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Library strategic plan

To enable scholarship through collections which engage with communities both on campus and beyond

Leeds University Library holds some of the richest collections of research resources in the UK. The Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery which opened in February 2016 showcases our distinctive rare books, manuscripts and archives and has attracted new audiences for these collections, providing a complement to the Stanley and Audrey Burton Art Gallery. Traditional ‘hard-copy’ formats now co-exist with a vast array of electronic resources including journals, databases and e-books. Sometimes the digital and the physical interrelate, the former allowing remote access to the latter. The digital environment is also providing new ways for researchers to interrogate collections. Our extensive modern collections held across our five libraries sit alongside extensive print collections that are little used and which often duplicate resources available elsewhere. Our challenge is to engage with peer libraries to develop a collaborative approach to stewardship establishing a distributed national print collection. This will enable us to concentrate on growing and developing those collections which are rich in research potential, increasing our international stature.

Developing our collections

Revise the Library’s collection development policy

Review the Library’s approach to the purchasing and archiving of e-books to ensure optimal access and functionality

Revise the Library’s collections strategy and implement a collaborative ‘above campus’ approach to the management of our 20th century non-special print collections

Review the Library’s digitisation strategy to focus resources on areas that will enhance the student experience while delivering significant value to research within the University

Managing collections more efficiently

Review the Library’s management system

Keep the Information Resources budget under constant review, working closely with School Library Representatives to ensure purchased materials meet academic need

Review and improve metadata standards and practices to deliver efficiencies and improve access to collections

Review and implement the Collections Care Policy

Making resources easy to find and simple to access anytime and from anywhere

Review the options for improving the ‘discovery layer’ to the Library’s resources

Improve the service provided to Special Collection readers by developing the functionality of KEMu(including online ordering, reader statistics, reading room access to digital surrogates)

Develop the reading list tool to ensure robustness and implement improvements

Enable ‘crowd-sourcing’ of descriptive content for Special Collections (inc transcription desk, KEMu worksheets for volunteer cataloguing content and interpretation)

Enabling the exploitation of our digitised content and born digital archives

Maximise access to and use of digitised content

Review the robustness of our infrastructure for managing digitised content and digital archives, and implement changes where appropriate

Review and implement the Digital Preservation Policy

Increasing enjoyment and understanding of our unique and distinctive collections beyond the campus

Secure funding for learning and engagement activities in the Galleries from 2018 working with both Alumni and Development and the Educational Engagement team

Develop innovative and engaging methods of telling the stories held within our distinctive collections

Develop and implement a loans policy for Special Collections and Art Gallery materials that allows us to work with partners making items more widely accessible while managing the associated risks robustly