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Syracuse University Libraries Strategic Plan 2018–2022







A. The Library as Innovation Hub
Goal 1: Support a Campus-wide Ecosystem for Innovation, Invention, and Entrepreneurship

Goal 2: Create Innovative New Service Spaces

B. The Student Experience
Goal 3: Ensure Student Engagement and Success

Goal 4: Provide Communal, Collaborative, and Contemplative Spaces

C. Discover and Research
Goal 5: Enable World-class Research and Scholarship

Goal 6: Develop Research Services

Goal 7: Foster a Digital Humanities Community

D. One Library for One University
Goal 8: Enhance Diversity and Inclusion

Goal 9: Promote Library Use for Veterans and Military Families

Goal 10: Support International Students and Programs




Syracuse University Libraries Strategic Directions 2016–2021

Strategic Plan 2018-2022 [PDF]


David Seaman, Dean of Libraries and University Librarian


DeAnn Buss, Director of Information Systems
Terriruth Carrier, Assistant Dean for Programs, Analytics, and Facilities Management
Robert Cleary, Head, Acquisitions and Cataloging
Melinda Dermody, Head, Access & Resource Sharing
Linda Dickerson Hartsock, Executive Director, Blackstone LaunchPad
Nicolette A. Dobrowolski, Assistant Director of Collections and Access Services, Special Collections Research Center
Roberta Gwilt, Associate Dean, Access and Resource Management
Tom House, Facilities and Security Coordinator
Dale King, Assistant Dean of Administration Services
Meg Mason, University Archivist, Special Collections Research Center
Lisa Moeckel, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Education and Librarian Personnel Administrator
Lucy Mulroney, Senior Director, Special Collections Research Center
Kelley Parker, Executive Assistant to the Dean of Libraries and University Librarian
Janet Pease, Head, Collections and Research Services
Lesley Pease, Head, Learning Commons
Alice Pfeiffer, Director, Syracuse University Press
Suzanne Preate, Digital Initiatives Librarian
Tom Shanahan, University Records Manager
Russell Silverstein, Head, Library Information Technology Services
Ronald Thiele, Assistant Dean for Advancement
Scott Warren, Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship


Lynn Wilcox, Syracuse University Press


Syracuse University Libraries aspire to be central to the intellectual life of the campus, to student success, and to the University’s culture of innovation. We advance learning, creativity, community, and research for One University.


As a strategic asset at the heart of the University, the Libraries provide information services, responsive collections, knowledgeable staff, and accessible spaces to all members of our community. We create safe and welcoming environments that encourage intellectual exploration, enable the creation of new knowledge, catalyze collaborations, and advance the University’s teaching, learning, and research mission.


Bird Library exteriorOne University needs at its center One Library as a potent force in the growth of teaching and research excellence across the institution; as a communal hub for students and faculty to gather and work; as a repository for knowledge and cultural heritage; and as a showcase for our university’s academic and creative endeavors. Syracuse University Libraries are entrepreneurial, welcoming, collaborative, and of service to all.

The Libraries curate a rich cultural and scholarly record, from 4,000 year old clay tablets to 21st century digital data sets; our buildings provide contemplative and collaborative spaces where communities of users gather to research, innovate, socialize, and study; our online collections and tools make library resources available at all hours and in all networked locations globally; and our staff combine a wide range of expertise with a strong service ethic and a welcoming demeanor.

Recent improvements in the Syracuse University Libraries have had an immediate and significant return on investment: Bird Library is now the busiest student space on campus, for example, and the Carnegie Reading Room is again one of the University’s most beautiful interior spaces. The King + King Architecture Library in Slocum Hall has been thoroughly renovated, and new student success spaces have been built in Bird Library to capitalize on that iconic building’s popularity, centrality, and versatility. Ongoing renovations have been accompanied by investments in new 21st century librarian skills, including recent hires in the areas of information literacy, inclusion and accessibility, web design, digital humanities, STEM education, multimedia collections, and online publishing. The Syracuse University Libraries are an investment-grade enterprise through which the academic, social, and cultural life of the entire campus can be positively impacted and transformed.


