Kelvin Smith Library (KSL) Strategic Plan


Update 21 May 2021

In February 2020, the Kelvin Smith Library (KSL) issued a draft version of this Plan, and the next month the pandemic caused significant disruptions that caused us to put some plans on hold, and later to review our Plan to see if any changes were necessary to our strategic initiatives or planned implementation actions in the coming years. This document is the final version of our Plan.

This plan is designed to align directly with the CWRU Strategic Plan, with the University’s goals and objectives repeated here verbatim as the goals and objectives for the Library, but for brevity, the University’s “desired outcomes” and “measures” are not repeated here.   
This is a forward-thinking and dynamic five-year plan. As with any plan for such a long duration, we recognize that new opportunities may arise, external factors may change the landscape (the pandemic being the most dramatic example), or experiences in implementation may cause us to rethink our plans.   
This plan is intentionally written at a strategic level.  The Library has fully articulated annual operating plans for each initiative contained here, including desired outcomes and metrics, annual milestones and expected accomplishments, assignment of primary champions within the library, required resources (such as staffing, equipment, and finances, and including identifying what we can stop doing to free up resources to accomplish the initiative), and specific plans to make each initiative sustainable.  


The Kelvin Smith Library (KSL) is central to the intellectual life at Case Western Reserve University.  Achieving our goals is vital for the University to accomplish its mission and vision.  Building upon our previous successes, this new Plan sets forth new directions to advance scholarly inquiry, discovery and learning at CWRU by transforming our content, services and spaces, and by collaborating with partners. 

KSL functions and goals graphic

Enduring Core Functions and Goals.  An organizing principle of this plan is that it contains new or substantially redirected initiatives that expand upon our vitally important and enduring core functions and goals (as shown in the graphic to the right). Together, our new initiatives and our core functions reinforce the value of the library to the University community. We dedicate ourselves to reevaluate and modify continually all our operations and services based upon changing campus needs and our environment.     
Leadership Opportunities.  This plan articulates bold new plans in areas in which we can provide significant campus leadership, as well as where the Library may share leadership with other campus or community partners.  We also recognize the resource constraints of both KSL and the University as a whole.  We believe these plans are realistic.  

The CWRU North Star and the KSL Mission, Vision and Values

The Kelvin Smith Library is committed to advancing the University’s “North Star” statement of purpose (“Case Western Reserve is a high-impact research university that aspires to be a community where humanity, science & technology meet to create a just and thriving world”) and the key hallmarks of the statement. 

  • Mission: KSL is the knowledge and creativity commons of CWRU.
  • Vision: KSL will be the information laboratory for knowledge collection, connection, creation, and curation.
  • Values: openness; collaboration; personalized service; agility and innovation through experimentation. These values augment the broader University's statement of values.