Strategic Plan 2005 - 2007

Forrest R. Polk Library
University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh
”On the Path to Distinctiveness and Excellence”
Strategic Plan 20052007
April 14, 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.


Polk Library, working in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin Libraries fostering the “one library, one system” concept, will be known for its:

  • Commitment to service excellence demonstrated by providing access to quality print and electronic collections and providing services for the development of students, faculty and staff.
  • Fostering of lifelong learning and provision of a positive learning experience by emphasizing information literacy in fulfilling the information needs of the University community.
  • Leadership and Innovation as it explores strategies and opportunities that best respond to changing educational needs.
  • Partnerships that serve and develop a strong, cooperative relationship with students, faculty, staff, UW Oshkosh Administration, UW libraries and the community.


It is the mission of Forrest R. Polk Library to support and enhance the teaching and learning, research and service to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh community of faculty, staff and students. To meet this aim, we are committed to:

  • Provide information services of the highest quality; excellence in its staff, services, programs, collections and facilities.
  • Operate effectively, efficiently, and with integrity; administer the library according to the highest standards of excellence.
  • Promote cooperation and share our skills, knowledge and resources with other organizations and individuals throughout our Wisconsin region and beyond.
  • Respect both the past and the future; to preserve and build current collections and to anticipate future information needs and tools.
  • Remain flexible, innovative and cooperative in meeting our mission.
  • Provide leadership that promotes the sharing of knowledge and support of the values, ethics and standards of the library profession.
  • Participate actively in insuring continued access to scholarly information in all its forms.
  • Provide a welcoming user-friendly atmosphere for research and study.

Core Values

♦ Lifelong Learning ♦ Intellectual Freedom
♦ Respect for Diversity ♦ Equitable Access
♦ Communication and Cooperation ♦ Quality Collections
♦ Service Excellence ♦ Quality Work Environment


Polk Library operates in a dynamic environment. Significant challenges are presented as budgets shrink, prices rise, and technology rapidly 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.

Polk Library operates in an environment in which there are:

  • Expanding user expectations – Shaped by tools, services and technologies that did not exist a few years ago, users will demand and need faster, newer 24/7 distributed forms of information and service.
  • Budget constraints The ability of the library to respond to demands will be constrained by tight budgets, uncertain state funding, and rapidly rising costs for information.
  • Technological changes – With the advent of digital collections and electronic resources, new hardware and software technologies are constantly being developed to enhance access to primary research material and information resources.
  • New trends in scholarly publishing – Scholarly materials are moving from print to electronic at variable rates by discipline. The old model of scholarly
    communication is breaking down. Driven by the commercial exploitation of the scholarly communication market and the opportunities of digital scholarship, new models of scholarly communication are being developed.
  • Outdated facilities – The current library building no longer meets student and faculty needs. The facility needs functional improvements, and it has a shoddy appearance and appears in disrepair.

On the Path to Distinctiveness and Excellence
Polk Library Strategic Plan 20052007



This plan is conceived on transforming directions that will guide us throughout the biennium and assist us envision the way we will operate at Polk Library. These specific strategies address the broader mission of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and the “one system, one library” concept of the UW System libraries. In addition, they will guide Polk Library’s pursuit of our own vision and mission.

Goal 1

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

Action Plan:

    1. Wireless access and open data jacks project
    2. Distance Education
    3. Support Really Simple Syndication (RSS)
    4. Integrate library services into UW Oshkosh portal environments
  • Strategy 2: Collaborate with other academic and public institutions along with national and regional library organizations

Action Plan:

    1. Implement a New Era library card for guest patrons
    2. Participate in 24/7 chat reference
  • Strategy 3: Promote resource sharing with other UW System campuses to provide our community of users with timely access to system-wide

Action Plan:

    1. Continue to promote Universal Borrowing as the first choice for off-site book borrowing over Interlibrary Loan
    2. Expand the overall selection of books in the University of Wisconsin System through cooperative purchase agreements with other UWs
    3. Prepare to increase funding for cooperative purchases, either through the UW Shared Electronic Collection or through smaller partnerships with other UWs
  • Strategy 4: Foster cooperative ventures with information service providers

Action Plan:

    1. Explore and evaluate faculty initiated “just-in-time” information on demand” resources
    2. Develop a plan to better incorporate Open Access periodicals and resources into the array of resources made available to students, staff and

Goal 2

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 the researchers’ desktop 24/7 to support the growing range of specialized research interests

Action Plan:

    1. Promote and develop a “just-in-time” information services program for faculty
    2. Pursue more site licensed electronic journals locally and in collaboration with others
  • Strategy 2: Identify, review and deselect items from its collections to keep them current, useful and manageable and to utilize limited space and monitor future growth

Action Plan:

