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Forward plan 2022-2025

Cultural shift

Over the next four years, we will focus on a cultural shift that will embrace institutional values of inclusivity, integrity, collaboration and compassion in our activities. We will embrace user experience and focus on developing leadership capacity, a culture of innovation, and take an active approach towards collaboration.

Our delivery mechanisms will consist of stages of acceleration and stages of stability. This is particularly important for staff wellbeing and to avoid burnout. It is also important to mention that we will not measure our cultural shift through KPIs but rather through the velocity and quality of activities that we will undertake, together as a community.

We will develop a collective sense of belonging to the libraries, with individuals and teams taking pride in the achievements of everyone who works here.

User Experience and Innovation

A1 – Invest in a cyclic user experience (UX) training programme for our staff, developing multiple cohorts’ confidence and capability to understand our users better.

A2 – Develop a simple-to-access user experience fund for our staff that supports development of user-focussed continuous improvement ideas.

A3 – Strengthen the libraries’ student ambassador programme to ensure student engagement is targeted at improving a sense of belonging on campus.

A4 – Map the emotional journey of our users, ensuring that our focus remains on providing the highest quality experience that connects with users at an academic, social and emotional level.

A5 – Proactively collect evidence for good practice and develop approaches to support Customer Service Excellence (CSE), Archives and Museums accreditations, and Visitor Attraction Quality Accreditation Scheme (VAQAS).

A6 – Develop a testbed fund for staff who would like to test, explore, exploit or evolve an idea which generates positive change or improvement to achieve our vision.

Engagement, Collaboration and Community

A7 – Through our reward and recognition mechanisms, actively reward cross-library initiatives that break traditional silos and take new approaches towards working.

A8 – Support a wider variety of staff to develop their networks, institutionally and across the sector.

A9 – Run regular staff pulse surveys to see how we are collectively feeling at any moment, and to seek ideas for improvements.

A10 – Conduct a staff skills audit and develop coherent plans that include staff up-skilling and wide-skilling to move our libraries forward.

A11 – Celebrate all that the libraries do through a biennial libraries summer conference, starting in 2022.

A12 – Run a biennial student innovation event to improve our services, starting in 2023.

A13 – Improve our staff induction processes, making them inclusive, supportive and fun.

A14 – Improve our use of Microsoft Teams to allow more open sharing of thoughts and ideas.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

A15 – Develop an EDI approach to operationalise the Professional Services EDI framework.

A16 – Conduct a staff inclusivity analysis, ensuring that we understand the diversity of our staff better, and that we support the diversity of our staff further.

A17 – Review the Libraries recruitment and selection processes, ensuring they are inclusive and reflective of good practices. Provide guidance and support for recruiting managers to embed these good practices in day-to-day activities.

A18 – Develop a structured support model for staff who join us from underrepresented backgrounds, ensuring satisfaction, retention and inclusion.

A19 – Investigate development of a positive action apprenticeship or a graduate traineeship to improve the diversity of staffing in libraries.

A20 – Develop a systemic approach to increase understanding and ownership of EDI amongst all staff.

Leadership and working environment

A21 – Develop leadership skills across the libraries, initially through a library leadership programme.

A22 – Develop a high challenge, high support culture across libraries and supplement this with appropriate development programmes to support our staff.

A23 – Actively work on reducing the fear of failure, change and the tendency of perfection in services. Build a culture of continuous, incremental improvement.

A24 – Develop appropriate internal opportunities for staff to expand their horizons, through a mixed approach of secondments, internal sabbaticals, shadowing, and portfolio building options.

A25 – Actively encourage pursual of scholarship and celebrate our staff contributing to research, teaching, engagement, and to sector initiatives.

A26 – Improve internal and external communications and profile building significantly, with an active approach towards meaningful global partnerships.

A27 – Invest cyclically in staff spaces and develop a positive, proactive, approach towards future working.

A28 – Review and update all our policies and plans, and create a mechanism to ensure our policies and plans remain current and under constant review.

Risk Management

The most up-to-date risk register is available in the University’s CAMMS tool.