Strategic Plan 2006-2011


The word "changing" is often used to describe today's libraries, for both the perception and the reality of the library field are experiencing transformations. Such transformations are increasingly apparent in the Purdue University Libraries.

From nearly any location on the West Lafayette campus in the 1970's, you were just steps away from one of the 28 libraries. Each library placed subject-related books and journals close to primary users, and each library provided space for use of the collections, as well as access to librarians knowledgeable in the literatures of the discipline.

Today, while the libraries have been consolidated into 14 locations, the emergence of electronic access places you even closer to collections, services, and experts. Electronic access brings the catalog as well as journals, theses, dissertations, archival materials and more, to your computer screen, whether you are on campus, at home, or anywhere in the world. It also enables you to communicate with highly trained librarians and staff who answer questions, provide guidance to collections and information resources, and assist with effective use of the vast array of information that is available and accessible through the physical and the virtual Purdue libraries.

The Libraries faculty teach both in the classroom and "one-to-one" in person and on-line.

Virtual access to information will increase in the future as a distributed institutional repository, now under development, will permit storage, organization, access, and use of massive data sets of research results in disciplines ranging from biomedical engineering to remote sensing to the social sciences.

The Libraries faculty are committed to advancing knowledge through disciplinary and interdisciplinary research.

But, even in a world becoming increasingly oriented toward virtual access, the physical library continues as a vital and critical academic resource. The Purdue Libraries' locations serve not only as a resource for information but also as a classroom, workplace, or quiet space for group study and work. They are places for individual reflection and offer opportunities for consultation with the Libraries' professors of library science who are committed to the University's goal of information literacy.

Paralleling the University's vision of a dynamic interdisciplinary environment of discovery and learning, the Libraries' facilities are being designed to support this culture. New concepts in physical information retrieval will be incorporated into the facilities. Technologies such as high-density storage and robotic retrieval for publications and documents will allow for the conversion of space previously dedicated to shelving into locations for innovative learning and group study, and provide increased space for open stacks for access to more heavily used collections.


The values of the Purdue University Libraries, like those of the University itself, are rooted in the basic traditions of higher education: democracy, inclusiveness, and accessibility. Fair and equal access to information is a hallmark of the Purdue University Libraries. Linked to this is the Libraries' core value of preserving intellectual freedom and privacy of information. Respect and appreciation for all members of the University community are demonstrated in the inclusiveness, collegiality, and collaboration which characterize the Libraries' culture. Members of the Libraries faculty and staff value continuous learning and, by ensuring the competency of information literacy, support innovation and exploration by all users.

Daily, the Libraries faculty and staff express our commitment to user-centered service and to the preservation of the intellectual and cultural record. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of personal and professional behavior, and act with integrity in all we do.


The mission of the Purdue University Libraries is to foster a dynamic information environment that advances learning, discovery, and engagement.

The Libraries faculty and staff apply sound pedagogical approaches to create innovative and effective learning experiences which foster the core competencies of critical thinking, communication skills, information literacy, information technology, and methods of inquiry. These competencies are integrated into disciplinary learning through collaborative efforts with colleagues engaged in teaching.

The Libraries faculty and staff are grounded in the principles and practices of library and information science, and of specialized information-related disciplines. They bring their library science expertise to collaborative initiatives with colleagues in other fields to more effectively undertake interdisciplinary research which expands the realm of knowledge.

Contributions to the engagement mission of the University arise from the Libraries’ strength in support of learning and discovery, and a commitment to help meet the information needs of the residents of Indiana.

In support of all these activities, the Libraries seek to:

  • Provide focused collection and information resources to support the University's learning and discovery goals.
  • Preserve the intellectual and cultural record through collections and archives.
  • Meet the changing needs of students and faculty through access to information resources characterized by an effective balance of collections held locally, cooperation with resource-sharing partners, and availability of electronic resources.


The Purdue University Libraries will achieve preeminence as an innovative and creative research university library in meeting the challenge of the Information Age.

The Purdue Libraries will be the definitive place to go, physically and virtually, for information that fosters learning and discovery. The Libraries will be physically represented through four or five interdisciplinary community centers, with additional specialized centers and service points located throughout the campus; all of which will be designed to connect users with resources and services without constraints of time, location, or format. The Libraries' virtual presence will be enhanced by integration into the University learning and discovery environment. Libraries and disciplinary faculty will increasingly collaborate in a comprehensive information literacy curriculum designed to prepare students to succeed in their academic programs, their careers, and their lifelong enrichment. Libraries faculty and staff will be involved as essential members of interdisciplinary research teams and will continue to contribute to the national research agenda for library and information science. The Purdue Libraries will be recognized for leadership in advancing innovation within academic librarianship. The focus on service, collaboration, and research will result in innovative products that will serve as models for libraries worldwide. The intellectual, economic, and cultural lives of individuals and communities will be enhanced by the Libraries' engagement activities locally, statewide, nationally, and internationally.


