University Library Strategic Plan

In February each year the Library produces a strategic planning update, along with other Professional Services, which presents a framework for development for the following five year period. A set of objectives is then produced for each academic cycle, which is derived from the strategic plan and also takes account of ongoing developments in the University and the wider environment.

We have updated our strategic priorities and objectives for the coming year to reflect and support the University’s new strategies. The University Library’s strategic priorities and objectives have also been informed and shaped by the University’s core values of Excellence, Creativity and Impact, and follow the guiding principles of working together, visibly leading, freedom and opportunity to succeed and responding to current and future challenges.

The Library’s strategic priorities and objectives.

Purpose of the University Library

To develop, deliver and promote high quality information resources, services and study environments to support the teaching, research and engagement activity of the university.

The Library's values and operating principles

  • The customer is at the heart of everything we do
  • We are dedicated to providing a friendly, professional and efficient service
  • We are flexible and innovative, ensuring that customer needs are met and exceeded
  • Through training and personal development we ensure the continued excellence and expertise of our staff
  • Our supportive and inclusive team environment encourages all staff to contribute and have a voice
  • We actively engage with the wider community to share, collaborate and inspire
  • We are enthusiastic to support the wider interests of the University and to enhance its reputation
  • We promote accessibility, equality and diversity in all our services

The Library's Strategic Priorities and Objectives

The Library’s Strategic Priorities for the next five years are focused on the following themes:

SP1 - To support the delivery of an outstanding educational experience at Newcastle University
SP2 - To support the University’s commitment to improve access, success and progression among students from under-represented groups
SP3 - To provide effective and impactful support for the University’s research and researchers
SP4 - To support the global ambitions of the University through the provision of culturally diverse, widely accessible and constantly evolving information resources and services
SP5 - To develop, promote and exploit our unique and distinctive collections in the service of education, research and public engagement
SP6 - To demonstrate efficiency, effectiveness and financial sustainability in all our services and operations.

Within each Strategic Priority theme, the Strategic Objectives (SO) are as follows:

