Temple University Libraries Strategic Plan


Connecting people and ideas to enhance learning & research.


Key Functions:

Temple University Libraries nourish and sustain the academic enterprise through:

  • Facilities, staff, collections and resources that support study, instruction, inquiry, and scholarship;
  • Instructional and service engagement with the learning environment to aid students in the exploration and discovery of new ideas;
  • Provision of materials, tools, and expertise to amplify the productivity and extend the reach of students, scholars and researchers; and
  • Dissemination of ideas and culture through publishing, events, outreach and collaborative programming with academic partners.



Operating Principles (July 2014)



The libraries serve as trusted keepers of the intellectual and cultural record, collecting, describing, providing access to, and preserving a broad universe of materials, including physical and digital collections, rare and unique books, manuscripts, archives, ephemera and the products of scholarly enterprise at Temple.


Personal & Personalized Services

The libraries provide learning and research services keyed to the unique needs, desires and characteristics of the constituents they serve, both through interpersonal interaction and through user-responsive technologies. 


Intellectual Rigor

While the libraries serve students and faculty by simplifying access to resources that support learning, clinical practice, and research, they also recognize a mandate to value complexity and to facilitate tackling the challenging question rather than finding the easy answer.



The libraries embrace as core to their mission:

  • Barrier-free access for our community to a rich array of physical & digital resources to support learning and inquiry;

  • The unfettered flow of ideas, scholarship and knowledge to support learning, clinical practice, and research and to stimulate creativity and intellectual enterprise;

  • Engagement with faculty to create open educational resources for broad distribution and sharing;

  • Collaborative development of open source standards, tools, and software to meet the needs of the scholarly, library, and cultural heritage communities;

  • A climate of organizational transparency to engage and energize a professionally sophisticated staff.


Historically-Informed, Future-Directed Library Practice

Informed by their historical commitment to collect, organize and preserve the intellectual and cultural record, the libraries act aggressively to transform their focus and approach for the digital age.


Innovation & Experimentation

Moving to the tempo of the digital age, the libraries are agile and quick to explore and adopt new and emerging services, tools and methods, in a spirit of trial and error, continuous learning, and ludic exploration.


Partnership & Collaboration

The libraries recognize that in a complex and inter-disciplinary academic environment, the development of new services, new resources, and new paradigms for learning and research flows directly from partnership and collaboration with individuals, departments, college, the clinical enterprise, and community groups across the institutional, local, national and global landscape.


Civic Hospitality

The libraries recognize their role in providing a welcoming environment for community members in North Philadelphia and the greater Philadelphia region, including access to technology, lifelong learning & life skills development, and cultural programming.



The libraries strive to engage and serve in an appropriate manner the full diversity of the Temple academic and local communities across cultural, class, gender, ethnic, economic and political lines.



The libraries commit to making their resources, systems, and services available to all who need to use them.



The libraries commit to evidence based planning, decision-making and management and to the regular evaluation of organizational performance in addressing the education, research, and civic and cultural outreach needs and priorities of Temple University at large.



Strategic Actions (July 2014)


Temple University Libraries will foster learning, enhance intellectual life, amplify scholarly impact, and extend the reach of the imagination for their diverse local, national, and global communities through concerted action in these key areas:


1. Designing and building a dramatically new library environment to serve as a catalyst for academic enterprise at Temple.

At the heart of the Temple campus, this new central library will embody emerging modes of library mission while sustaining and transforming traditional library functions and commitments, with a quality and thoughtfulness of design that will be a model for other research universities nationally and internationally in the digital age.


2. Enriching the environment for learning and student success.

The libraries will be a rich ecosystem for learning, providing services, instruction, tools and materials in light of diverse and evolving student needs, interests and predilections, in dialog with faculty and administrators, with an emphasis on curricular integration of information literacy, personalization and personal contact.


3. Developing programs, services, and resources to enhance intellectual productivity, scholarly infrastructure, new modes of research, and clinical care services.

The libraries will support a diverse environment for the exploration of new modes of scholarship, engaging all fields of academic endeavor as a multi-disciplinary contact zone and intellectual workshop, connecting students, clinicians and scholars with collections, tools, librarians, and technical experts.


4. Exploring new opportunities in publishing and scholarly communication.

The libraries will engage in deep collaboration with Temple University Press, with Temple faculty, and with other organizations and academic institutions to identify and adopt new approaches for sharing scholarly products, for exploring sustainable economic models for university publishing, and for connecting local publishing initiatives with Temple’s faculty.


5. Seeking partners in innovation and experimentation to add value to library programs and to identify new avenues for economic support.

The libraries will connect with a broad set of partners and collaborators at Temple and beyond to amplify their capacity for innovation, invention, and the exploration of emerging opportunities, both in technological domains (gaming, data visualization, data management, digital scholarship, health informatics etc.) and in areas where new revenue opportunities may be involved (publishing, foundation support, corporate partnerships, donor support, joint training and certification programs, etc.).


6. Serving as a center of intellectual and cultural life.

The libraries will engage with schools and colleges, academic departments, interest groups, individuals, and community organizations to stimulate conversation, support the exchange of ideas, to provide a lively agenda of events, serving as a center of intellectual, cultural and civic life for Temple University and its neighboring urban community.


7. Serving as a repository of record for archival, rare, and unique materials and providing broad access to those collections.

Building on deep Special Collections that reflect not only Temple’s institutional history, mission, and geographical centrality to the Philadelphia urban community, but also its commitment to intellectual engagement in the arts, book arts, and alternative movements, and recognizing the reputation of the Blockson Collection as an important resource for African American history and culture, the libraries will continue to expand their holdings, providing access to an ever growing set of their holdings in digital form.


8. Building a world-class staff for leadership in the research library enterprise.

Recognizing that leadership, innovation, creativity, and dynamism in any enterprise are the product of personal commitment and staff empowerment, the libraries will create a flexible and forward-looking work environment that embraces transparent management practices, clear communication channels, individual accountability, fiscal responsibility, efficiency, a culture of experiment and continuous learning, opportunities for growth, and work-life balance, with the goal of becoming a model organization for all 21st century research libraries.


9. Sharing the vision, making connections, broadening support.

As Temple University Libraries realize the ambition to be leaders in defining 21st century academic librarianship, they must share their story and build on successes and lessons learned, identifying further opportunities for growth and innovation, and opening up new avenues for support and partnership via private, corporate and foundation philanthropy and through cooperative enterprise with other organizations and institutions nationally and globally.