The Syracuse University Libraries1 comprise four main library buildings on campus:

  • Bird Library (1972), which houses the majority of our staff and many of the general circulating collections, as well as the Special Collections Research Center, University Archives, the Learning Commons, the Maps Room, media collections, Pages Café, and a variety of meeting rooms, classrooms, study and service spaces, and exhibits areas.
  • Carnegie Library (1905), which also holds a significant portion of our circulating collections, and includes a stunning main reading room for silent study.
  • The Belfer Audio Archive (1982), home to one of the largest historical recorded sound collections in the country (over 500,000 recordings on wax cylinders, disks, and tapes).
  • The King + King Architecture Library (renovated 2018) in Slocum Hall -- our remaining school or college-based library.  

The fifth library building, The Facility (2012), is a high-tech, high-density storage facility for low-use library materials, with rapid delivery from its location near South Campus.

In addition to library services, the Syracuse University Libraries portfolio also consists of the following University services:

  • Records Management, located in Hawkins Warehouse and dedicated to the orderly management of all the University’s many business records.
  • Syracuse University Press, located on Skytop Road and a significant publisher of scholarly books and publications of regional interest.


The Syracuse University Libraries are organizing our programs, staffing, advancement, and annual assessment activities around the following areas of excellence outlined in this Strategic Plan2. We have a tradition of data-driven decision-making, from the metrics and evaluations run by our Program Management Center to the close analysis of patterns of use for subscription databases, which ensures that collections budgets are being spent wisely and for maximum impact. Libraries staff are committed to extending our assessment activities to be an ongoing and integrated program at all levels, covering collections, services, spaces and staffing needs. To this end we have established annual assessment metrics for our goals and are making them a regular part of our Library Management Team conversations.


A. The Library as Innovation Hub

We challenge ourselves to be innovative in our collection development and service offerings, including a new Digital Library Program that accelerates the digitization of library collections, and drives new types of scholarship. We invest broadly in the workforce a 21st century library requires, with new positions in online publishing, digital humanities, and accessibility and inclusion, and we have seen recent success in opening up our spaces to innovative new services including the Blackstone LaunchPad and the Center for Learning and Student Success. As the Arch will advance health, wellness, and recreation for the campus community, the Libraries will drive academic success, research innovation, and learning excellence.

Goal 1: Support a Campus-wide Ecosystem for Innovation, Invention, and Entrepreneurship

Objective 1.1: Establish the Libraries as the innovation hub for campus, including new built space to support this role

Strategy: Engage with the faculty exploring the entrepreneurship ecosystem as a “big idea” for Syracuse University.

Strategy: Double the space of the LaunchPad in Bird Library to better support mentoring, programming, and the burgeoning communities forming there.

Strategy: Fundraise to provide student innovation and entrepreneurship services through the LaunchPad; propose ongoing support from the university for the LaunchPad, given its success and its broad cross-campus support.

Strategy: Explore other innovative campus-wide activities that would benefit from a new central and interdisciplinary hub, such as digital humanities.

Goal 2: Create Innovative New Service Spaces

Objective 2.1: Design a Faculty Research Commons space in Bird Library to foster faculty research and interdisciplinary work

Strategy: Determine campus needs for this service space through survey and focus group sessions.

Strategy: Design and provide cost estimate for the service space.

Strategy: Engage in a fundraising campaign to support a Research Commons to support both faculty and student success as part of Invest Syracuse campaign.

Objective 2.2: Design a Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence in Bird Library, to help transform teaching and learning through mentoring, collaboration, and advocacy

Strategy: Partner with Academic Affairs, Information Technology Services, and others to define this service area.

Strategy: Conduct a needs assessment to define faculty needs and desires in this area.

Strategy: Plan space layout, staffing, and equipment needs.

Objective 2.3: Design a Multimedia Center in the Belfer Audio Archive or Bird Library to provide audio and video studios, equipment loans, and expert staff

Strategy: Partner with Newhouse, Visual and Performing Arts, and other schools/colleges to define this service area.

Strategy: Conduct a needs assessment to define faculty needs in this area.

