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Library Strategic Plan (2023-2026)


To be an indispensable partner in learning, discovery, and the creation of new knowledge


Situated in California’s Central Valley, located on the traditional homeland of the Yokuts and Miwuk, and part of the world’s leading public research university system, the UC Merced Library empowers researchers, celebrates our region’s diversity, expands access to information, and fosters student belonging. We provide valuable expertise, advance critical inquiry, invest in collections, preserve unique resources, forge collaborations, and create welcoming space and services.  


The Library’s values make it possible to achieve the goals and objectives outlined in this Strategic Plan. We are committed to demonstrating these values.


Our interactions are marked by timely responses, accurate information, clear communications, and personal attention. To meet the full scope of inquiries and information needs, we engage in problem-solving, leverage the knowledge of our colleagues, make appropriate referrals, and ensure follow-up.


We invest in existing staff and recruit new staff to expand our specialized knowledge and skills. We seek out our colleagues’ knowledge, pursue learning opportunities, willingly share what we know, and contribute expertise that advances the research and academic success of our faculty and students.


We engage in shared endeavors as active participants to pursue goals aligned with library and campus-wide priorities. Those leading collaborative efforts ensure that work is focused, organized, and communicated and that all participants are fully included.


We think creatively, surface user needs, engage in partnerships, and explore technologies to implement solutions that empower users, build capacity, and promote efficiencies. We hold lightly to existing practices, systems, and solutions. We embrace the work that comes with change.


We are committed to increasing information access through dedicating resources to open access publishing venues and promoting adoption of open education resources (OER) for faculty and student use. We openly share our own resources with others to adapt and reuse. We choose open over closed when functionality and value is equal to or better than.


We promote an inclusive environment that respects individual differences and self-identification choices. We create services, resources, and experiences that fully accommodate, celebrate, and welcome our diverse campus community. We take care of each other and our community through listening well and resolving concerns.

Alignment to Campus Planning

The UC Merced Library Strategic Plan (2023-2026) supports the campus’ 2021-2031 Strategic Plan and its three goals of advancing knowledge, developing scholars & leaders, and cultivating a respectful culture. For each goal in the Library’s Strategic Plan, its alignment to one or more of the campus goals is noted.

By pursuing its three goals, the university aims to achieve R1 ranking, enroll 15,000 students, and be an equitable & empowering workplace by 2031. The Library is essential to achieving this vision since it contributes to research infrastructure, student education, and a thriving workplace culture.

  • R1 Ranking: The Library’s collections, services, and expertise support research and  graduate students’ attainment of doctoral degrees at the level required to achieve and maintain R1 ranking.
  • Student Learning: The Library’s spaces, instruction, and work/internship/fellowship opportunities contribute to students’ belonging to the university and equip them for academic and personal success.
  • DEI: The Library integrates diversity, equity, and inclusion into its core organizational practices, benefiting library staff and the broader campus community with services marked by inclusive excellence.


GOAL 1: Contribute to Student Learning

1.1 Provide innovative, welcoming, and highly functional library spaces that support learning and research needs.
  1. Open KL West 3rd floor labs (KL330 & 336) to support learning and research related to data services (e.g. software coding & geospatial expertise).
  2. Create a learning/programming archives space in KL232.
  3. Create a one-button studio in support of academic projects and personal development.
  4. Re-evaluate the technology needs in KL371 for instruction purposes.

1.2 Invest in opportunities and initiatives that will contribute to students’ academic success and personal development.
  1. Identify and submit projects to the campus’ Student Success Internship (SSI) program to offer undergraduate students valuable mentorship and work experience.
  2. Provide fellowships to graduate students to increase their archival research skills and support their career success.
  3. Expand student employees’ interactions with Library resources (staff, services, and instructional materials) to increase their own knowledge and use of the Library.
  4. Implement and lead the ZCCM grant program for faculty & instructors to switch to zero-cost course materials for classes.