Learning: Information literacy
Advance learning with information literacy initiatives and further the University's learning goal with focused collections and information resources.

  • We will increase information literacy competencies of students through collaborative efforts between the Libraries and the colleges and schools.
  • We will increase campus-wide commitment to the University's core competency of information literacy.
  • We will increase effective use of collections and information resources.
  • We will increase alignment of collections and information resources in support of a growing and changing learning environment

Longitudinal scores from Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Literacy Assessment testing.
Evidence of inclusion of information literacy in college/department strategic plans and other documentation (websites, syllabi, etc.)
LibQUAL+ results on questions related to access to and use of information resources, when next administered in Fall 2008.
Extent of use of the Libraries information literacy resources (CORE, GS175, Libraries faculty collaboration with teaching faculty)

Discovery: Interdisciplinary research
Further the University's discovery goal by providing information resources and applying library science expertise to interdisciplinary research.

  • We will increase campus awareness of the value added by the participation of the Libraries faculty in interdisciplinary research.
  • We will increase Libraries faculty participation in interdisciplinary research.
  • We will increase alignment of collections and information resources to support interdisciplinary research.

Number of collaborative grant proposals
Number of Libraries faculty participating in collaborative or sponsored research
Number of presentations at conferences and publications resulting from interdisciplinary research
Funding of sponsored research
Satisfaction with collections as measured by LibQUAL+ when next administered in Fall 2008.
New funding allocated for interdisciplinary research

Engagement: Enhanced quality of life
Apply specialized knowledge and information resources to collaboratively address challenges and to enhance the intellectual, economic, and cultural life of individuals and communities at the local, state, and national levels, and internationally.

  • We will increase the Libraries' participation in educational outreach activities.
  • We will increase collaboration with libraries across the state, the nation, and the world.
  • We will increase participation in sponsored economic-outreach activities.
  • We will increase collaboration with community entities including public libraries, schools, and historical organizations.

Participation in K-12 collaborative programs
New collaborative programs with academic libraries in Indiana
Number of requests for information from Indiana businesses
Public and media recognition for achievements in engagement
Number of new services that directly impact the public

Infrastructure: Alignment
Align facilities, services, information technology, administration, faculty and staff with the University’s learning, discovery and engagement goals and key overarching strategies.

  • We will align the Libraries' physical space with the University’s academic programs and foster an environment conducive to discovery and learning.
  • We will increase knowledge, service orientation, and skills of all faculty and staff groups within the Libraries.
  • We will foster a culture of innovation and risk-taking.
  • We will increase and enhance access to collections and information resources.
  • We will improve the digital presence of the Libraries.
  • We will increase diversity within the Libraries faculty and staff.

Door count: number of visits.
Funding raised to support facility expansion and renovation.
Reduced number of Libraries’ facilities
Enhancement of environment within Libraries facilities
LibQUAL+ results relating to service and facilities, when next administered in Fall, 2008.
Number and quality of new programs, services, and initiatives created.
Use of Libraries' collections and information resources
Use of Libraries website
Diversity of the Libraries faculty and staff


The Libraries' selection of peer institutions for benchmarking purposes begins with the characteristics and institutions identified by the University. Data from the libraries in this group form a basis for comparison regarding widely-shared elements of university libraries. The Libraries' vision of achieving preeminence as an innovative and creative research university library leads to the inclusion of several peers which have demonstrated this preeminence. In addition to the following list, the Libraries will also determine a number of peers against which to benchmark particular Purdue libraries.

  • Cornell University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Pennsylvania State University at University Park
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of Arizona
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison

The following institutions are included due to their innovative and creative leadership in research university librarianship.

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • North Carolina State University
  • The University of Virginia


  • Receipt of national recognition and awards
  • Invited presentations regarding innovations and accomplishments
  • Progress toward faculty and staff diversity goals
  • Longitudinal LibQUAL+ scores
  • LibQUAL+ scores compared to benchmark institutions and other peers
  • Annual percent increase in operating funds in comparison to peers
  • Percent of institutional budget dedicated to libraries services and resources as compared to peer institutions
  • Effectiveness of information literacy initiatives as measured by Information and
  • Communication Technology (ICT) Literacy Assessment testing
  • Expenditures per undergraduate/graduate student
  • Number of periodical subscriptions per faculty member
  • Number of Libraries' faculty as a percentage of University faculty as compared to peer institutions
  • Utilization of Libraries' resources and services by those outside the University

Purdue University Libraries, Strategic Plan, 2006-2011

Approved by Provost Sally Mason and President Martin C. Jischke, July 25th, 2006.