Strategic principles and objectives for
The Library budget planning process

January 24, 1995


In preparation for development of a strategic plan, this statement is intended to define interim strategic principles and objectives to guide the development of The Library's budget for collections, programs and services for the next three years. The L ibrary recognizes that the environment for Berkeley's library (and research libraries in general) is being redefined by fundamental changes: budget cuts and fiscal constraints combined with rising information costs; changes in the composition of the fac ulty, academic programs, research methodologies and the curriculum; and the rise of new forms of technology based information and communication resources which require funding. Yet even in the midst of restructuring due to fiscal constraints, The Library 's goal is to lay a foundation for becoming the finest research library in the world in the next decade. This foundation is built upon the following principles:

  1. The Library's mission is to provide faculty, students and the public with access to collections, information resources and services which enable world class research, teaching and service. National rankings such as the Association of Research Libra ries statistics are based on budget inputs, such as collection size, budgets for books, serials and personnel, and rates of change; these are useful as comparative norms, but do not measure library quality from a user's point of view. To evaluate succes s in terms of research and instruction, The Library must be guided by the closest possible consultation with the faculty, and measurements of faculty and student satisfaction. For example, excellence will be measured not merely by the size of the collect ion, but also by its usefulness to research and teaching programs, condition and accessibility when needed.

  2. Berkeley will continue to build and preserve one of the great research collections in the world as the primary means of enabling world class research, teaching and service. Information technology budgets and programs will be shaped by collection p riorities, which are in turn to be shaped by research and instructional programs and needs. Berkeley's priorities for academic programs and faculty research will directly shape The Library's priorities for ownership of information resources; The Librar y will use information technology and cooperative agreements to provide timely and cost effective access to information we do not own. Because the Berkeley collection has historically served as the research library for other educational institutions and the public of the State of California, The Library will use information technology and cooperative agreements to enable academic and public libraries throughout the state to provide primary services to their communities through electronic access to Berke ley's collections.

  3. Berkeley must develop a viable long term funding strategy for excellent research collections and services through effective management, fundraising to build endowments, and the development of revenue producing enterprises consistent with our academic mission.

Goal 1. Collections.

The Library's collections and information resources are the principal means by which we support the campus's goals to recruit and retain a superior faculty, attract the finest graduate students, and improve undergraduate education. Berkeley's commitment to develop a strategic academic plan and rebuild the faculty with nearly 100 new appointments in the next year presents an historic opportunity for The Library to refocus and build the research collections. The goal is simple to describe but the tasks -- the transformation -- Berkeley and The Library need to accomplish are complex. The Library must listen carefully to the faculty and the campus academic planning process, select appropriate information resources in the most cost-effective and accessible formats, and, given the constraints on the collection budget, manage our fiscal resource base through reallocation and increased development of non-State funding sources. Accomplishing these strategic initiatives will ensure that The Library of 2001 is more current, responsive and useful than the library of 1995, and that it will be a research library second to none and that it will continue to constitute a solid foundation to support the work of future generations of scholars and students. To realize this aspiration, we propose the following objectives.

A. Information Resources

1. Collections and information resources will be closely aligned with the campus's academic priorities.

2. Collections will be selected in the formats most appropriate for their use and accessibility.

3. Berkeley's secondary needs will be met through consortial resource-sharing agreements and commercial document delivery services.

B. Accessibility of Information Resources

1. Preserve and maintain the collections.

2. Build technological infrastructure for patron access to digital collections.

3. Provide funding to support services and technological infrastructure required to realize and maintain timely delivery of needed materials to faculty and graduate students.

C. Funding Information Resources.

1. Annual collections budget increases of 10-12% are required to maintain Berkeley's present collecting policies -- much more than we expect the campus to receive from state-funded sources. Unless the campus can fully fund inflationary increases to t he materials budget, annual cuts and reallocations must be part of a realistic funding strategy.

2. Develop new funding sources for collections.

Goal 2. Enabling World Class Research.

Berkeley's eminence is a direct result of the creativity and productivity of its faculty's research and the success of its students, which, in turn, are supported by an environment rich in library and information resources. Creativity, productivity and s uccess depend on having the right tools, at the right time, in the right hands. Ownership does not suffice, the item must be available for use; availability is not enough, the potential user must identify and locate the item without wasting valuable wor king time. Together these factors make up access, and the ideal library would provide perfect access. Our goal is to become the best research library of the 21st Century by providing the demonstrably best access; we propose the following three-year obj ectives as means to that end.

A. Program Elements and Requirements

1. Increase the hours that The Library is open to ensure that campus' research needs (particularly of graduate students) and availability of resources and study services to undergraduates are met.

2. Guarantee that essential access services are available during all open hours.

3. Increase patron self-sufficiency and effectiveness in identifying and locating useful materials.

4. Guarantee that 90% of wanted materials are available for immediate use.

5. Halve the average time required to deliver items not available for immediate use.

6. Eliminate long lines and other hindrances that waste patrons' time.

Goal 3. The Moffitt Teaching Library.

The Library proposes to dedicate Moffitt Library to be a campus center for excellence in undergraduate teaching and learning. The Moffitt Teaching Library's mission would be:


Copyright © 1998 by the Library, University of California, Berkeley. All rights reserved.
Authored by: Peter Lyman, University Librarian, January 24, 1995.
Document maintained by: A. Moen
Last update 1/22/98. Server manager: Contact