James White Library Strategic Plan - 2002

Cover | Preface | Librairies and Change | Themes | Communities | Environment | Knowledge Resources | Human Resources | Appendix


Definition and Vision

While print materials will continue to be the backbone of the library's resources, their primacy will decline as digital information resources continue to multiply at a rapid rate. The "information explosion" that librarians talked about when publication rates soared during the sixties and seventies appears in hindsight to have been a small eruption compared to the barrage of electronic information that is now in the process of totally reshaping our society.

It is certainly re-shaping the way libraries do business. What to collect and how to provide access to it have become major issues for academic libraries. Library decisions have often become multiple-choice decisions. Managing acquisition and access to the exploding universe of knowledge resources, while experiencing diminishing budgets, has emerged as a major dilemma and priority for academic libraries. Impacted by the dilemma are users who demand access to the broad spectrum of knowledge resources in all formats. In the face of all this, university libraries must shift their focus from "Here's what I have" to "Tell me what you want." 1

Faced with a deluge of knowledge on the one hand, and a receding pool of funds on the other, James White Library will be challenged to select its resources wisely, so that there is a good match between what is acquired and what is required. The needs of a growing off-campus clientele will influence choices of format and access. A "just-in-time" approach to information delivery will be dependent upon fast access through traditional interlibrary loan and electronic document delivery. The library will also be challenged to provide appropriate vehicles and levels of bibliographic access, ranging from traditional cataloging to the manipulation of metadata. Finally, the library will itself contribute to the stockpile of resources by creating its own digital content for unique Adventist materials as well as for electronic reserves.

Faith Focus

In its collection development the library will seek to maintain an emphasis on faith-building resources, both through acquisition and Internet links.

Assessment Focus

The wise use of financial resources demands attention to the assessed needs of academic programs.

1Metz, Terry. Wanted: Library leaders for a discontinuous future. Library Issues, 21 (3), Jan 2001.


Resources development plans and strategies will be based on the assessed information needs of students and faculty, with the understanding that needs will differ according to programs and geographic locations.

Action Steps:

    • -Affirm the role of print in knowledge resources
    • -Maintain materials budget flexibility
    • -Provide electronic resources according to carefully developed criteria
    • -Profile the needs of each academic program, both on and off-campus
    • -Broaden collection development to include appropriate multi-cultural and international resources
    • -Include more devotional and faith literature in the general reading collection
    • -Analyze the use of the library's knowledge resources to inform both resources development and marketing
    • -Implement a program of collection evaluation, with faculty participation
    • -Develop and implement a plan for preservation of paper resources
    • -Advise the campus in campus copyright compliance and awareness

James White Library will provide appropriate levels of bibliographic access for all of its resources.

Action Steps:

  • -Review existing processes for acquiring and providing bibliographic access to information resources
  • -Utilize selective sourcing when appropriate
  • -Provide personnel for cataloging of Adventist Heritage Center holdings

Students and faculty will be provided with the speediest available methods for obtaining material not held by the James White Library.

Action Steps:

    • -Maintain a robust interlibrary loan service, with emphasis on efficiency and speed
    • -Use document delivery services, as appropriate, to meet information and research needs of students and faculty

James White Library will participate with other libraries in projects which have the objective of acquiring and sharing valuable knowledge resources.

Action Steps:

  • -Participate in ATLAS and other Michigan state initiatives for resource sharing
  • -Active participation in consortia (local, regional, denominational) to maximize cost efficient access to important knowledge resources
  • -Keep abreast of developments in digital reference, with a view to future participation both for acquiring and sharing resources

James White Library will create useful digital resources from its own unique and special collections.

Action Steps:

    • -Develop a plan for digitization of selected paper resources, with special emphasis on the Adventist Heritage Center holdings
    • -Cooperate with other institutions in providing access to Adventist materials
    • -Implement electronic reserves