1.3 Engage with campus partners to increase students’ use of library resources & expertise and increase their information literacy competencies.
  1. Revisit where and how to invest the Library’s teaching efforts in order to meet the greatest number of students with scaffolded information literacy instruction.
  2. Provide faculty with targeted materials, about library resources & services, to share with their students.
  3. Create and implement a strategy for promoting library resources and services to students through collaboration with a campus partner or resource e.g. Office of Undergraduate Education, Office of Student Involvement, or Housing & Residence Education.

Supports Goal 2 from the campus’ Strategic Plan 2021-2031 to “Develop Future Scholars and Leaders”.
Supports Goal 3 from the campus’ Strategic Plan 2021-2031 to “Cultivate a Culture of Dignity and Respect for All”

GOAL 2: Deepen Researcher Success

2.1 Serve as a hub for research reproducibility and geospatial data expertise and education.
  1. Co-locate library staff with geospatial and data expertise; share knowledge and co-create materials to meet overlapping needs of researchers using geospatial and/or data visualization methods.
  2. Re-engage a GIS faculty steering committee to identify researchers’ geospatial needs and build advocacy for geospatial services.
  3. Identify and collaborate with research computing resources on campus (e.g. JupyterHub) and in the UC system (e.g. San Diego super computing) to integrate the Library into the larger research computing enterprise.
  4. Prepare and implement a strategy for programs and services offered in KL 260.

2.2 Define and offer data management and digital scholarship services.
  1. Investigate options for data storage needs e.g. PII data.
  2. Co-prepare data management documentation, of benefit to researchers, in coordination with a grant-supported campus data manager.
  3. Outline parameters to sustainably support digital scholarship projects.

2.3 Increase open access publishing opportunities for faculty to expand the public’s access to scholarly outputs.
  1. Invest in transformative models and UC Systemwide initiatives that replace traditional subscription-based paywalls with sustainable open-access alternatives.
  2. Participate in all systemwide transformative agreements.
  3. Communicate transformative publishing agreements with faculty.

2.4 Acquire diversified collections of sufficient breadth and depth to support faculty and graduate student research to meet campus goals of doctoral degrees conferred.
  1. Prepare a progressive budget model that builds collections funding to keep pace with campus growth, inflation, and new programs (e.g. medical education).
  2. Continue support for print book acquisitions in support of humanities and social sciences disciplines.
  3. Advocate for funding allocations to archival acquisitions and processing in order to expand resource diversity and its availability for research.

2.5 Increase the availability, discoverability, and expert use of information resources.
  1. Partner with UC colleagues to trouble-shoot and improve resource sharing, analytics, and circulation in the Alma/Tilpasa environment.
  2. Implement Alma functionality (e.g. call number printing) including functionality connected to the Acquistions module (e.g. approval plan, firm ordering).
  3. Collaborate with UC colleagues to harmonize policies and practices in the Systemwide Integrated Library System (SILS).
  4. Define the Library’s service-level for researchers conducting systematic reviews.
  5. Investigate infrastructure needed to support information storage and delivery.
  6. Redesign and upgrade the library’s website (Drupal 9) employing website best practices, user-testing, and current technologies.

Supports Goal 1 from the campus’ Strategic Plan 2021-2031 to “Engage Our World and Region Through Discovery and Advancement of Knowledge”
Supports Goal 2 from the campus’ Strategic Plan 2021-2031 to “Develop Future Scholars and Leaders”.
Supports Goal 3 from the campus’ Strategic Plan 2021-2031 to “Cultivate a Culture of Dignity and Respect for All”

GOAL 3: Preserve & Promote Regional Knowledge

3.1 Build archives and collections focused on the San Joaquin Valley and Sierra Nevada Region.
  1. Secure permanent campus funding in support of archival operations including staffing, acquisitions, and processing of materials.
  2. Increase and enhance library spaces for the storage, processing, and digitization of archival collections through the NEH grant.
  3. Foster relationships between the library and partners to identify, acquire, digitize, and share knowledge from this region.
  4. Acquire knowledge from this region through collection purchases, gifts, and fostering relationships with organizations and individuals.
  5. Develop the University Archives policies and articulate with the regional collections.