SP1 - To support the delivery of an outstanding educational experience at Newcastle University
SO1 Continue to offer engaging, inclusive and technology-rich study environments across the library estate and contribute library expertise in the design of study and social learning spaces across the wider University.
SO2 Engage with colleagues across the Student & Academic Services directorate and with Academic Staff to facilitate the embedding of the new graduate skills framework.
SO3 Enhance and promote student engagement activities to inform and refine service delivery plans.
SO4 Collaborate with colleagues in LTDS to expedite the implementation of the TEL roadmap.
SO5 Work with Faculties and Schools to identify and implement any changes to information resources and services arising from curricula and programme review, new and emerging subjects or interdisciplinary interests.
SO6 Identify and exploit optimal supply and delivery models to meet undergraduate and postgraduate needs for key reading materials, irrespective of format.
SO7 Develop new methods of support for digital and information literacy, including the use of blended learning and work with academic colleagues to embed the development of these skills into the curriculum.
SO8 Develop and refine new communications and marketing strategies for the full range of the Library’s users and stakeholders.
SP2 - To support the University’s commitment to improve access, success and progression among students from under-represented groups
SO9 Deliver engaging and effective outreach activity to local students of all ages, particularly those in PARTNERS schools.
S010 Work to facilitate a smooth transition from school to University by offering online support and library visits to sixth form students in local schools undertaking the extended project qualification (EPQ).
SO11 Support our students to fulfil their potential and successfully transition into HE and progress between programme stages through enhancing and extending the services offered by the Writing Development Centre (WDC).
SP3 - To provide effective and impactful support for the University’s research and researchers
SO12 Engage with University Research Committee (URC) and the wider University research community to communicate and manage the changes in the scholarly communication landscape arising from Plan S and the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Wellcome reviews of OA funding arrangements.
SO13 Work with the University Research Strategy and Development Office to prepare for the forthcoming REF2021 submission, ensuring compliance with UKRI and the Combined Open Access Fund (COAF) requirements.
SO14 Investigate and support new modes of publication for University research, including Open Access monographs.
SO15 Develop and deliver services for research data management (RDM) in collaboration with NU-IT and the University Research Office.
SO16 Contribute to the development and/or implementation of new central research management systems.
SO17 Increase the visibility and use of Special Collections and Archives for engaging and impactful research.
SO18 Contribute to the development of the University’s digital preservation service, particularly in the context of the evolving Research Data infrastructure.
SO19 Develop and promote library services in support of interdisciplinary research, including Digital Scholarship and Digital Cultures. 
SO20 Articulate and promote resources and services to support the development of Newcastle University Centres of Research Excellence (NUCoREs), Newcastle University Academic Track (NUAcT) and the extended portfolio of skills academies.
SO21 Ensure that Library space planning initiatives take account of opportunities to incorporate innovative, interdisciplinary encounter spaces.
SP4 To support the global ambitions of the University through the provision of culturally diverse, widely accessible and constantly evolving information resources and services
SO22 Support the implementation of and develop of services for, emerging research strategies at NewRIIS, NUMed and NU London.
SO23 Work with colleagues at Jisc to facilitate appropriately licenced access to digital resources required for courses delivered or accessed overseas.
SO24 Work in partnership with Academic Schools to support the delivery of academic and research skills training for curricula delivered overseas.
SO25 Develop and refine library support for overseas students studying at the Newcastle campus (e.g. summer immersion programmes).
SO26 Support international reputation building by leveraging the profile of the Library and its distinctive collections and services, for example through promoting the UNESCO Memory of the World Status of the Gertrude Bell Collection.
SO27 Seek to build relationships with national and international libraries with collection strengths which complement ours, for example Literary Archives, Children’s Literature.
SP5 To develop, promote and exploit our unique and distinctive collections in the service of education, research and public engagement.
SO28 Plan for the acquisition and cataloguing of strategically important collections in partnership with academic schools. Immediate priorities are: The Farrell Collection, (Architecture) Ship Building Archive and in partnership with Seven Stories, The Pat Garrett Collection (Children’s Literature.)
SO29 Leverage the impact of our involvement with the Newcastle Poetry Prize and Sid Chaplin Prize to promote access to and wider public engagement with our literary archives.
SO30 Enhance and promote facilities for the effective use of Special Collections & Archives in teaching, research and public engagement.
SO31 Develop and implement a digitisation strategy for archives and other distinctive materials to improve access to collections and address conservation needs.
SO32 Improve exhibition and engagement facilities and develop high-profile exhibition programmes to highlight collection strengths, attract new users and support wider public engagement.
SO33 Work with the DVC to articulate and cost a University-wide strategy to optimise the effective exploitation of Archives and Special Collections in teaching and research.
SO34 Implement a strategic space plan for special collections and archives to ensure optimal storage of existing collections and capacity for acquisition of new collections.
SO35 Work with the Dean of Culture and Creative Arts to enhance our engagement with and contribution to cultural events and projects.
SO36 Develop and maintain strategic partnerships in the city and region to help promote our unique and distinctive collections to the widest possible audience.
SP6 To demonstrate efficiency, effectiveness and financial sustainability in all our services and operations
SO37 Ensure value for money, efficiency and effective outcomes in the ongoing refurbishment and redevelopment of the Philip Robinson Library and other Library sites.
SO38 In collaboration with ESS, develop and implement plans for the consolidation of all Library and University stores, archives and special collections material, including the creation of fit-for-purpose facilities for the storage of the Farrell Archive.
SO39 Review and cost options to migrate our stock security system to RFID in the light of market changes and the increasing obsolescence of our current system.
SO40 Continue to refine and develop strategies for effective engagement with part-time and out of hours staff to improve and extend training and development opportunities for these staff.
SO41 Review, develop and implement strategies for ensuring effective cross -communication between Library sites and across team working throughout the 24/7 period.
SO42 Develop more flexible ways of working across all sites to ensure consistent delivery of high quality customer focused services via both physical and virtual service points.
SO43 Refresh and refine our KPIs and core management information using data visualisations to enhance accessibility, increase impact and improve intelligence gathering on the use of library buildings, resources and services.
SO44 Contribute to a university-wide review of 24/7 provision to ensure a more effective, sustainable and joined-up offer.
SO45 Work across the Professional Service to leverage staff development opportunities afforded by secondments, apprenticeships, traineeships and other learning experiences.
SO46 Work with local, regional and national academic consortia, e.g. Standing Conference of National and & University Libraries (SCONUL), Research Libraries UK (RLUK), Northern Collaboration, North East & Yorkshire Academic Libraries, (NEYAL) , N8 (collaboration of the eight most research intensive Universities in the North of England) to identify and exploit opportunities for shared services.

Jill Taylor-Roe, February 2019