Strategy: Plan space layout, staffing, and equipment needs.

B. The Student Experience

The Libraries are helping to redefine the student experience at Syracuse University through renovated spaces in which students want to gather, study, innovate, learn, and socialize, new services, and additional expertise. The Libraries are deeply committed in our spaces and programs to student success, providing them with safe, welcoming spaces and the collections and equipment they require. 

Goal 3: Ensure Student Engagement and Success

Objective 3.1: Increase student academic success and improve retention

Strategy: Provide more tutoring space in Bird Library. Engage in a fundraising campaign with Academic Affairs for an expansion of the Center for Learning and Student Success, given the success of the operation and its broad cross-campus impact.

Strategy: Create an Information Literacy program as a part of the University's pledge to "identify and develop a set of core competencies that give all students the critical skills that inform academic, personal, and professional success."

Strategy: Build upon existing relationships with other areas that support student academic excellence on campus such as the Center for Learning and Student Success, the Writing Center, and Information Technology Services.

Strategy: Explore other innovative campus-wide activities that would benefit from a new central and interdisciplinary hub, such as digital humanities.

Objective 3.2: Expand engagement and outreach efforts to students

Strategy: Integrate library expertise and collections into Syracuse University's learning management system (Blackboard), and online learning/course delivery platforms.

Strategy: Employ a direct mail outreach to incoming students prior to their arrival.

Strategy: Form student affinity groups, such as library student employees, or student inventors and entrepreneurs who founded companies with assistance from the Blackstone LaunchPad in Bird Library, and engage with them during and after their time on campus.

Strategy: Continue extracurricular events and programming to complement the academic work happening in our spaces, such as the Human Library, poetry readings, lectures, student-generated events, art shows, etc.

Objective 3.3Enhance the library student worker experience

Strategy: Create opportunities for student workers to use their knowledge and interests to create projects that enhance their professional experience.

Strategy: Maximize the role of student employees in our assessments and usability testing, and help them be advocates for library services.

Objective 3.4: Promote the use of Special Collections materials in the undergraduate curriculum

Strategy: Hire a Chief Curator, who will further enhance and develop the curriculum geared toward undergraduates.

Strategy: Partner with faculty to co-teach courses and class sessions around collections available in Special Collections.

Strategy: Identify and secure sustainable funding for the Special Collections Research Center Faculty Fellows program. 

Goal 4: Provide Communal, Collaborative, and Contemplative Spaces

Objective 4.1: Leverage the Libraries’ heavily used physical spaces to showcase the scholarly and creative output of the institution

Strategy: Determine the best locations for new flat screens and exhibit cases.

Strategy: Explore the feasibility of creating additional exhibition space in Bird and Carnegie libraries.

Strategy: Make fuller use of the archives and special collections exhibition cases in Crouse-Hinds Hall, Lubin House, and the Goldstein Alumni and Faculty Center.

Strategy: Invite the Syracuse University community to display student and faculty art and other creative expressions in our spaces, including the Bird Library’s first floor Learning Commons and the fourth floor Biblio Gallery.

Objective 4.2Leverage the Libraries’ heavily used online spaces to showcase the scholarly and creative output of the institution

Strategy: Develop our institutional repository (SURFACE) to provide global open access to our scholarly, professional, and scientific output.

Strategy: In partnership with the Office of Research, broaden disciplinary representation in Experts@Syracuse, our faculty profiles system.

Strategy: Serve as a beta site for developing a link between Experts@Syracuse (the faculty profiles system) and SURFACE (the repository of faculty scholarship).

Strategy: Create a “digital gallery” on our website to showcase scholarly and creative output.

Objective 4.3: Plan and align library spaces to meet student needs

Strategy: Add furniture, equipment, and accessories (such as dry erase boards) to meet needs in student study rooms and in gathering spaces throughout library spaces.

Strategy: Renovate the electronic classroom in Bird Library and make it available for student use when not needed for teaching and professional development.

Strategy: Investigate space needs of atypical student populations, such as commuter, returning, and University College students.

