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ODU Libraries Strategic Plan, 2023-2028

Learn about the Libraries' 5-year plan and our related accomplishments!

Focus Area IV: Forward-Focused, Together

A strong library depends on a workforce that feels heard, respected, and appreciated, and that has opportunities to learn, grow, and create like those offered to the Libraries’ users. This Focus Area is intended to address the Libraries’ SWOT Weakness in Organizational Effectiveness; by building a stronger organization and developing staff to be fully engaged and inspire confidence in our users, we will assure that the ODU Libraries are fully capable of supporting the complex needs of students and faculty at an R1 research university. Making progress in this area will also help the Libraries address SWOT Threats related to Financial Resources, as a positive work environment and opportunities to learn and engage can sometimes offset deficiencies in salaries at the University level. The Libraries will measure progress towards this Focus Area by implementing regular surveys of staff and users on internal climate and effect of service.

Goal IV.1. The Libraries will assess workplace climate and take steps to address deficiencies identified through that assessment.

Strategy IV.1.A.  The Libraries will identify and implement tool(s) for workplace climate assessment, conduct assessments on a regular schedule, and use results to plan and implement improvements.  

  • Identify appropriate tool(s) and/or existing data for assessing workplace climate (e.g., ClimateQual, COACHE) 

  • Schedule and conduct assessments, analyze data, and make and implement improvement plans based on results

  • Employee surveys will show steady improvement on key indicators, to be determined in implementation/improvement plans

Strategy IV.1.B.  The Libraries will make strategic investments in professional development and employee appreciation for staff and librarians. 

  • Assess allocation and use of professional development funding and set a goal for total percentage of professional development funds expended each year

  • Create a program for identifying professional development opportunities and sharing with all Libraries staff

  • Enhance processes for staff and librarians to access professional development funding for activities that contribute to the Libraries’ strategic goals

  • The Libraries will continue to assess and improve its employee appreciation program, building on changes undertaken in FY23

Goal IV.2. The Libraries will communicate our successes, exceptional professionals and value to the academic community by developing comprehensive communication and branding plans.

Strategy IV.2.A.  The Libraries will develop a comprehensive Communication Plan. 

  • ODU Libraries will develop and implement comprehensive communication and branding plans that will define key messaging, communication channels, and responsible parties. The plan will be used to:

  • raise awareness of Libraries’ resources, services, and expertise and encourage academic exploration

  • share the Libraries’ value proposition with potential partners and funders

  • demonstrate the Libraries’ contributions to ODU’s strategic goals and initiatives

  • provide Libraries staff with consistent messaging they can use in communications with ODU faculty, staff, students, community users, and potential partners and funders.

Strategy IV.2.B.  The Libraries will create branding and logos for use with programming and outreach. 

  • The Libraries will research, develop, and implement a comprehensive branding plan that defines approved logos, color palette, and typography and aligns with ODU brand standards managed by University Strategic Communication and Marketing. The plan will provide for a consistent look and feel for Libraries content, web presence, and promotional materials which generates an identity that welcomes academic exploration and donor support.

Goal IV.3. The Libraries will systematically evaluate structures, policies, and workflows for opportunities to improve organizational effectiveness.

Strategy IV.3.A.  The Libraries will create a robust process for identifying, prioritizing, and evaluating policies and operational areas for improvement. 

  • Complete a full inventory and gap analysis of existing Libraries policies and procedures

  • Create process for evaluation of existing policies and procedures that emphasizes flexibility/adaptability, succession/redundancy for critical functions, efficiency, reduction in bottlenecks, and effectiveness at achieving stated goals, and includes mechanisms for staff and user feedback

  • Potential initial improvement projects include:

  • Review and reallocate resources in key infrastructure areas, including Systems, Budget and Administration, and Resource Description for electronic resources

  • Streamline internal workflows related to event planning and outreach

  • Align service models across library locations and departments to emphasize a consistent user experience

Strategy IV.3.B.  The Libraries will create a comprehensive succession plan that allows for ongoing professional development, appropriate redundancy of skills and knowledge, and adaptability for staffing vacancies. 

  • Identify critical roles/functions where succession plans are needed and assess adequacy of succession plans developed in previous years for those roles

  • Create a master succession plan that covers all critical roles/functions identified

  • Conduct “table-top” exercises that test the adequacy of the succession plans developed

  • Implement succession plans as opportunities arise (through planned or unexpected position vacancies) and assess their effectiveness/adequacy through post-succession debriefing with individuals involved

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