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Blume Library: Mission & Strategic Plan

Mission Statement

Louis J. Blume Library Mission Statement

The Blume Library supports the mission of the University and the work of all members of the University community by providing appropriate resources to foster intellectual growth, welcoming environments that enable students and faculty to discover and integrate the many branches of human knowledge, and various types of assistance in scholarly endeavors.

Revised January 23, 2015

Blume Library Strategic Plan - Goals and Objectives


  1. Goal: Provide seamless access to scholarly resources regardless of resource format or location of the user.

1.1.Objective: Taking advantage of partnerships, consortia, borrowing arrangements,  and new technologies, acquire and organize  journals, books,  media, government documents, and other forms of scholarly communication, such as blogs and  wikis, and make these resources easily accessible to Library users.

  1. Action: Acting within budgetary constraints, add appropriate monographs to the collection (preferring electronic format but including paper and other formats)  using firm orders and demand-driven access via selection processes that include, but are not limited to, faculty and student requests, examination of course syllabi, book reviews, and bibliographies of prize-winning titles and core collections.
  2. Action: Implement the EBSCO Discovery Service, providing our patrons with an opportunity to easily see the breadth of material available for their research needs and to narrow their research effectively.

1.2.Objective: Update cataloging technology, processes and workflows to provide the highest quality intellectual access to information resources in order to support research, teaching and learning for the St. Mary’s University community and beyond.

  1. Action:  Explore the possibilities of onsite storage capacities for special collections and archives, including audio, video, and digital collections, to meet current standards for archival, manuscript, and recorded media, and to provide sufficient capacity to preserve knowledge creation on campus.


  1. Goal: Enhance faculty teaching and scholarship through materials and services offered by the Library.

2.1.Objective: Effectively connect new faculty with information, services and a primary Librarian contact to enable them to enter the University’s research and teaching environment successfully.

  1. Action: Contact new faculty during their first year to offer an individualized orientation to Library resources and services.

2.2.Objective: Increase the profile of the St. Mary’s University faculty by capturing, promoting, and disseminating their intellectual output.

  1. Action: Begin discussions with the Office of Academic Research and Sponsored Projects to organize an annual event that celebrates recent faculty publications.

3.Goal: Promote and develop support for the Library’s collections and services by engaging the University and wider communities through fundraising, partnerships, publications, exhibitions, and events.

3.1.Objective: Develop a robust fundraising program that cultivates donor relationships and amasses funding for the Library’s initiatives.

  1. Action: Partner with University Advancement to identify potential donors to fund selected Library resources and programs.
  2. Collaborate with the Office of Academic Research and Sponsored Projects to identify potential grants to fund selected Library initiatives.

3.2.Objective: Develop a proactive, systematic, and comprehensive marketing, outreach, and communications program to raise the University community’s awareness of the Library’s services, events, spaces, and resources.

  1. Action: Research academic library literature for best practices in marketing, outreach, and communications plans, and based on those findings, develop an integrated marketing, outreach, and communications plan.
  2. Action: Contact new employees during their first year to offer an individualized orientation to Library resources and services.

3.3. Objective: Support professional connections with other libraries and communities in San Antonio, Texas, the nation, and the world.

  1. Action: Encourage participation by Librarians and, when appropriate, staff, in professional organizations and other groups which share resources and expertise.

Teaching and Learning

4.Goal: Integrate the Library as an active partner in the teaching and learning mission of the University by enabling and equipping users to discover, access, evaluate, and ethically use information.

4.1.Objective: Work with faculty, department heads, and deans to introduce new channels for integrating Library faculty in classes, programs, and academic departments.

4.1.1.Action: Begin analysis of school syllabi to develop a map of the ways in which information literacy objectives are being met throughout the curriculum.

  1. Action: Build a toolkit of learning strategies and talking points based on the “Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education” to use in planning and conversation with teaching faculty.

4.2.Objective: Broaden assessment efforts related to teaching and learning in a variety of formats and measures.

  1. Action: Conduct research into assessment tools with the aim of developing a toolkit of assessment techniques to use in instruction sessions and programmatically.

4.3.Objective: Engage University stakeholders in discussions of the best ways to increase undergraduate research resources at the Library.

  1. Action: Research development of an Institutional Repository for student research and other materials created at St. Mary’s University.

5.Goal: Strengthen the educational impact of Library programs for students at all levels.

5.1.Objective: Explore ways of connecting with students and faculty outside of the traditional reference and instruction settings.

  1. Action: Research needs for embedding liaison librarians in Canvas courses, and ways for accomplishing this.
  2. Action: Promote sustained engagement with research pursuits by developing a program offering consultations with liaison Librarians.

User Experience

6.Goal: Create a high quality user experience that is consistent and robust, regardless of the user’s location, access method, or objective.

6.1.Objective: Continue to develop the Library website and acquire tools to improve users’ online experiences.

  1. Action: Conduct usability studies on the website to determine needs and directions for improvement.
  2. Action: Regularly review and test mobile devices and other equipment that support resource access.
  3. Action: Provide the guidance necessary to make our patrons comfortable and efficient using devices of their choosing for access to Library resources.
  4. Action: Migrate to LibGuides Version 2.

6.2.Objective: Offer excellent and transparent services to empower Library users in all phases of discovery and knowledge creation.

  1. Action: Develop aids and instructional tools to enable the University community to take full advantage of the new EBSCO Discovery Service.

Library Spaces

7.Goal: Maintain technology-rich physical and virtual Library spaces that are welcoming, flexible, safe, and conducive to the optimum use of Library materials, and that foster creativity, enable collaboration, and encourage discovery.

7.1.Objective: Develop a systematic process for collecting and sharing information about the ways Library users work.

  1. Action: Identify a core team of Library faculty to guide assessment activities and to design instruments to investigate how diverse communities use resources, services, space, the Library website, and Library programs.
  2. Action: Administer such instruments, and respond to the results of such assessments.

7.2.Objective: Ensure that the Library’s physical space develops in coordination with the evolution of the teaching and research needs of the University.

  1. Action: Regularly assess space usage in all Library locations and align space planning with evolving user needs, based on usage data and anticipation of future needs.


8.Goal: Develop and sustain a skilled and engaged workforce of Library faculty and staff, supported by an organizational culture that helps personnel succeed and thrive in a changing and challenging environment.

8.1.Objective: Ensure that Library positions are accurately defined, appropriately distributed, and effectively staffed.

  1. Action: Increase the number of Library faculty and staff to be commensurate with our peer group, allowing the Library to effectively pursue initiatives outlined in this document for the benefit of the University.
  2. Action: Regularly review faculty and staff job descriptions in recognition of technical changes in librarianship, curricular changes at the University, and the evolving scholarly information landscape.

8.2.Objective: Through new recruitment and internal development, ensure Library personnel have appropriate training for new challenges, by providing time and financial support for faculty and staff training.

  1. Action: Develop professional development workshops for student assistants; sessions might include topics such as information resources, customer service, communication skills, safety/security, and time management.
  2. Action: Collect professional development resources and materials needed by faculty and staff to do their jobs well and to develop professionally, including materials related to promotion and tenure, information literacy, new technologies, the future of libraries, and time, finance, and stress management.

8.3.Objective: Support appropriate participation in campus governance and life by Library faculty and staff.

  1. Action: Encourage all faculty and staff to be involved in University activities, including participation on committees and in various groups, serving as volunteers, and attending lectures, cultural events, and workshops.