C. Discovery & Research

Advancing discovery and research is a core mission of a research library. As we have done for 150 years, we build and curate the collections that a world-class research institution needs, and provide the services that make our massive holdings convenient to use. Recent innovations in global access to Syracuse University scholarship through an institutional repository (SURFACE) are showing success, with two million downloads to date, and we are a partner in the development of various new research services. Additional faculty spaces are being planned in Bird Library, including a Research Commons and a Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence.

Goal 5: Enable World-Class Research and Scholarship

Objective 5.1: Increase student academic success and improve retention

Strategy: Build 21st-century research collections and services suitable for an R1 institution

Strategy: In partnership with the faculty, balance the print collections held on main campus and those held in The Facility to allow for optimal use of library space.

Strategy: Add radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips to all on-campus library books to allow better inventory control and self-checkout.

Strategy: Liaise with University leadership to ensure that library holdings are in line with the research interests of the 100 new “Invest Syracuse” faculty hires.

Strategy: Accelerate bulk processing of physical collections through temporary hires and strategical outsourcing.

Objective 5.2: Provide enduring access to physical and digital research collections

Strategy: Enlarge our high-density storage facility to safeguard the world-class research collections in the Special Collections Research Center.

Strategy: Participate in regional and national initiatives such as HathiTrust and the Eastern Academic Scholars' Trust to provide greater access to research collections.

Strategy: Provide additional resources to Interlibrary Loan and on-campus delivery.

Strategy: Create opportunities for student workers to use their knowledge and interests to create projects that enhance their professional experience.

Strategy: Maximize the role of student employees in our assessments and usability testing, and help them be advocates for library services.

Objective 5.3: Develop a Digital Library Program for the digitization of collections

Strategy: Create and charge a Digital Library Program Team to address workflow, define expectations, articulate infrastructure needs, inventory assets, define submission process, and review projects.

Strategy: Invest in infrastructure, technologies, and staffing to move digital projects to an integrative, sustainable Digital Library Program.

Strategy: Hire a Digital Library Program Director to provide vision, leadership, and management for the program.

Strategy: Hire a Digital Preservation Librarian to develop and support library-wide digital preservation plans, policies, and procedures to safeguard collections and ensure long-term access for research and discovery.

Objective 5.4: Develop an open access publishing program

Strategy: With the Senate Committee on the Libraries, propose an open access policy for Syracuse University.

Strategy: Partner with the Syracuse University Press on issues surrounding open monograph publishing and Open Educational Resources.

Strategy: Strengthen the activities of the Syracuse Unbound online publishing imprint.

Objective 5.5: Invest in library staff who support the life cycle of research and discovery

Strategy: Expand our commitment to professional development and training, thereby deepening the knowledge we apply to building collections and facilitating scholarship.

Strategy: Provide resources to encourage innovative staff projects.

Strategy: Recruit talented individuals with expertise in new and developing areas of teaching, research, and functional services.

Goal 6: Develop Research Services

Objective 6.1: Support grants compliance needs at the University

Strategy: In partnership with the Office of Sponsored Programs, increase faculty compliance with the National Institutes of Health mandate for deposit of grant-generated scholarship into their PubMed Central archive.

Strategy: In partnership with the Office of Sponsored Programs, increase faculty compliance with the National Science Foundation mandate to deposit research articles into their Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR).

Objective 6.2: Support a broader array of research outputs

Strategy: Explore with campus partners solutions for the preservation and access of research datasets produced at Syracuse University.

Strategy: In partnership with the Office of Research, broaden disciplinary representation in Experts@Syracuse, our faculty profiles system.

Strategy: Serve as a beta site for developing a link between Experts@Syracuse (the faculty profiles system) and SURFACE (the repository of faculty scholarship).

Strategy: Create a “digital gallery” on our website to showcase scholarly and creative output.

Goal 7: Foster a Digital Humanities Community

Objective 7.1: Support digital humanities projects from students and faculty

Strategy: Hire a librarian with expertise in data visualization and analytics to work with faculty and students on Digital Humanities projects.

Strategy: Expand the Digital Scholarship Space in Bird Library, in partnership with Information Technology Services, to provide more services and to foster digital scholarship communities.

