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  • Goal 3. Strengthen KU Libraries' position as an agile, responsive organization capable of continual improvement and change

Goal 3. Strengthen KU Libraries' position as an agile, responsive organization capable of continual improvement and change

Goal 3 image

KU Libraries seek to cultivate a culture that supports innovative projects and new ideas, builds existing and potential strengths, skills and talents and rewards creativity and risk-taking. Our library staff and faculty are an enthusiastic group of talented and responsive partners in teaching, research and learning. By providing opportunities and resources to enhance skills through professional development and cross-training, we help ensure an environment where innovation, creativity, empowerment, strong decision-making and adaptability are all standard practice. Staff and faculty development, combined with effective, integrated communications and well-defined inter-departmental collaborations, will help ensure that we are successful.



  1. Recruitment, re-alignment and retention of excellent staff to maximize organizational effectiveness.
  2. Staff are supported and encouraged to build their skills, talents, strengths and interests in roles that effectively align with the Libraries' current and emerging priorities.
  3. Staff perform in a culture of trust in which they adapt successfully to changes within the organization.
  4. Infrastructure supporting library staff and faculty that allows for agility and success.


Strategies and Actions

STRATEGY 3.A. Enhance hiring practices and invest in learning and development opportunities for all library faculty and staff to address the evolving needs of the organization.

  • Recruit new faculty and staff using methods congruent with Hiring for Excellence standards, strengths and behavior-based selection techniques.
  • Implement an Individualized Development Plan (IDP) program for all employees.
  • Allocate resources and development funding to support staff at all levels.
  • Design and facilitate an expanding program of opportunities for strengthening leadership, management and supervisory skills.

STRATEGY 3.B. Strengthen and support librarians and staff in their roles as leaders in technology and scholarly communication as well as partners in research and instructional activities.

  • Develop and deliver learning opportunities to foster knowledge of current trends in research and scholarly communications.
  • Provide instructional programming on tools and concepts for the delivery of online and distance learning.
  • Develop a comprehensive professional development and continuing education program related to pedagogy/learning theories and integrating information resources and research skills into the curriculum.
  • Offer opportunities for fellowships, practicums and/or internships focused on library technology innovation.
  • Participate in regional and national conferences, forums and inter-institutional partnerships that advance change in scholarly communication.

STRATEGY 3.C. Increase knowledge of colleagues' skills, strengths and expertise to facilitate innovative workflow solutions, while fostering a diverse and inclusive environment.

  • Create and maintain a dynamic database of staff talent, skills, education and training.
  • Develop an interactive organizational chart with detailed staff profiles and responsibilities that visualizes how the organization interacts in both professional responsibilities and service.
  • Create informal and formal venues where library faculty and staff can share their research and expertise with colleagues.
  • Expand mentoring opportunities for staff library-wide.
  • Increase participation in and pursue organizational applications of strengths-based programs and principles.
  • Develop and implement a sustainable model of professional development that fosters a diverse and inclusive environment for Libraries student employees, staff, and faculty.
  • Promote diversity within our organizational culture, in alignment with our established values.

STRATEGY 3.D. Transform the way in which working groups, task forces and committees form and operate in order to support accountability and efficiency in team-based work.

  • Develop a comprehensive training program for best practices in group-based decision-making, project management, meeting facilitation, assessment and reporting.
  • Select team members in ways that ensure appropriate skills and strengths are represented and aligned with the charge.
  • Ensure that all committees, task forces and work groups receive clearly defined and appropriate decision-making authority and sufficient and sustained support from sponsors and Libraries' leadership.

STRATEGY 3.E. Develop and sustain communications structures that support transparent decision-making and agile, collaborative implementation of new projects and initiatives.

  • Employ policies, procedures and structures that cultivate effective knowledge management practices to shape, communicate, disseminate and store the Libraries' information.
  • Identify and implement appropriate tools, technologies and systems to enhance and support knowledge management goals.
  • Provide behavioral and technological training necessary for staff at all levels to communicate openly and build trust.

Key metrics by which we will gauge progress:

  1. Percentage of personnel needs filled by realignment and retraining of existing staff (Outcome 1)
  2. Assessment of all searches and their adherence to Hiring for Excellence practices (Outcome 1)
  3. Number of staff participating in training related to group process improvement (Outcome 1)
  4. Number of Individual Development Plans (IDPs) created (Outcome 1 & 2)
  5. Number of teams formed using strengths and skill-based selection (Outcome 2)
  6. Number of staff engaging in leadership training opportunities (Outcome 2 & 3)
  7. Team and committee evaluations and reports demonstrating enhanced process and workflow (Outcome 3)
  8. Usability testing and usage statistics to gauge functionality of Intranet and other information management tools (Outcome 4)

Contact us

Christy McWard
Director of Communications & Advancement

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