University Libraries

In April we held two initial strategic planning workshops for Library staff.  Thank you to those who attended for their contribution and the others who have followed up with me separately.

The workshops ran a basic SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) exercise on the University Libraries as a whole. The exercise prompted some engaging discussion as attendees formed groups, each producing their own SWOT analysis. A number of common themes were identified across the SWOT analyses and a summary version is provided below.

Strengths

  • Strong research collections including Special Collections and electronic resources
  • Effective and accessible customer service valued by clients
  • Heritage Reading Room in a key location
  • Staff skills and experience

Weaknesses

  • Large, open access print collection presenting collection management challenges
  • Limited promotion of services
  • Historical building with use constraints
  • Lack of succession planning and flexibility in staffing structure

Opportunities

  • Promote key services, revitalise collections and reconfigure space
  • Adopt new technologies and delivery methods for just in time delivery of services
  • Library of the Future project
  • Incoming University Librarian

Threats

  • Funding uncertainties (with implications for collections, services and staffing)
  • Irrelevance of traditional services in Google era and lack of understanding of academic libraries’ roles
  • Other service providers
  • Limited change readiness

At the conclusion of the workshops there was some discussion around the draft mission, vision and goals statements, which can be found in the previous blog post.

Further feedback from the University community and public is welcome. Please post comments below.

The Library Senior Staff Strategic Planning Group will consider the SWOT outcomes and feedback a future meeting.

Kylie Percival
Acting Deputy University Librarian

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