Strategy: Define and communicate a service model to enable data visualization and text mining of library collections.

Strategy: Explore with campus partners technology solutions for online access and preservation of digital projects.

Strategy: Promote the digital humanities through the library’s repository, newsletter, website, and through events that showcase digital humanities issues and projects.

D. One Library for One University

Libraries are inclusive places, and our services and staff serve the whole campus and the surrounding community. We are working to ensure that our buildings, collections, and websites are as accessible as possible, and the success we have had in making our physical spaces comfortable, safe, and inviting, 24 hours a day, makes us a destination location for students and faculty on campus. This also gives us opportunities to use those busy spaces to showcase campus excellence. New programs are also underway, including a strategic focus on promoting library use for veterans and military families, and to more fully support international students and our Syracuse University Abroad programs.

Goal 8: Enhance Diversity and Inclusion

Objective 8.1: Be a strong contributor in a range of campus diversity and inclusion initiatives

Strategy: Participate in the Syracuse University Information and Communication Technology Compliance Committee.

Strategy: Remediate for accessibility the most heavily visited Syracuse University Libraries public websites.

Strategy: Develop an inventory of inclusion and diversity activities in the Libraries.

Strategy: Develop awareness of campus activity regarding inclusion and diversity.

Objective 8.2: Provide welcoming, accessible library spaces to the diverse groups we serve

Strategy: Establish a diversity and accessibility review for each new space renovation.

Strategy: Upgrade the Special Collections Research Center reading room with new ADA-compliant furniture.

Strategy: Evaluate the technology and furniture in the Assistive Technology Room.

Strategy: Explore the need for an interfaith/meditation/ wellness space in the library.

Objective 8.3: Provide access to all of our library resources to the diverse groups we serve

Strategy: Develop best practices and training for reformatting operations and accessibility testing.

Strategy: Ensure availability of accessible course reserves and other materials.

Strategy: Identify and implement tools, resources, training, and services that support the library’s alternate reformatting service.

Objective 8.4: Provide programs and training for Libraries staff to strengthen cultural competencies and awareness

Strategy: Establish a Libraries Inclusion Team to provide programs and training for library staff.

Strategy: Seek funding to sustain and expand the Resident Librarian Program (a national diversity initiative).

Strategy: Provide onboarding and staff supervisor training on diversity and inclusion.

Goal 9: Promote Library Use for Veterans and Military Families

Objective 9.1: Provide resources and services to enable the veterans and military population to achieve their academic objectives

Strategy: Hire a Veterans and Military Families librarian to strengthen ties and services to this community.

Strategy: Develop an instructional program specific to veterans and military families by better understanding their needs.

Strategy: Continue to participate in the Warrior Scholar Program.

Objective 9.2: Provide creative and artistic opportunities for veterans

Strategy: Establish a Syracuse University Press Creative Writing Prize for veterans.

Strategy: Partner with IVMF for exhibits in their upcoming new building.

Goal 10: Support International Students and Programs

Objective 10.1: Better understand what international students expect from a library

Strategy: Work with international students to help us understand their needs.

Strategy: Expand our relationship with the Slutzker Center for International Services, and other groups who work with international students.

Objective 10.2: Improve international students’ awareness of Libraries resources and services

Strategy: Explore a Personal Librarian program for incoming international students (in which each student would be given the contact information for a library staff member).

Strategy: Continue to be a focal point for global activities across campus such as Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Strategy: Identify ways to use our collections to better engage our international students and showcase global perspectives.

Objective 10.3: Provide enhanced library services to Syracuse University Abroad programs

Strategy: Engage with Syracuse University Abroad leadership to understand needs and opportunities.

Strategy: Design and designate a space in Bird Library for Syracuse University Abroad promotion and outreach.

Strategy: Designate Syracuse University Abroad an area of focus for the Outreach Librarian.

Appendix 1: Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, and Results (SOAR)


SOAR is a strengths-based strategic planning framework that grew out of the Appreciative Inquiry technique for organizational development. SOAR focuses on possibilities:

  • Strengths: recognizing what works.
  • Opportunities: uncovering what could be improved.
  • Aspirations: articulating a vision for the future from the perspective of stakeholders.
  • Results: ensuring that activities are assessed and changed when necessary to achieve success.

