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Looking Back, Looking Ahead: Year One Update on the Library’s Strategic Plan

As we wrap up the first year of the library’s five-year strategic plan (2022-27), we are excited to share our progress to date in implementing the five priorities identified in our plan, and some of the next steps we’ll be focusing on in the year ahead.

Across all areas, we are working to activate diversity, equity and inclusion in our operations and culture, both as a hub of campus academic life and as a workplace. 

Priority 1

Priority 1 of our strategic plan focuses on making our library buildings and online environment welcoming to all members of UC Davis’ increasingly diverse campus community. A primary goal (Goal 1.1) is to make the entrance, lobby and other key areas of Shields Library more welcoming and inclusive, and to make our maps, wayfinding and informational signage more accessible and user-friendly.

  • We began the 2022-23 academic year with some immediate improvements to the Shields Library Welcome Desk — the central place to ask questions and get directions in the library — including colorful welcome signs in the languages most commonly spoken at UC Davis.
  • To inform more far-reaching changes to come, we conducted research to invite input from library users, particularly students. (Students make up 93% of those who use Shields Library.) We conducted a survey, informal focus groups, and “scavenger hunts,” in which students were asked to find specific books and locations within the library to test our maps and signage.
  • Over the coming year, we will use the feedback we received to plan for large-scale improvements to our building signage and maps; begin adding more art and color on the first floor; and explore options for digital wayfinding tools

If you have ideas about how we can make the library more welcoming, inclusive and accessible, email your suggestions to with “Strategic Plan” in the subject line. 

Priority 2

Priority 2 focuses on ways the library can support undergraduate and graduate student academic success, lifelong learning, culturally diverse programming, and other aspects of the university’s educational mission. 

  • In Spring 2023, the library announced a new Library Graduate Student Prize in partnership with the Office of Public Scholarship and Engagement. The prize will celebrate graduate student researchers who use the library to create outstanding, publicly engaged scholarship that enhances understanding of or engagement with diverse community groups. Applications will be accepted in Fall Quarter, with prizes awarded in February. (Goal 2.3)
  • The library also launched the AggieOpen Fellows program, which provides funding and consultative support to help instructors adopt or adapt open educational resources (OER) for use in their courses. Eight fellows were selected for the 2023-24 academic year. (Goal 2.6)
  • The library provides 20% of the content for Equitable Access, a campus program designed to ensure all UC Davis students can afford the textbooks they need. After two years, the library saved students $1.2 million. (Goal 2.6)

Priority 3

Priority 3 focuses on the library’s role in advancing research, collaboration, data sharing, and equitable access to knowledge.

  • In collaboration with community partners, UC Davis DataLab developed new data ethics and responsible data science training, which is now integrated into the GradPathways micro-credential in Research Computing for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. (Goal 3.1)
  • After a successful pilot, the library is working on scaling up Aggie Experts, a research discovery platform to help scholars identify potential collaborators in other disciplines on campus whose research interests intersect with their own. Release 2.0 is scheduled for mid-fall. (Goal 3.2)
  • The library has created a new, streamlined service point for questions related to research data and research data management. Contact us at for guidance on creating data management plans in compliance with funder policy, such as the new NIH data management and sharing plans, and other related questions. (Goal 3.3)
  • The library offered monthly webinars on how to take advantage of funding support for open access publishing of both articles and books. To arrange a presentation for your department in Fall Quarter, contact the library’s scholarly communication officer Michael Ladisch ( (Goal 3.5)

Priority 4

Priority 4 works to ensure that our collections reflect diverse populations and adapt to meet clinical care, research and educational needs.

  • The library created two paid internships to identify and address gaps and systemic inequities in our collections, and the hiring process is currently underway. (Goal 4.1) 
    • The collection development research intern will create a directory of publishers owned and operated by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), women, and non-binary and/or LGBTQ+ people in the United States and Canada; contact them; and develop collection approval plans to bring these underrepresented voices into our collections.
    • The composer and music research intern will build a library collection of works by underrepresented composers and lyricists — identifying those whose music is commissioned and performed, but not necessarily published by traditional music publishers, and acquiring scores of their works.
  • We anticipate that the interns will complete this work during the coming academic year, and we will share the results on our website. 
  • During 2024-25, the library will analyze usage of these new holdings to guide further collection development.

Priority 5

Priority 5 is dedicated to strengthening the library’s organizational culture as an inclusive, equitable and supportive workplace.

  • The library has committed to creating a senior leadership role in organizational effectiveness and DEI. This year, we worked to shape the position description for this role by gathering information from multiple sources: we reviewed similar position descriptions for other libraries and other campus units, invited input from library leadership and employees at all levels, and consulted campus DEI leaders.
  • We also met with employees and department heads responsible for other aspects of this work to determine sequencing and timeline for other objectives in this area. 
  • Next year’s objectives include continued progress on establishing the leadership role described above (pending the arrival of a new University Librarian and Vice Provost of Digital Scholarship) and formalizing the processes through which library administration gathers input and feedback from employees on a regular basis.

We remain deeply committed to the principles and priorities in our strategic plan, and in the spirit of the inclusive process through which it was developed, we continue to welcome feedback and ideas from all library users, campus partners, and employees. If you have an idea to share, please email us at with “Strategic Plan” in the subject line. 




strategic planning process