Guiding Principles for a Future-Oriented Library

In order to provide the best academic library service that we can for U.S. Military Academy cadets, faculty, and staff, we seek to develop and inspire the best professionals we can across all areas of our service and support. We know that the quality of service we provide is directly related to the quality and engagement of our staff. To that end, we are working to redesign our organization to maximize the individual strengths found in the members of our team, while also preparing ourselves for future priorities in delivering academic information services at USMA. A common thread that binds libraries, higher education, government, and the military is change — and we are building an organization that will be flexible and responsive to the evolving needs of our users from across the Academy. This process has been ongoing since 2014, and will see more substantial implementation throughout the 2015-16 academic year.

As part of our planning process, we have developed eight guiding principles for our library that will steer our evolution. We believe that our organizational structure should affirm:

  • Our mission to empower cadets, faculty, and staff to be leaders of distinction in scholarship and research – We are passionate about equipping our users to thrive distinctively as scholars and leaders in the Army and beyond.
  • The importance of curricular engagement and partnership with cadets and faculty – We will focus our primary effort on building strong bridges and connections with the academic enterprise at USMA.
  • Our unique and special collections and materials as our institutional contribution to international scholarship – We recognize the depth and breadth of the unique resources held in our collections that can advance international scholarship, and rather than subdivide work with those materials within one part of our organization, we seek to integrate that support across our entire library structure.
  • The importance of an academic library as a physical, central hub for interdisciplinary engagement and collaboration as well as personal study and enrichment – We are fortunate to have an outstanding facility that supports both collaborative and individual research.
  • Collaborative and open work relationships for all staff at all levels – We seek to empower our staff to work across the full spectrum of information support and to facilitate collaboration as a core value of our organization.
  • Leadership opportunity for all staff at all levels – We value our staff for the unique skills each member brings and seek to build opportunities for everyone to lead with those skills.
  • Advancement opportunity and professional development for all staff at all levels – We will work to create paths for staff to grow and expand their knowledge and skill.
  • The changing nature of our profession and the evolving patterns of information use – We will be resilient and engaged with our present and future circumstances as we stay rooted in our mission while the means to achieve it continue to evolve.

Through these principles we look to build and grow our capability as a team to deliver the best information service we can. We look forward to taking meaningful steps to this end during the 2015-16 academic year.

Published in USMA Library Program Review 2014-2016