The CSUSM University Library will be a recognized knowledge hub for our region, fostering interdisciplinary creativity and innovation. Leading inclusively with compassion, we will evolve sustainably to meet the needs of our communities.


The University Library is an integral partner in teaching, learning, research, and outreach at CSUSM. With our diverse communities, we actively collaborate to ensure inclusive access to dynamic resources, responsive services, and welcoming spaces that meet changing user needs. We facilitate students’ holistic success through connection, critical information literacy, and lifelong learning, creating engaged members of local, regional, and global communities. 


As the CSUSM University Library, we value:

  • Equity, social justice, anti-racism, accessibility, and a diversity of voices
  • Student learning 
  • Compassion 
  • Innovation 
  • Open and free access to information
  • A person-centered focus
  • Our library employees
  • Engaged partnerships


While this plan articulates strategic directions that will be emphasized in the next five years, the University Library at CSUSM is committed to sustained excellence in the ongoing, day-to-day activities that are essential to the teaching, learning, research, and community engagement activities of the university community. These include:

  • Partnering with faculty across disciplines to develop, facilitate, and assess meaningful learning experiences and environments;
  • Teaching students and supporting members of our communities in various settings;
  • Cultivating and managing curriculum-driven collections;
  • Providing guidance on scholarly communication, copyright, data management, and open access;
  • Acquiring, making discoverable, and delivering information resources in multiple formats through either purchasing, open access, or resource sharing;
  • Ensuring ongoing access to Library information resources and current service expectations through our multiple consortial partnerships;
  • Ensuring access to Library services and spaces;
  • Supporting Library employees and stewarding the Library's financial resources;
  • Managing the operational sustainability, enhancement, and security of the Library technology infrastructure; 
  • Providing ongoing assessment and improvements to the user experience, including accessibility, of Library technology services;
  • Creating and maintaining inviting, inclusive, and accessible physical and virtual spaces; 
  • Documenting and preserving the history of our region;
  • Connecting with our user communities through outreach and information sharing; and
  • Collecting, reporting, and interpreting Library data for continuous improvement.


In the strategic directions and goals below, the terms communities and users are used to indicate the Library’s work with many groups, including students, staff, faculty, and the public, as they interact with Library physical or digital spaces and services. A specific mention of one or more of these groups within a goal defines a targeted audience for the work. The term sustainable is used broadly to refer to maintaining resources at a balanced rate and includes fiscal and workload sustainability in addition to environmental sustainability. 

Strategic Direction 1 - Supporting Holistic Student Success: The Library will center holistic student success and lifelong learning in evolving information landscapes by developing, delivering, and evaluating transformative learning experiences that employ multiple modalities and responsive pedagogies. 


  1. Apply reflective practice1 and an intersectional lens2 to account for diverse student voices to identify Library learning experiences and materials that equitably support  student learning needs and lead to holistic student success. 
  2. Foster relationships with key stakeholders in first-year programs and transfer pathways to advocate for students’ diverse needs surrounding information literacy and  lifelong learning. 
  3. Develop innovative strategies to meet students at points of need along their academic journey with information literacy instruction, considering various student  preferences.
  4. Engage in inclusive instructional design and cross-campus collaboration to provide transformational learning experiences that facilitate knowledge creation for the  campus community.
  5. Develop equity-minded learning assessment techniques that reflect our student population, their needs, and shared values. 

Strategic Direction 2 - Removing Information Access Barriers: Library information resources will facilitate innovative teaching and learning through a sustainable funding model and will encourage student success through providing and promoting affordable course materials and a commitment to removing access barriers.


  1. Investigate digitized lending options available based on copyright law to inform and pilot a lending program of Library-digitized books that will increase digital access to  information resources for the campus community.
  2. Develop a multi-year strategy for ensuring Library collections are inclusive and representative of our student population, including benchmarking and feedback  mechanisms from campus stakeholders.
  3. Partner with campus faculty and staff to expand the awareness and impact of Library Reserves and CALM (Cougars Affordable Learning Materials) to further reduce the  cost of course materials for students, with a focus on courses with high fail rates and equity gaps.3
  4. Work with stakeholders to establish a campus-wide open access policy to foster barrier-free access to scholarship that is beneficial to the academy and to society at large.
  5. Plan and initiate a comprehensive collection project to withdraw out-of-date print materials to create space in the library for more timely resources and space uses.
  6. Enhance the discoverability of Library resources through improved content management and collaboration with lending partners and third-party vendor.

