Strategic Framework: 2013-2021

The library’s strategic plan for 2022 to 2027 can be found here. The strategic framework outlined below guided our work from 2013 to 2021 and informed the current plan.

The UC Davis Library provides high quality research collections and academic services on which the entire university community depends. At the same time, the world in which libraries function has been radically altered by technology, the digitization of research materials, and the way in which students, faculty and researchers find, use and share knowledge.

To meet the campus’ evolving needs, the library created a strategic framework that allows it to both plan for the future and continually adapt to a changing landscape. This strategic framework, created in 2013 and updated in 2017, identifies the key areas in which the library focuses its efforts and resources. The framework outlined below highlights six priorities for the library – three related to programs and services, and three related to infrastructure. All of these priorities are aligned with the library’s mission, vision and values and support 10 key themes that emerged from various UC Davis visioning and planning efforts, as well as major initiatives like Organizational Excellence.

Download the PDF or read the overview of the library’s strategic framework below.


Increase UC Davis’ research impact

  • Offer appropriate data curation services
  • Support research collaboration tools
  • Provide alternative publishing strategies


Maximize the community’s access to the comprehensive collection of knowledge

  • Provide access to comprehensive and excellent collections
  • Digitize print collections
  • Preserve scholarship in all formats


Improve UC Davis’ educational quality by preparing students for lifelong learning

  • Teach lifelong information research skills
  • Document impact on student success
  • Bring the library to the online classroom
  • Provide access to online educational materials

Online Platform

Create a world-class virtual library environment

  • Create a compelling “virtual library”
  • Provide easier access to digital collections
  • Improve online infrastructure, tools and services

Organization and Governance

Maximize the library’s effectiveness and impact in pursuit of our mission

  • Update organizational structure and implement organizational excellence
  • Improve assessment and data-driven decision-making
  • Stabilize funding
  • Strengthen governance


Revitalize library spaces for a growing community of learners and a changing research environment

  • Improve study spaces
  • Rethink building uses for current campus configuration
  • Facilitate staff in-person interaction

These themes emerge from various UC Davis visioning and planning efforts and unify the library’s work across all of the priority areas described above.


UC Davis is a large and growing university. Yet, many library services were designed for a much smaller community: in-person or one-on-one interactions that are difficult to maintain with a larger population. Everything we do must be designed to work for a large, diverse and physically distributed community.


Library budgets are dominated by the costs of scholarly communication products (e.g., books, journals and databases, in all formats) and of increasingly expert staff. In times of constrained resources, we need to steward those resources carefully and invest them wisely, anticipating future costs and needs so that our services are as efficient as possible and can adapt to changing financial circumstances.


The university is known for its interdisciplinary research and innovations, and the library has a key role to play in helping scholars collaborate and generate new knowledge in this way. Students and researchers who are effective at knowledge discovery in their own discipline are often challenged to be as effective in other disciplines with which they engage, and the library must facilitate that continuum of expertise and data-sharing across disciplines.


Many of the library’s resources and services can only be efficiently developed in partnership with others at UC Davis, across the UC system, or with other library, education and technology organizations. Each of our goals asks who our partners might be and what can be achieved collectively, while not encumbering future library leaders with dependencies that lead to inflexibility.

Organizational Excellence

The library, like the university, is committed to organizational excellence, a strategic program to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of administrative processes and make them “lean, effective, transparent, service-oriented and innovative.” Its goals include achieving cost savings that can be redirected to academic programs (such as the library’s collections and research services), harnessing existing expertise from within the university, and adopting a mindset of continuous improvement.

Public Service

UC Davis aims to support and sustain healthy, equitable communities in which all have access to the benefits of education and discovery. The library, as the university’s repository of knowledge and a conduit for communicating its research, shares this goal of ensuring broad public access to knowledge.


As the intellectual hub of the university, the library plays a critical role in fostering a vibrant community of learning and scholarship and improving students’ educational outcomes.


UC Davis is increasingly global in its community, its research and its partnerships. The library must support members of this community wherever they come from and wherever they are in the world, and facilitate global research through our approach to collections and research services.

Accountability and Assessment

Like the universities they are part of, libraries are asked to better articulate the value that they bring to their constituents: students, faculty, researchers, practitioners, staff and the public. To do so, we need to link our collections and services to the goals of the institution, and measure our progress toward meeting those goals. We are developing metrics or other means of assessing progress against each goal, holding the library accountable to its mission.


UC Davis seeks to advance the economic prosperity of our region, fostering California’s burgeoning life-science, agricultural and clean energy industries and investigating and sharing socially, politically, economically and environmentally relevant solutions to global problems. The library can support these goals by advancing the scholarly reputation of the campus, for example, by increasing access to faculty research publications or providing an online faculty profile service.