Executive Summary 2005 - 2007

Forrest R. Polk Library
University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh
”On the Path to Distinctiveness and Excellence”
Executive Summary 2005‐2007
July 1, 2005

As a leader and partner within the University of Wisconsin System Libraries, Polk Library supports and enriches the University’s mission and its commitment to learning, teaching, scholarly research and community outreach. The staff of Polk Library intends to play a leadership role in the UW System and the state in redefining a new model of academic library that best meets the needs of the university community.

Challenges, Successes, and Laying the Path…

Polk Library operates in a dynamic environment. Significant challenges are presented with shrinking budgets, rising costs, outdated facilities and rapid technological changes. Economic conditions and the impact of those conditions require Polk Library to be creative in its approach in providing information resources while pursuing collaborative endeavors with other libraries whenever possible.

This revised strategic plan builds on the previous strategic plan for Polk Library, composed in July 2003, Transforming Bricks and Mortar: Challenges and Innovations for 2003‐2005. The implementation of the goals and objectives in that plan over the past two years has strengthened the library in a number of areas: document delivery, instructional technology, campus and community outreach, and collection development. More importantly, the strategic planning process reveals that Polk Library is highly valued by our user community.

Four themes stand as the broad‐based foundation for Polk Library’s strategic plan. These themes are further articulated in the formal strategic plan as a set of goals and strategies for implementation:

  • Gateway to Information and Scholarship: An exciting set of initiatives leads Polk Library into the digital future with “just‐in‐time” information on demand, and the promotion and growth of digital collections including the UW Digital Collections and the Wisconsin Heritage Online project. We reaffirm our commitment of collaboration with our academic and community partners by promoting resource sharing with other UW System campuses, academic and public institutions through such projects as the New Era library card, 24/7 chat reference and universal borrowing of materials.
  • Facilitator of Teaching, Learning, and Research: New instructional strategies ensure information literacy competency for our students and faculty through integrating library content into campus courseware programs while improving and expanding library instruction services. Strengthen our commitment to our scholars and students through acquiring and delivering resources to support the growing range of specialized research interests through integration of open access journals and cooperative purchasing agreements. Promote the Library’s resources by fostering the awareness of
    the full complement of value‐added educational and cultural experiences available via sponsorship with university/community partners.
  • Library As Place: a renewed focus on the importance of physical space, and a redefinition and renovation of that space to meet more fully the learning, research, and social needs of the campus. This plan supports such endeavors as the renovation of the University archives and working with the University Foundation and Advancement Office to raise funds to support important building improvements
  • Technology and Work Environment: an acknowledgement of the fact that successful implementation of this plan relies upon a well prepared and equipped staff, that the environment supports collaborative work and mutual respect, and that Polk Library staff have a role to play in shaping the larger UW Oshkosh environment and community.

Strategic Goals and Objectives


To provide a leadership role in the provision of information on campus and in the State of Wisconsin

  • Strategy 1: Work closely with other academic and administrative colleagues on issues of information delivery, access and literacy
  • Strategy 2: Collaborate with other academic and public institutions along with national and regional library organizations
  • Strategy 3: Promote resource sharing with other UW System campuses to provide our community of users with timely access to system‐wide collections
  • Strategy 4: Taking the lead in the creation of a virtual UW System library catalog and also a state‐wide library catalog with simplified searching and access in cooperation with the largest library cooperative in the world and Wisconsin libraries.
  • Strategy 5: Foster cooperative ventures with information service providers


Provides information that supports the curricular and research needs of the University and, in collaboration with other research institutions, the needs of the scholarly community

  • Strategy 1: Acquire and deliver resources in the most suitable formats to researchers’ desktops to support the growing wide range of specialized research interests
  • Strategy 2: Identify, review and de‐select items from its collections to keep them current, useful and manageable and to utilize limited space and monitor future growth


To acquire and maintain an appropriate technological infrastructure that increases accessibility to Library's resources and enhances customer convenience and services

  • Strategy 1: Plan for and implement needed hardware/software upgrades and purchases
  • Strategy 2: Promote the effective use of technology to further partnership within the campus community, UW Library System, Voyager Hub group, Wisconsin libraries and the international community
  • Strategy 3: Maintain and enhance the library systems to heighten library staff productivity in providing quality service to customers
  • Strategy 4: Support access by customer and staff to electronic information that is available 24/7


Build and preserve collections and promote the growth of a digital library, ensuring timely and convenient access to information and upholding its role as a cultural repository.

  • Strategy 1: Promote the growth and development of digital collections, electronic repositories and digital workspaces for education and research
  • Strategy 2: Complete the remodeling of the University Archives and Government Documents areas of the Library by the start of the 2005 fall semester.


To strengthen the educational role of Polk Library, in collaboration with faculty, to foster information literacy skill in our students

  • Strategy 1: Expand new instructional strategies to support classroom teaching and overall information literacy
  • Strategy 2: Assess users’ expectations and levels of satisfaction of services offered by the Library
  • Strategy 3: Protect each user’s right to privacy and confidentiality; uphold the principles of intellectual and academic freedom and comply with Federal copyright regulations maintaining the principle of “fair use” as it relates to educational institutions while educating users about intellectual property issues


To enhance the library facility making it an attractive venue for study, research and interaction

  • Strategy 1: Create an atmosphere that is conducive to the intellectual and professional growth of faculty, students, staff, and the community


To build a positive structure that encourages staff intellectual and professional growth and share a common purpose for carrying out the Library’s vision

  • Strategy 1: Encourage staff to develop technical and professional skills by supporting ongoing staff training and education
  • Strategy 2: Ensure expert management of its resources and services


Promote and advance the Library’s services and resources through fund development, alternative revenue streams, promotion and communication within and beyond the University community.

  • Strategy 1: Develop and foster tools that will increase awareness of the full complement of value‐added educational and cultural experiences available via Library sponsorship with university and community partners
  • Strategy 2: Identify and utilize appropriate communication channels to inform the university community on library issues and respond to the University’s concerns and questions in a timely manner