Mission, Vision, Values, Pillars, Priorities, and Goals

In 2021-2022, we finished a participatory process to revise the Libraries’ mission, vision, and values statements. The process included a listening tour with campus stakeholders, an environmental scan, our campus self-study, and programmatic review. The Libraries’ new vision includes four strategic directions that align with Reach Higher 2025 and describe our high-level priority areas for the future.


University Libraries equip knowledge seekers to use information to shape their professions, enhance their communities, and create a more equitable society.


Anchored in the University’s educational mission and commitment to transformative equity, the University Libraries advance a bold vision of equitable access, empowered learning, and human-centered spaces.


  • Learner-centered: This value in action:
    • We center learning and learner needs in our services, spaces, and all that we do by proactively asking: “How does this impact our users?”
    • We create and maintain conditions which enable entrepreneurial culture, curiosity, inquiry, and continuous learning. 
  • Equity: This value in action:
    • We actively work to reduce barriers to library services and information by critically examining systems, structures, and processes. 
    • We invite many voices and perspectives to ensure diverse representation in library decisions and collections.
  • Collaboration: This value in action:
    • We recognize the strengths of individuals and the importance of many perspectives.
    • We strategically collaborate with departments, campus groups, and the greater profession to develop thoughtful solutions and reduce barriers to student learning. 
  • Care: This value in action:
    • We approach each other with respect, empathy, and curiosity, and we recognize the necessity of hard conversations. 
    • We prioritize what we do and how we do it while we take care of ourselves and each other.
  • Integrity: This value in action:
    • We work to promote transparency in our processes and decisions. 
    • We uphold the principles of academic freedom, the exchange of ideas, and the ethical uses of information and data. 
    • We are leaders in advancing open knowledge as a public good.  


These pillars provide the foundation for our priorities and goals and provide a longer term grounding for the strategic work that follows.

  • Partner to integrate expertise: We use our unique knowledge, skills, and expertise as information professionals to facilitate empowered learning throughout the student journey. We collaborate to advance the scholarly efforts of faculty. We advance learning at strategic points in courses and beyond, working within existing structures, partnerships, and services while continuing to innovate. 
  • Advance access: We deliberately invest our labor, expertise, and capital in knowledge infrastructures, open access initiatives, and open educational resources. Recognized as a leader on campus, we ensure our investments in infrastructures and resources serve everyone. 
  • Dismantle barriers: We critically engage with our systems, spaces, and services to advance equity and cultivate a sense of belonging within all library spaces. We will become an actively anti-racist, human-centered, accessible organization for our users.
  • Invest in People: We believe the foundation of the library is its people. We will continue to grow as an equity-minded and human-centered workplace. We use participatory practices throughout the organization to create an environment for our student colleagues, faculty, and staff to excel. 


These priorities will guide the next 5 years of the Libraries work. They activate the pillars towards the achievement of the vision:

  • Leverage expertise and spaces to enhance learning and increase student belonging. The Libraries use specialized skill sets and spaces to improve students’ overall experience at GVSU, impact student success, and to foster a sense of belonging among all students. The Libraries remain adaptable to a changing campus, and different modalities of learning to empower student learning. 
  • Advance access to resources through creative and sustainable practices. The Libraries are committed to expanding  access to information resources through advocacy, education, adoption, and implementation of open access publishing, open educational resources, and use of our existing collections to provide students course materials, when possible, with no additional personal cost.
  • Create learning opportunities rooted in inclusive teaching practices. The Library builds and maintains a variety of learning pathways to meet the needs of learners where they are and where they’ll go next. We recognize learning occurs both in connection with classroom experiences and serendipitously. The Libraries’ design philosophies are rooted in inclusive teaching principles, such as Universal Design for Learning and inclusive pedagogies, and are developed with accessibility in mind and a learner-centered approach.
  • Cultivate an engaged workforce. The success of the Libraries ultimately depends on the people doing the work of creating and maintaining the learning environment. The Libraries will sustain a supported learning environment for its employees through organizational and individual skills development


These goals will direct the Libraries work for the next 1-2 years:

  • Strategic Goal 1: Build responsive and user-centered approaches to support empowered learning and lifelong learning.
  • Strategic Goal 2: Steward Libraries' investment and partnerships to advance open publishing (Open Access and Open Educational Resources) acting as  a leader in creating sustainable infrastructure, implementation and adoption across campus to reduce barriers to educational equity by advancing access and discovery to no-cost and low-cost materials and also provide materials available for lifelong learning.
  • Strategic Goal 3: Rebuild the foundations to deliver on the libraries’ mission of cultivating student success and user belonging for GVSU students through review and re-engagement of policies, spaces, collections, and services to ensure the delivery of an empowered educational experience.
  • Strategic Goal 4: Actively address our internal work culture and practices to foster employee retention and job satisfaction in alignment with campus performance indicators on campus climate and faculty/staff retention.


Page last modified August 17, 2023