Strengths: The best of what is working.

Syracuse University Libraries contribute daily to the teaching, learning, and research success of our students and faculty through a variety of services and programs.

Expert staff and extensive services in-person and online

Expertise and leadership in areas relevant to scholarship, including copyright, digital humanities, research reputation management, data services, open access, accessibility and inclusion, and others.

Strong and active liaison and outreach services to faculty, academic support offices, and many other campus organizations and entities.

Our information literacy/instruction efforts consistently reach a large number of students. Research shows that such instruction contributes to student retention and success.3

The award-winning Syracuse University Press provides a publishing outlet for our faculty and staff and contributes to the University’s positive international reputation.

Safe, welcoming, collaborative spaces

Bird Library is one of the most heavily used spaces on campus, 24 hours a day.

Carnegie Library is increasingly in demand as a quiet study and reading space.

The Libraries are sought out as a desirable location for academic partnerships (e.g., Center for Learning and Student Success, Blackstone LaunchPad, Digital Scholarship Space).

Strong Research Collections

Our Special Collections Research Center offers unique, world-class research collections and the University’s own archives, used for scholarship, programming, exhibits, and instruction.

Our institutional repository, SURFACE, reached two million downloads in 2017.

The Facility provides state-of-the-art storage, retrieval, and preservation of our scholarly resources in proximity to campus.

Our Interlibrary Loan and library resource delivery services are highly utilized and consistently praised.

Activities and Partnerships

We host numerous lectures, exhibitions, and other events, and our premier spaces (including the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, the Lemke Room, and the Spector Classroom) are highly sought after.

Our Learning Commons sustains a variety of partnerships and programs across campus, exemplifying the Libraries’ collaborative culture. 

Opportunities: Things that we can build on; stakeholder interests.

The combined talents of the Libraries and the Press position us to establish a new suite of publishing and open access services for faculty and students.

Additional investment in our information literacy instruction services will enable greater and deeper direct contributions to increasing student learning outcomes, potentially through a Libraries-based campus-wide program.

The Libraries are well-positioned to add value to new and growing programs through our unique services and delivery methods. Such programs include those focusing on veterans and non-traditional populations, and the growing number of online courses in all disciplines.

Through investment in professional development and cross-unit collaborations for our staff, we can expand and enhance our services and programs.

We can capitalize and build upon our relationships with NY3Rs/Empire Library Network projects, Big 11 libraries, North East Research Libraries Consortium, Eastern Academic Scholars Trust, and other consortia to create stronger library partnerships and collaborations across the region and state. Such partnerships might result in budget efficiencies, shared print collections, the ability to repurpose space currently occupied by collections also held elsewhere, etc.

We can increase our ability to impact student outcomes and help lead the development of new research areas by expanding our engagement across campus in activities that meld with the mission of the Libraries, including:

• Blackstone LaunchPad

• Digital Humanities

• Student Research

• Experiential Learning

• Academic Strategic Plan projects

• Middle States study


We can identify, understand, and promote our signature services to facilitate and favorably impact the work of students, faculty, and staff.

Aspirations: Where do we want to be and how do we want to be seen in the future?

The Libraries aspire to fully meet the goals articulated in the Academic Strategic Plan, specifically to “advance University libraries’ capacity to support student/faculty research and scholarship, promote information literacy, assure accessibility to a full range of information resources, and lead the way in envisioning new roles for the 21st century academic library.” (Academic Strategic Plan Trajectory to Excellence).

The Libraries will be a locus for expertise in and facilitation of new forms of publishing, e.g. multi-modal and cross-disciplinary publishing.

The Libraries are valued throughout the University as essential and integral contributors to the intellectual, social, and cultural fabric of the institution as a leading collaborator with and support of student and faculty creativity, research, and scholarship.

The Libraries are understood to be the center of expertise in information literacy education, and this instruction is fully integrated into the University’s curriculum.

Libraries spaces are state-of-the-art, flexible, and adaptable to varied and changing modes of research and learning.

