The University of Georgia Libraries Vision Statement

As one of the nation's major research libraries, the University of Georgia Libraries will play a significant role in the developing world of information by using innovation and flexibility to take advantage of new and traditional technologies to offer access to scholarly resources.

ACCESS AND COLLECTIONS

In an environment where electronic and print formats both represent significant levels of publishing, the Libraries will constantly monitor changing patterns and trends in information access and retrieval and will respond with balanced and innovative decisions about what materials, formats, and means of access are appropriate.

The Libraries will assume an increasingly significant role in anticipating, defining, and integrating new technologies to redesign access and delivery services in order to maximize access to instructional and research materials and to minimize the costs of supporting such services.

Library materials in all formats will be preserved for future generations utilizing both traditional and new technologies. The Libraries will preserve our common heritage by serving as a repository for unique and special collections.

Guiding Principles:
  1. Support the current and future curriculum, and the research and service mission of the University by selecting, acquiring, organizing, preserving, and making available for use a collection of materials in a variety of formats.
  2. Gather, preserve, and make available special collections of unique and historical materials.
  3. Utilize efficient and cost-effective methods of providing document delivery services.
  4. Acquire, maintain, and upgrade equipment sufficient for staff and patron use.
  5. Continue to develop the technological capacity to handle an increasing variety of networked information resources.
  6. Improve access to collections through database maintenance and enhancement. Extend bibliographic control to all collections.
  7. Preserve the integrity of information in the Libraries' databases.
  8. Ensure freedom of access for the future by monitoring changes in scholarly communication and copyright.
  9. Protect the privacy of library patrons and the confidentiality of library records.

ORGANIZATION AND STAFF

The Libraries will seek an evolutionary organizational model that pairs early awareness of future needs with the flexibility to accommodate them.

While the Libraries face a critical need for more staff in order to offer the expanding spectrum of services made possible by technological advances, the Libraries will strive to take greater advantage of existing human resources. Creativity, initiative, and risk-taking will be encouraged, and solutions to problems and suggestions for change will be actively sought at all levels.

Guiding Principles:
  1. Strive to make all staff thoroughly familiar with the Libraries' mission so that a shared sense of purpose guides their individual contributions. Ensure that individual Libraries' units keep the goals of the organization as a whole foremost in their planning and activities.
  2. Recognize that in an environment of constant and rapid change, formal organizational lines and position descriptions are at most a starting point for our endeavors. Expect and encourage continuously evolving roles and responsibilities and ongoing revision of the organizational structure to enable the Libraries to adapt readily to changing needs.
  3. Provide a working environment that identifies and cultivates staff strengths. Attract and retain excellent staff by improving salaries and providing opportunities for continuing education and staff development.
  4. Assess the existing organizational culture in order to promote a shared organizational philosophy.

SERVICE

The Libraries' primary focus is to serve the University of Georgia community. In addition, as the library of record for Georgia, the Libraries have a responsibility to the citizens of the state and the larger academic and scholarly community to acquire, preserve, and provide access to information resources. Central to the service mission are the Libraries' faculty and staff; each library employee will play a vital role in fulfilling the information needs of the Libraries' clientele.

Guiding Principles:
  1. Uphold service to the patron both on and off campus as the ultimate goal of the Libraries and recognize that the work of each employee affects the level of service received. Continually assess patron needs and use this information as the chief guidepost for implementing change.
  2. Teach critical thinking skills to library users so that they can better evaluate the information they access.
  3. Develop policies defining levels of service to user groups outside the University of Georgia community.
  4. Promote the advancement of knowledge and foster economic development in the state by providing information services to citizens.

DEVELOPMENT AND FUNDING

Funding for the Libraries' programs will continue to be a combination of conventional state allocations and alternative funding. Flexibility in the allocation of funds will be of increasing importance as will the quest for alternative sources of funding to support growth in services offered. The Libraries will involve all staff in development efforts.

Guiding Principles:
  1. Pursue external and alternative sources of funding as a permanent, ongoing activity.
  2. Increase awareness of the Libraries' importance to the state of Georgia to ensure adequate funding for the Libraries' continued growth and capacity to serve.
  3. Engender a sense of community within the Libraries organization which seeks to involve staff as an integral part of the development process.

COOPERATION AND PARTNERSHIPS

The Libraries will continue to participate in a broad range of cooperative programs to ensure appropriate access to resources and services not available locally. The Libraries will also explore a new array of partnerships in areas of scholarly communication and delivery of electronic information combined with investigation of the adequacy of resources required to facilitate such participation.

Guiding Principles:
  1. Ensure the availability of resources necessary to facilitate participation in cooperative projects.
  2. Seek cooperation with non-library partners to increase efficiency or to provide services or products for which we lack adequate staff resources.
  3. Achieve sustained cooperation in collection development, preservation, and interlibrary resource- sharing activities with other libraries in the University System, the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries, the Southeastern Library Network, and the University Center in Georgia.

PHYSICAL FACILITIES

Despite a critical shortage of space, the Libraries will strive to provide an environment of safety and comfort necessary for the successful pursuit of all appropriate activities. Public areas will provide space conducive to research as well as affording adequate shelving and equipment for the effective use and preservation of the collections, regardless of format. Service areas will be configured to provide efficient assistance to users, and staff work areas will be ergonomically designed to promote productivity and high morale.

Guiding Principles:
  1. Provide adequate space and shelving to house all collections in an environment which meets accepted preservation standards.
  2. Establish and maintain suitable environmental conditions (HVAC, lighting, workstations, etc.) for staff and patrons.
  3. Ensure that facilities in the Libraries keep pace with changing technological needs in personal computer use and access for all users to the Libraries' information systems.
  4. Cultivate awareness and implement ongoing programs in the care and handling of materials for staff and patrons.
  5. Ensure a safe and secure environment for collections, staff, and patrons. Promote staff awareness of safety and security measures.
SOURCE: Vision Committee and approved by Administrative Council, October 9, 1995. Revised May 2003.