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Welcome back and happy new year!

January 9, 2020

By Lisa Carter, Vice Provost for Libraries and University Librarian

Welcome back and happy new year!

As we start off 2020, I thought it might be worthwhile to review where we are with our strategic planning efforts. In 2015, the GLS Executive Group released strategic planning goals and priorities as a result of a strategic framework process called “UW-Madison Libraries:  A Vision for Knowledge through 2020”. Much has been achieved in the last 5 years to meet these strategic goals and priorities and you can find status updates, last year’s annual report, and some unit updates here.  

Since the last planning process provided a vision through 2020, we have been preparing to establish a new strategic plan. An extensive FAQ on our current process is available on the Libraries Staff pages (Strategic Planning – 2019-2020 – FAQ). We started last summer with the Executive Team and Operational Leadership Team conversations facilitated by the Office of Strategic Consulting. Deb Gurke from OSC and OLT’s Engagement Committee facilitated two staff engagement sessions in August where we received feedback from staff on a draft mission and vision statements. At those sessions, we also gathered information that would lead to the development of our shared values. Over the course of the fall semester, we finalized drafts of the mission and vision and developed drafts of our values. In December, we hosted a Libraries All-Staff Special Edition session where we talked about and gathered initial feedback on the values statement. Slides from the December 18th session on values are available here. OLT took notes during that session which we will review in the coming weeks to create final drafts of the values.

This January, we will be hosting staff engagement sessions to begin discussing drafts of the identified strategic directions. Please sign up for and attend one of these two sessions:

  • Thursday, January 9, 2020 – 2:30-4:00 p.m. (BioCommons-Steenbock Library)
  • Thursday, January 16, 2020 – 10:00-11:30 a.m. (Pyle Center – Room 313) 

At these sessions, we will:

  • Review the plan development process and talk about how the strategic directions were identified
  • Introduce the strategic directions 
  • Host small group breakout discussions to find out what staff think about the strategic directions and what questions and concerns you might have
  • Have a short large group Q&A session

After these meetings, OLT will take what we learn at those sessions and develop final drafts of the strategic directions.  Over the course of the spring semester, departments and units will then have a chance to talk about developing implementation plans that will drive progress on the strategic directions over the next few years.  Also during the spring semester, we will start sharing our work and gathering feedback from our stakeholders (Library Coordinating Council, University Library Committee, the Provost) before finalizing the framework of our strategic plan.  

While we are still in progress, I do want to take a moment to thank my colleagues who have driven the activity on this project:

  • GLS Operational Leadership Team
  • The Engagement Committee who helped conceptualize the August engagement sessions:  Ariel Andrea, Ian Benton, Bruce Barton, Emily Eichstedt-Anderson, Sheila Stoeckel
  • The Communications Committee who have made sure we are communicating about the process:  Carrie Nelson, Malory Schultz, Anna Simon, Natasha Veeser 
  • Our OSC colleagues:  Deb Gurke, Kathy Contezac, Jenny Faust

And my deep thanks to all of the staff who come to the sessions, fill out the surveys or send me anonymous feedback.  This is work that we all need to take time to engage with as it will set the course for our priorities and investment over the next few years.

I look forward to seeing you at the sessions in January.  If you have not yet signed up, please let us know which session you’ll attend here