins with this focus.
To assist the Libraries administration in its strategic planning process, four task forces will be created. Each task force will devote its attention to one of the following topics: Humanities and Social Sciences; Biological and Physical Sciences; Special, Specialized, and Area Studies; Undergraduate Education. Each task force should recommend short term plans and strategic initiatives to respond to the anticipated needs of its user groups.
Each task force will be lead by an Associate Director from the Smathers Libraries and will comprise the following members:
- Future of Libraries Committee – one
- Faculty Senate representative(s) through its University Libraries Committee and/or Academic Infrastructure Council – one or two
- Students, at least one graduate, at least one undergraduate
- Library Leadership Board, one or two
- SUS Library representative – one
- Smathers Libraries, one faculty, one non-faculty
- Health Sciences Library – one
- Law Library – one
- Selective Federal depository libraries – one
- Other UF Faculty and Teams members – at least one
- Additional campus groups: diversity; honors; international programs; etc. – depending on interest
To begin our discussions, we will consider the following questions:
- What information do we have about our environment and the information needs of our users? What surveys or other studies should be conducted (LibQual, OCLC WorldCat Collection Analysis, hours of operation, etc.)? What relevant information is available from strategic planning at other ARL institutions?
- What expansion is needed in collection resources, in access, information delivery, and other services, in spaces for reading, research and discovery for undergraduates? For graduate students? For faculty?
- What collections and services do we NOT now provide?
- What collections and services do we provide that are no longer needed and should be discontinued?
- What physical spaces are needed or helpful? Should we reconfigure/expand/shrink our physical spaces for users? For materials? Which spaces need to be on the main campus? Which spaces need to be more closely co-located with user groups?
- What do our clients expect? Are we meeting their expectations?
- What is/is not online and what is the expectation to provide what is missing?
- How effective is the virtual library: its accessibility, ease of use? How intuitive is it?
- What do we need to do? For whom do we need to do it? When do we need to do it?
This first stage of fact gathering is expected to last from November through mid-January.
The second stage, which is the planning stage, should last from February through April.
Electronic communication and teleconferencing will be utilized to enable participation from those who cannot attend taskforce meetings in person.