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Kelvin Smith Library - Strategic Plan 2015-2018 

The Kelvin Smith Library is pleased to announce the availability of a draft for comment of the new KSL Strategic Plan for 2015-2018.  This draft includes a brief summary of KSL’s accomplishments under the previous KSL Strategic Plan (2011-2014) upon which the new plan builds, an overview of the knowledge ecosystem that influenced the development of the goals and objectives of this plan, and the text of the plan itself.  The mission, vision and values of the previous plan remain unchanged.  The new plan has ten (10) objectives under three goals:

  • Goal 1: Research. Ignite discovery, research, and scholarship by aligning our expertise with the needs of researchers as they address the world’s most pressing needs.   Within this goal, the objectives concern increased funding to purchase commercial content, expanding digital scholarship, focusing special collections and their services, enriching research services (particularly related to information literacy instruction), and addressing pressing needs regarding scholarly communications, open access, and open content.
  • Goal 2: Learning.  Spark student creativity and inquiry, and prepare students for leadership as scholars engaged in lifelong knowledge discovery, by enhancing learning through innovations in teaching and research.  Within this goal, the objectives concern enhancing library spaces, developing new virtual spaces, and providing new library services of increasing value to the community.
  • Goal 3: Shared and Collaborative Services. Improve the student and faculty learning and research experience by engaging with other information organizations on campus and the region.  Within this goal, the objectives concern creating harmonious library experiences across all campus libraries, and expanding partnerships with CWRU and non-CWRU organizations and institutions.

We Welcome Your Feedback!

Please note that the current draft of the strategic plan intentionally does not include success metrics at either the goal or objective level.  Metrics will be developed and after a revised plan is created based upon the comments we receive. We welcome your comments and questions about this plan!

Strategic Plan: 2015-2018  |  DRAFT FOR COMMENT: 8 December 2014  

Context:  The Kelvin Smith Library (KSL) is central to the intellectual life at Case Western Reserve University.  Achieving our goals is vital for the University to accomplish its mission and vision.  Building upon our previous record of success, this Plan sets forth directions to advance scholarly inquiry and discovery at CWRU by transforming our collections, services and spaces, and by collaborating with campus and external partners to achieve the goals of the University.

Mission: KSL is the knowledge and creativity commons of CWRU.

Vision: KSL will be the information laboratory for knowledge collection, connection, creation, and curation.

Values[1]: Openness; Collaboration; Personalized service; and, Agility and Innovation through ongoing experimentation and assessment

Goal 1: Research.  Ignite discovery, research, and scholarship by aligning our expertise with the needs of researchers as they address the world’s most pressing needs. 

  • Objective 1: Purchased Content. Deepen research at CWRU and ensure access to the diverse and interdisciplinary information resources essential for our faculty and student scholars by partnering to advocate for and securing suitable University investment to procure scholarly content at a level commensurate with those of our University-defined peer research institutions.[2] 
  • Objective 2: Digital Scholarship[3]Transform academic inquiry and scholarly communications throughout the digital scholarship research lifecycle by working with campus partners to reimagine and redesign the Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship to become the campus incubator of creative and collaborative digital research endeavors.
  • Objective 3: Special Collections.  Enrich scholarly research and learning by expanding access to, and fostering the use of, the distinctive and unique content within our special and archival collections. 
  • Objective 4: Research Services.  Enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of faculty and student research by developing strong relationships that integrate library services within each stage of the research process.
  • Objective 5: Scholarly Communications, Open Access, and Open Content. Encourage global and free access to information by advancing the ease of access to and use of open content, advocating with faculty to publish in open access publications, and exploring opportunities to lead and partner in the support of scholarly communications and intellectual property management[4].

Goal 2: Learning. Spark student creativity and inquiry, and prepare students for leadership as scholars engaged in lifelong knowledge discovery, by enhancing learning through innovations in teaching and research.