Results: How do we measure our success and impact on the University?

We will contribute positively to student learning outcomes, tracked over the student’s time at Syracuse University.

We will produce a documented impact on student achievement/ success through our information literacy initiative.

We will achieve increased funding and the correction of our structural deficit through University and donor contributions.

We will sustain robust budgets for collections and operating expenses. We will be the center of and active partner and participant in the research process.

We will be the center of and active partner and participant in the cultural and scholarly conversation on campus.

We will increase scholarly output/publishing/SURFACE submissions.

We will provide expanded online content from locally digitized content.

We will achieve an improved reputation as measured through standard library and academic ratings (Association of Research Libraries rankings, librarians publishing and presenting, etc.).

The Libraries will catalyze greater scholarly interaction and dialog through a remixing of content from the institutional repository (SURFACE), Experts@Syracuse, and other online resources and services.

Appendix 2: Strategic Facilities Reinvestment Plan

The physical presence of the campus library is as important as ever, and Bird Library in 2018 is the busiest academic space on campus, the most heavily used computer cluster measured by annual logins, and includes a very popular dining facility, Pages Café. We are reimagining library spaces to better meet the needs of students and faculty, and collaborating with Campus Planning, Design, and Construction to address maintenance and infrastructure deficits.

The following strategic investments will allow us to safeguard our collections, capitalize on the students and faculty who flock to our existing spaces, respond to the Campus Master Framework, and advance the themes and goals outlined in this Plan.

Renovation and expansion

Build an addition to Bird Library to accommodate our growing role in research and student life. This could be on the Waverly side of the building as envisioned in the Campus Master Framework, or in filling the area between the library and the Einhorn Family Walk (to allow for second floor access to Bird Library directly off the Walk), or a new building joining Bird Library and the Schine Student Center (which could become the front door to both buildings, joined to the Einhorn Family Walk).

A major addition to Bird Library could become the central, interdisciplinary hub for innovation, invention, and entrepreneurship on campus, and could include additional space to accommodate student success services and faculty spaces. Current services such as the Center for Learning and Student Success and the Blackstone LaunchPad have demonstrated the impact that central hubs in the library can have, creating vibrant communities from across all of our schools and colleges in friendly, neutral, accessible spaces.

Construct Module 2 of The Facility, which will allow us to safeguard our world-class research collections and relieve space pressure in Hawkins, Bird Library, the Belfer Audio Archive, and Module 1 of The Facility. This project is shovel ready, with construction plans completed and half the cost already secured by the Libraries.

Complete the renovations to Carnegie Library—the final phase involves renovating the stacks areas. Plans to remove, store, and then return all the books are in place.

Remove and replace old carpet throughout Bird Library, and take care of any needed remediation.

High impact investments in existing library space

We are fundraising for the following strategic investments for advancing academic excellence and the student experience.

Faculty Research Commons

An attractive, contemplative, and comfortable library space designed to support faculty research, writing, and interdisciplinary contact. Includes individual and small group spaces, natural light, and with some private offices to reserve. It would re-connect faculty to the physical library and enable better connections to librarians, library services, and events. A needs assessment was completed in March 2018. A 5,000 sq. ft. space has been identified on the fifth floor of Bird Library and costing is underway.

The Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence

A center to enhance and promote our strong teaching culture and to transform teaching through mentoring, innovative practices, collaboration, scholarship, and advocacy. Supports instructional design, teaching with technology, flipped classrooms, online course design, learning outcomes assessment, and more. Creates a community for those interested in pedagogical excellence, and a lab to try out new techniques and technologies. Those librarians who teach would both benefit from and contribute to this space. Could be co-located adjacent to the Faculty Research Commons on the fifth floor of Bird Library (3,000 sq. ft.). This is a potential partnership with Academic Affairs and Information Technology Services, both of whom have or are making investments in this area. Academic Affairs will be conducting a needs assessment, which will inform design and cost (an experimental classroom “lab” is a likely feature, as well as staff offices).