3.2 Draw attention to and promote use of the archives including regional collections.
  1. Prepare exhibits and associated programming to highlight the important but often neglected communities, people, and histories of our region.
  2. Use geospatial tools, data sharing services or competencies to convey regional knowledge visually by sharing maps and data through an open interface.
  3. Collaborate with faculty to teach students archival competencies through use of locally available archival collections.
  4. Record and archive a pilot collection of oral histories related to the university and this region.

Supports Goal 1 from the campus’ Strategic Plan 2021-2031 to “Engage Our World and Region Through Discovery and Advancement of Knowledge”
Supports Goal 3 from the campus’ Strategic Plan 2021-2031 to “Cultivate a Culture of Dignity and Respect for All”

GOAL 4: Advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

4.1 Create a diverse and inclusive workplace environment in the library organization.
  1. Allocate time and resources for activities that promote well-being and relationship-building.
  2. Monitor and address employee concerns surfaced via assessments and exit interviews.
  3. Actively support the Library’s EDI committee to identify priorities and programming.

4.2 Contribute to diversifying the job field of libraries, archives, and museums through student employment and mentorship.
  1. Re-instate lunches with student employees and library staff to increase information sharing around the topic of libraries and information-science.
  2. Foster conversations with students that help them draw connections to the research-value of their work.
  3. Expand student employee expectations to include participation at library events & programming.
  4. Investigate and document the post-education and employment outcomes of former student employees.

4.3 Create and offer user-centered services that are accessible to users with varied abilities, backgrounds, and experiences.
  1. Evaluate new and existing services with an accessibility lens.
  2. Ensure assessments of services include/consider a diverse range of library users.
  3. Coordinate with campus accessibility resources to address unmet needs of library users.

Supports Goal 2 from the campus’ Strategic Plan 2021-2031 to “Develop Future Scholars and Leaders”.
Supports Goal 3 from the campus’ Strategic Plan 2021-2031 to “Cultivate a Culture of Dignity and Respect for All”

GOAL 5: Strengthen Library Communications & Processes

5.1 Expand the library’s capacity to create effective, intentional, and consistent communications.
  1. Advocate for and hire communications staff.
  2. Establish and adopt a library branding toolkit.
  3. Identify, acquire, and implement new and existing tools that support information distribution to targeted audiences.
  4. Engage a professional organization to work with library staff on effective communication.

5.2 Convey the library’s value using both quantitative and qualitative evidence.
  1. Identify and sustainably gather data regarding both usage rates and outcomes of library services and resources.
  2. Identify, craft, and share compelling narratives for different target audiences demonstrating how the library–its collections, archives, virtual and physical spaces, instruction, and programming–directly impacts scholarly and creative activity.
  3. Launch regular communications, including an annual report, to engage library users, alumni and friends.
  4. Increase information-sharing of library initiatives and activities at All-Staff meetings.

5.3 Support equitable and efficient organizational practices.
  1. Produce and disseminate internal documentation that communicates organizational practices and supports operational efficiencies (e.g. event planning).
  2. Document recruitment practices ensuring an equitable process is articulated.

Supports Goal 1 from the campus’ Strategic Plan 2021-2031 to “Engage Our World and Region Through Discovery and Advancement of Knowledge”
Supports Goal 3 from the campus’ Strategic Plan 2021-2031 to “Cultivate a Culture of Dignity and Respect for All”


The UC Merced Library engaged in two planning processes to generate its academic & strategic plans. Both of those processes started in 2020 during a time of disrupted work. As part of the University’s Academic Planning, the Library submitted strategies to promote UC Quality Scholarship, UC Quality Academic Programs, and Diversity.

The Library’s strategic planning efforts were renewed in 2022/2023 with two staff events that focused on identifying the Library’s values, brainstorming its mission, and responding to the Library’s strategies submitted to campus Academic Planning. Staff input informed the drafting of a Strategic Plan. Then staff was engaged to provide verbal feedback on the draft before its re-drafting and finalization. The goals and objectives will guide activities and initiatives for the next three years.