The last several months have been a flurry of activity. In addition to the day-to-day demands of a busy spring semester, it’s also the most planning-intensive period of the year, as we assess our standing at the close of the current fiscal year and plan in earnest for FYs 2020 and 2021.
I received a lot of feedback during town hall season and in continued conversations with the library directors that we could do a better job of clarifying the different stages in the planning process and of describing central’s role in supporting local priorities. In an organization like ours, it is definitely a complex puzzle and it can be difficult to see how all the pieces fit together.
We’ve made some updates to the University Librarian page on our staff resources website to provide a resource that brings more transparency to the planning process and illustrates how local and central priorities work together. The page includes a broad overview of the annual planning process as well as links to the local units’ plans and a list of major central infrastructure projects. Hopefully this will help demonstrate how we prioritize our collective work, and I invite you to review this information and continue to provide feedback to me and the library directors.
At the Cabinet retreat in April, we had very productive discussions about the unit plans and the different tradeoffs we’d have to consider between local priorities and central capacity to support those activities. It became clear to me that we’re becoming better at navigating these conversations and seeing the local plans not as competing sets of priorities, but as opportunities to identify the activities that will bring the most benefit to the most users, while still allowing us to serve our individual communities in ways that will best suit their unique needs.
As we move toward the next retreat in May, during which we’ll finalize our local plans and our Librarieswide goals and metrics, I’m optimistic that we will continue to build toward an environment where the “One Library – Four Missions” approach can flourish.