Strategic Direction 3 - Envisioning Creative Library Spaces: The Library will develop a comprehensive and creative space planning vision emphasizing technology-rich learning environments that reflect the academic, social, and individual needs of our diverse and growing campus communities. 


  1. Develop a cohesive plan to guide the Library’s space design efforts that is reflective of diverse community needs, welcoming of all users, and involves the partnership of key campus stakeholders. 
  2. Cultivate new Library space amenities reflective of the academic support needs of underrepresented student groups.
  3. Research and implement methods of improved signage and wayfinding to ensure accessibility and navigability for users of all abilities. 
  4. Increase the presence of artistic expression and creativity in the Library, involving the participation and representation of culturally diverse creator communities. 
  5. Incorporate feedback of diverse campus stakeholders to design and implement a welcoming Library Makerspace that supports CSUSM student innovation.

Strategic Direction 4 - Centering User-Focused Practices: The Library will develop an integrated focus on the user experience by inquiring into the needs of users, cultivating proactive, data-informed practices with an ethic of care, and connecting with our multiple communities through active outreach, engagement, and user feedback. 


  1. Develop and implement a sustainable model for integrating regular user experience (UX) assessment strategies across the Library’s physical spaces and virtual  platforms. 
  2. Engage with CSUSM communities to conduct a user-focused assessment of emerging physical space needs and virtual resources and services, intentionally centering marginalized voices to ensure inclusive representation. 
  3. Create a three-year plan to identify issues and areas of improvement for information resource discovery interfaces and pathways to create solutions that improve the user  experience.
  4. Using UX methodologies, identify ways to connect students to the information and services they need at various stages of their student life cycle.

Strategic Direction 5 - Engaging Our Unique History: The Library will expand its growing network of external partners and donors to cultivate and steward essential and unique collections reflective of the rich diverse history and culture of North San Diego County and will create a public services space for our communities to engage with the history of our region.


  1. Develop an inclusive advisory group to assist in meeting the financial goals to create a special collections public services space on the Library’s fifth floor to aid in collection development and community outreach. 
  2. Create and implement a marketing and outreach plan to share diverse North San Diego County history with the larger community and engage the public with our initiatives and collections.
  3. Prioritize acquiring specific unique collections relevant to North County San Diego, including those that emphasize underrepresented voices, and build relationships with potential donors toward securing identified collections.  
  4. Invest in physical and digital preservation, storage, access, and staffing to make more unique collection materials sustainably and globally accessible.

Strategic Direction 6 - Cultivating a Just and Compassionate Library: The Library will lead in creating services, programs, and spaces that reflect our unequivocal commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, accessibility, and sustainability, and will support the professional growth and holistic wellness of its employees with an active culture of compassion.


  1. Create the conditions in the Library to challenge oppressive structures4 through collaborative and self-directed learning opportunities, active and ongoing discussions, and the development of actionable goals representative of all Library departments and work groups.
  2. Investigate and implement culturally relevant methods to promote professional growth and holistic wellness of Library employees that support a sense of belonging and create the conditions for workplace sustainability. 
  3. Facilitate student-responsive Library services, events, and outreach opportunities that support marginalized groups.
  4. Create, promote, and assess a shared Library culture of compassion through the development of organizational norms and values that center transparency, respect, and trust.
  5. Design and implement periodic assessments for equity, diversity, inclusion, accessibility, and sustainability that lead to changes supporting the well-being of Library user groups and employees.

1. Reflective practice is the ability to reflect on one’s actions to take a critical stance or attitude toward one’s own practice and that of one’s peers, engaging in a process of continuous adaptation and learning. (Schön, D.A.; 1983)

2. An intersectional lens enables one to recognize the fact that membership in a particular group can make people vulnerable to various forms of oppression. However, because individuals are simultaneously members of many groups, their complex identities can shape the specific way each person experiences oppression. (Crenshaw, K.; 1989)

3. Open educational resources /low-cost course materials have proven to increase student success measured by course completions and grades earned of a C or better. (Fischer, L., Hilton, J., Robinson, T.J. et al.; 2015)

4. An oppressive structure is any economic, political, or social/cultural system that allows for the exploitation, marginalization, discrimination, or oppression of people. (Tozan, O.; https://kppcam.net/2022/03/03/transforming-oppressive-structures/)

Previous Strategic Plan:

Strategic Plan 2015-2020