Media Hub

A collaborative space with studios for creating and editing multimedia projects. It would provide expert training in all aspects of multimedia and digital production, with an expanded equipment loan program (cameras, recorders, lights, microphones, etc.). Includes recording studios and a green screen room. Provides a resource for creation of online teaching videos. Builds on existing library staff strengths in media creation, and responds to specific needs from VPA, with whom we are planning joint fundraising. The iSchool and Engineering have also expressed interest in centralized media creation services and expertise. No design or cost estimate yet. We already have media technology experts on staff in Bird Library and the Belfer Audio Archive, and offer equipment loan (cameras, etc.) in Bird Library.

Meditation/Interfaith/Wellness Room

A new partnership with Hendricks Chapel to explore the need for a space for prayer and contemplation in the library. As a single example of need, devout Muslim students have five daily prayer times, and some of those times may well overlap with their time in the library. We already have a wellness space with a collection of books and DVDs in Bird Library, and this could incorporate and expand on that area.

Appendix 3: Strategic Staff Expertise Reinvestment Plan

Strategic Positions 2016–2018

The Syracuse University Libraries have been strategically reshaping our staff expertise through hiring into vacant positions, grant funding, and re-training. Many of these positions are new roles in the Syracuse University Libraries.

1. Online Instruction Librarian (2016)

2. Executive Director, Blackstone LaunchPad (2016–grant funded position)

3. Program Manager, Blackstone LaunchPad (2016– grant funded position)

4. Librarian for Falk College (2016)

5. Audio Preservation Engineer, Belfer Audio Archive (2016)

6. Digital Humanities Librarian (2016–internal shift of responsibilities)

7. Librarian for Science and Technology [all sciences, computer science, engineering] (2017)

8. Assistant Director for Development (2017)

9. Open Publishing and Copyright Librarian (2017)

10. Inclusion and Accessibility Librarian (2017)

11. School of Information Studies Librarian (2017)

12. Serials Acquisition Librarian (2017)

13. Metadata Services Librarian (2017)

14. Information Literacy Librarian (2018)

15. Chief Curator of Exhibitions, Programs, and Education, Special Collections (2018)

16. Open Publishing and Institutional Repository Coordinator (2018)

17. Plastics Pioneers Curator of Plastics and Historical Artifacts (2018–endowed position)

18. School of Education Librarian (hired spring 2018)

19. Library Operations Manager (hiring summer 2018)

In addition, we provide space and services to the Center for Learning and Student Success staff and tutors (Academic Affairs employees, third floor of Bird Library) and the Digital Scholarship Space staff (ITS employees, fourth floor of Bird Library).

Strategic Staffing Needs 2018–2022

To meet the growing opportunities to support research innovation and student success, the library needs a reinvestment in its level of staffing in some key strategic areas, in addition to its current practice of re-evaluating each new vacancy:

1. Executive Director, Blackstone LaunchPad (after grant funding expires in 2019)

2. Program Manager, Blackstone LaunchPad (after grant funding expires in 2019)

3. Librarian for the School of Engineering and Computer Science

4. Librarian for the Maxwell School

5. Digital Library Program Director

6. Digital Preservation Librarian

7. Media Center Director

8. Music Cataloger for the Belfer Audio Archive

9. Assessment Librarian

10. Data Scientist/Text Mining Expert

11. Specialist in Creating Accessible Collections

12. Instructional Designer

13. Resident Librarian (an early career diversity hire–part of a national library program)

14. Additional staff at The Facility and in high-demand services such as Interlibrary Loan, The Learning Commons, and technology/media expertise.

In addition, we will provide space and services to the Director of Teaching and Learning Excellence (recently hired by Academic Affairs).

1 The Syracuse University Libraries portfolio does not include the Law Library or the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, which report to the College of Law and the College of Arts & Sciences respectively.

2 This 2018 Strategic Plan grows out of a high-level Strategic Directions document published and circulated widely in spring 2016, in response to the 2015 Syracuse University Academic Strategic Plan.

3 Soria, K. M. & Fransen, J. & Nackerud, S. (2013). “Library Use and Undergraduate Student Outcomes: New Evidence for Students’ Retention and Academic Success.” Libraries and the Academy 13(2), 147-164.