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2018-2021 Strategic Plan

In order to align with the vision and values of the University of Washington, the UW Libraries will pursue strategies and initiatives that support the evolving needs of our user communities. The 2018-2021 Libraries Strategic Plan establishes our goals, guides our decisions and shapes our budgeting and resource allocation. The plan defines our key priorities, allowing us to rationalize what successful pursuits we continue, what new initiatives we begin and what activities we modify or suspend in the interest of maximizing our impact on our institution and communities.

In its commitment to provide comparable experiences for all UW students, faculty, and staff, the University Libraries operates on a principle of “One Library: Three Campuses” that involves collaborative planning, centralized work functions, and shared outcomes that balance priorities in common with unique, local needs across the Bothell, Seattle, and Tacoma campuses.

2018-2021 Strategic Directions

Advance Research for the Public Good

UW research attains its greatest impact on our most pressing global challenges when we advocate for open, public and emerging forms of scholarship.


  • Increase access to and improve dissemination of UW scholarship by leading the development of institutional open access publishing, resources and technologies.
  • Advance digital and interdisciplinary scholarship by collaboratively investing in infrastructure and leveraging expertise in new areas of research support.
  • Enhance the ability of researchers to measure and communicate the impact of their scholarship.
  • Improve researcher workflows by expanding support for the entire research lifecycle.

Enrich the Student Experience

Students reach their full potential as learners and global citizens when we collaborate to transform support for the holistic experience of undergraduate, graduate and professional students.


  • Address the student affordability crisis by leading efforts on open educational resources and other approaches that improve access to resources and services.
  • Increase opportunities for student learning by investing in scalable, sustainable and technology-rich teaching focused on critical information skills.
  • Enhance University initiatives focused on the success of diverse student populations through strengthened partnerships and Libraries-wide support.
  • Develop and advocate for new and evolving library spaces that address student enrollment growth and changes in scholarship and learning.

Enhance Equitable Environments for Research, Learning and Working

Students, faculty, staff and community members from diverse backgrounds thrive when we create and maintain inclusive research, learning and working environments.


  • Elevate the voices of historically underrepresented communities at UW and in the Pacific Northwest by partnering to create, preserve and increase access to culturally-relevant information resources.
  • Strengthen contributions to campus-wide initiatives on equity and social justice by actively partnering with UW faculty, staff and students to support equity-focused research, teaching, learning and staff development.
  • Improve access for diverse user communities to physical and digital resources through universal design and accessibility compliance.
  • Foster an equitable and inclusive culture for Libraries staff through programs, mentoring, hiring, retention, and training.

Accelerate Scholarship and Learning through Responsive Collections

The work of students, clinicians and researchers is advanced when we develop and maintain collections that align with evolving and future needs.


  • Enhance current and emerging forms of scholarship and learning by increasing access to and acquisition of interdisciplinary and multi-format resources.
  • Strengthen users’ ability to efficiently find and use necessary information by improving the discoverability and access to collections.
  • Broaden multi-institutional partnerships to expand the range of information resources available to our user communities and support sustainable collections.
  • Develop scalable, strategic and sustainable models of collection development, preservation and stewardship.

Grow as a Learning Organization

The evolving needs of our communities are better met when we become agile, invest in the development of our staff and transform our ways of working for the betterment of our organization and the university.


  • Improve communication to foster effective and equitable ways of working.
  • Transform our working practices to enable effective collaboration, efficient use of resources and a holistic perspective on individual work.
  • Strengthen capacity for strategic decision making throughout our organization based on shared priorities, vision and values.
  • Invest in developing, recruiting and retaining staff to provide new skills in support of changing university needs.