  • Objective 1: Library Spaces. Strengthen the role of KSL as the intellectual hub of the University by creating dynamic, inspiring, attractive, diverse, and inviting physical learning and research places that are the destinations of choice for individual and collaborative scholarly inquiry.
  1. Continuously invest in renewing student learning and study spaces to be exciting and productive places.
  2. Spark and advance interdisciplinary research and learning by creating opportunities for both intentional and serendipitous scholarly encounters among faculty and students.
  3. For the campus master planning process, develop a needs assessment and articulate a space plan for a comprehensive renovation and potential expansion of KSL as a pavilion for knowledge and creativity. 
  • Objective 2: Virtual Spaces. Create engaging virtual learning environments to ensure rewarding interactive experiences, and collaborate with faculty to enrich their e-learning presence (e.g., Blackboard) with library content and services. 
  • Objective 3: Services.  Enhance scholarly research, teaching and learning by providing complementary, highly responsive and interactive services. 
  1. Partner with faculty to develop a radically new digital and information literacy model that enriches student interaction with information resources and enables them to engage in deep inquiry and discovery that results in the creative construction of new knowledge.
  2. Work with appropriate University offices to initiate a formal review process to assess the adequacy of library resources to support new academic programs and degrees.
  3. Improve the library experience and personal productivity of our scholars by expanding the Personal Librarian program to ensure all students and faculty receive personalized assistance.
  4. Systematically assess our efforts to achieve our strategic goals and improve the quality of our services.

Goal 3: Shared and Collaborative Services.  Improve the student and faculty learning and research experience by engaging with other information organizations on campus and the region.

  • Objective 1: Harmonious Library Experiences.[5]  Enable optimal opportunities for discovery and access, and improve organizational efficiencies, by fostering collaborations with all campus library service providers to create a uniform experience across all libraries, regardless of which one serves as the initial point of entry. 
  • Objective 2: Partnerships with CWRU and Non-CWRU Organizations.[6]  Explore opportunities to improve services and content that support open scholarship, access, resources, and data by working with both other University service providers (e.g., ITS, Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities) and non-University cultural institutions in University Circle.


[1]  These values are complementary and in addition to those articulated in the University’s strategic plan.

[2]  At the present time, the CWRU institutional peer list includes: Chicago, Emory, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, Washington University in St. Louis, Vanderbilt, MIT, and Rochester.

[3] “Digital Scholarship “ is a comprehensive term that in this context includes services such as Digital Case 2, open content provision of student and faculty research, big data and text mining support, digital preservation (including HathiTrust and other external partners), etc.

[4] “Scholarly communications” is a phrase that includes a range of activities, from advising faculty about copyright and intellectual property issues to working with appropriate campus offices to conducting research on the impact of faculty publications vis-à-vis CWRU rankings in international indexes such as the Time Higher Education World University Rankings.

[5]  “Harmonious library experiences” encompasses many potential user experiences (such as consistent access to content resources and services) and support activities enabled by the library (such as content purchase coordination, research service support, access tools, learning communities and workshops, website unification, and simplification/standardization in policies & procedures common to users)

[6]   On-campus organizational “partnerships” may include joint efforts such as provision of collaborative services, coordination of small grant funding opportunities for faculty, etc.


For additional background information please link to the following:

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What and Where is Siegal?

The notation "Siegal" in the online catalog refers to the Aaron Garber Library of the Siegal College of Judaic Studies at 26500 Shaker Blvd. Cleveland OH 44122. The Aaron Garber Library is the academic library of the College and the central library of the Cleveland Jewish community. It includes 30,000 volumes, plus periodicals, language tapes, music and text CDs in English, Hebrew and Yiddish. The Library's electronic catalog is part of the online library system managed by Case Western Reserve University, and is included in OhioLINK, the statewide electronic academic catalog system. Online borrowing privileges are reserved for students registered at Siegal College. Community members are welcome to browse the catalog, visit the Garber Library and borrow materials.

For further information, contact by email, or call 216-464-4050 x131 or 132.

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