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2018-2023 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 2018-2023 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.

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.
  • Developed university-adopted licensing principles to influence negotiations for our largest contracts and moved toward more sustainable subscription and publishing models.
  • Initiated implementation of Faculty Open Access Policy to increase public availability of UW faculty research publications.
  • UW Tacoma Library began development of a grant-funded information dashboard to measure and promote open access scholarship at the Tacoma campus.
  • UW Bothell Library expanded faculty awareness of open access and fair use through exhibits, a film screening, and blogging.
  • Improved research lifecycle support through assessment of STEM and Health Sciences faculty and graduate-student needs.
  • Embarked on concept phase for Open Scholarship Commons, a designated library space to foster digital and open scholarship for students and faculty.
  • Enabled UW students, faculty, and researchers to securely collect, store and discover clinical research data through support for tools such as REDCap and Leaf.

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.
  • Tri-campus libraries expanded support for open pedagogy and open educational resources through faculty-development, student-authored texts, a dedicated Open Education Librarian, and the launch of Pressbooks faculty authoring platform.
  • Facilitated the Graduate Student Research Institute and Research Data Management online courses to equip graduate students with critical research skills.
  • Published instructional-support content in Canvas to support information-related teaching and learning goals in the UW Seattle Expository Writing Program.
  • Created targeted, collaborative outreach and programming opportunities through Libraries Dawg Daze and other events to help students learn about library services that contribute to academic and personal success.
  • Developed targeted student learning opportunities, through unique programs like Libraries Dawg Daze, and the East Asia Library karaoke language learning sessions.
  • Enhanced library facilities through improved user spaces and expanded hours at Suzzallo-Allen, Friday Harbor, Music, Engineering, Odegaard, Foster Business, at UW Tacoma libraries.
  • Increased number of student employee scholarships through Advancement efforts.

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.
  • Prioritized the preservation and digitization of archival papers and photographs representing diverse collections, including drawings by Eddie Sato, photographs from the Seattle Camera Club, and more than 100 archival items from Jewish, Pacific Northwest community, and the university.
  • Enhanced access to rare archival materials documenting the Lushootseed language and Native American linguistics through digitizing recordings projects.
  • Collaborated with faculty and students to create and collect oral histories on Japanese American and Latino experiences in the Tacoma community and on community leaders who contributed to the founding and development of the UW Tacoma campus.
  • Launched the student and faculty curated “Recommended Reads for Equity” collection in Odegaard Library, and tri-campus student reading programs focused on equity and social justice.
  • Hosted and partnered on numerous inclusion and accessibility-focused programs, including the launch of an environmental equity awareness project, supporting transcription and close-captioning for disability communities, and usability and accessibility improvements in Libraries digital systems and physical spaces.
  • Implemented a range of equity-informed hiring practices for Libraries searches.
  • Provided sexual harassment prevention training and implicit bias training to all Libraries staff.

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.
  • Expanded support for faculty and student research needs through investments in large datasets and digital collections, including historic fire insurance maps, business-establishment and consumer household data, and 40,000 e-books published in the Chinese Republican Era.
  • Increased access to rare music scores through for researchers worldwide through digitization and preservation efforts.
  • Established new workflows to digitally preserve valuable archival materials from the Pacific Northwest Marches and Rallies collection, the Joseph Rock ethnographic films, and Washington State Jewish Archive’s oral histories, ensuring availability to current and future users.
  • Developed multi-institutional partnerships to increase access, share expertise and costs, and to expand access to library collections in a range of languages and formats.
  • Partnered with 60 U.S. and Canadian research libraries on the CRL World Press Archive, which will digitize 5 million pages of underrepresented international newspapers from the early and mid-20th century.

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.
  • Completed first-ever independent evaluation about Libraries communications, fundraising, role, and impact with more than 90 staff, Friends of the Libraries, UW Press, and community philanthropists.
  • Provided third year of Libraries Growth Opportunity Learning Development (GOLD) training for 11 Libraries staff. This in-depth learning experience aims to strengthen personal confidence, teach self-management, foster change management skills, and improve interpersonal skills.
  • Partnered with UW Office for Faculty Advancement to launch recruitment best practices training series for Libraries staff.