    1. Continue routine review and deselection of the journal and monographic collections
    2. Review EMC collections and purchase and install new EMC video shelving
    3. Review UW System shared electronic collection
    4. Review and evaluate the Government Documents collection and procedures

Goal 3

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

Action Plan:

    1. Public library catalog software upgrade to Unicode
    2. Working with Information Technology units on developing user authentication and authorization with a single user logon via LDAP
    3. Continue to apply for grant funding when possible
  • Strategy 2: Promote the effective use of technology to further partnerships within the campus community, UW Library System, Voyager Hub group,
    Wisconsin libraries and the international community

Action Plan:

    1. Implementation of NEW ERA borrowing card for guest patrons.
    2. Wireless project and open data jacks
    3. Support Really Simple Syndication (RSS)
  • Strategy 3: Maintain and enhance the library systems to heighten library staff productivity in providing quality service to customers

Action Plan:

    1. Implementation of patron-initiated item retrieval service for faculty and students
    2. Move to new cataloging interface
    3. Development of an automated book request form for faculty
    4. Implement electronic journal service for managing electronic journals
    5. Implement electronic data interchange system (EDI) to enhance the acquisitions purchasing process
  • Strategy 4: Support access by customers and staff to electronic information that is available 24/7

Action Plan:

    1. Strengthen the Library’s collection of full-text electronic resources and digital content
    2. Maintain an effective Library web site
    3. Implementation of a meta-search tool for cross database searching via MetaLib
    4. 24/7 chat reference
    5. Implement a “just-in-time” information service for faculty

Goal 4

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

Action Plan:

    1. Work with UW System committees on these projects to ensure these projects meet the long-term needs of the university
    2. Lead in developing Wisconsin Heritage Online (WHO) and pursue becoming a regional digitization center for WHO
    3. Continue administrative contributions and/or leadership to the UW Digital Collections
    4. Contribute unique UW Oshkosh materials to the UWDC
    5. Investigate partnership with community cultural agencies such as Oshkosh Public Library and Oshkosh Public Museum
    6. Explore and develop a management service for digital content
  • Strategy 2: Work with the Provost and Facilities Management to develop a plan with cost estimates that meets the pressing needs of the University Archives

Action Plan:

    1. Develop and execute archives remodeling plan
    2. Develop a digital repository
    3. Preserve University architectural records

Goal 5

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

Action Plan:

    1. Continue to improve and expand library instruction services for faculty and students
    2. Integrate library content into campus courseware program
    3. Continue to add new technology to library instructional classrooms
  • Strategy 2: Assess users’ expectations and levels of satisfaction of services offered by the Library

Action Plan:

    1. Continue to use the results of the Spring 2004 user survey to improve library services for campus
    2. Evaluation of library instruction sessions begun in Spring 2005 and assess outcome
    3. Within three years, perform another campus-wide library user survey
  • 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

Action Plan:

    1. Review and update current library policies
    2. Keep abreast of current regulations and new developments in user privacy, copyright and fair use
    3. Cooperate with the university community in sharing information resources regarding privacy, copyright and fair use

Goal 6

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

Action Plan:

    1. Continue to plan for and implement improvements to the library’s space and facilities in conjunction with the Library Building Improvement
      Committee endeavors; work to improve University support for these projects
    2. Work with University Foundation and Advancement Office to raise funds to support important building and equipment improvements
    3. Work with Art Department to create a display space in the Library for student and faculty art

Goal 7

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

Action Plan:

    1. Support library staff participation in University and professional development within the context of their position descriptions
    2. Encourage staff to take a leadership role in the UW System and professional activities
    3. Support summer staff training workshops
    4. Provide time and funding (as budget allows) for training workshops and conferences regarding information technology. (See further discussion on staff training in Polk Library Information Technology Plan)
  • Strategy 2: Ensure expert management of its resources and services

Action Plan:

    1. Annual review for all library staff
    2. Gather staff input for evaluation of library department heads on a rotating basis
    3. Gather staff input for the Library Director’s evaluation and use information for improvements in library operations
    4. Review selected position descriptions to reflect organizational changes

Goal 8

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

Action Plan:

    1. Support student artist through our art purchase program
    2. Work with Foundation to establish a Polk Library Excellence Fund
    3. Cooperate with university departments and cultural organizations in the area to provide cultural and education programming to the community
    4. Sponsor and promote library outreach activities that integrate with campus programs and events
  • 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

Action Plan:

    1. Distribute library newsletter in electronic format
    2. Facilitate communication between the Library and the University community via the Library Liaison program, the Faculty Senate, the
      Faculty Senate Committee on Libraries, the Oshkosh Student Association, and the Academic Staff Senate, the Classified Staff Advisory Council and University administration as appropriate
    3. Create promotional materials utilizing a variety of formats to share solutions and alternatives for critical library issues with the University

Forrest R. Polk Library
University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh
”On the Path to Distinctiveness and Excellence”