TO BECOME A MORE ACTIVE PARTNER IN DISCOVERY—AT USC AND BEYOND—THROUGH APPLYING THE EXPERTISE OF LIBRARY FACULTY AND STAFF AND BY INCREASING AWARENESS, ACCESSIBILITY, AND INFORMED USE OF OUR COLLECTIONS AND SERVICES
Discovery manifests in countless ways. It is a many-layered process that yields meaning through persistence and disciplined practice. Discovery emerges from serendipitous exploration of book stacks, a skillful search of an online database, events that create memorable experiences and reveal library collections from surprising points of view, and engagement with accomplished faculty.
Many objectives achieved within the framework of The Essential Library 2008–2009were foundational in nature—correcting HOMER catalog records, aligning digitization activities with collections policies, and restoring basic functions such as the Doheny Library reference desk. By reestablishing core systems and services—and by taking a format-agnostic approach that focuses on the value of content rather than the technology used to present it—we have improved the methods through which our community finds and uses information resources across all media.
Several multi-year projects of The Essential Library 2008–2009—such as the Grand Avenue Library inventory—continue and will yield improved discoverability of collections as they proceed toward conclusion. With many of these foundational activities well underway, the USC Libraries are now prepared to take a leadership position in encouraging discovery.
The libraries' activities must adapt to—and where strategically important, influence— transformations in technology, the economies of publishing, and the expectations of library users. Research libraries support those who drive change as well as the participants in the evolution of teaching, research, and learning. Our collections must be as discoverable to a first-year student in global health as they are to a geneticist whose breakthroughs will inform innovations for decades to come.
In order to connect as meaningfully and thoroughly as possible with our users, we must do more than provide tools that make discovery possible. We must showcase the many aspects of our collections, services, and spaces that motivate as well as enable discovery: the stateliness of the Hoose Library of Philosophy; The Story of Everything digital exhibition, which reveals a direct path from our collections to artistic creation; and illuminated manuscripts that yield discoveries in art, history, and religious studies and exemplify the craft of making objects that survive to inspire generations.
- Increase our capacity to deliver, evaluate, and improve reference services.
- Define the role of and implement appropriate technology in our public-use and learning spaces.
- Explore mobile and other innovative web technologies and apply them to appropriate library services and resources.
- Enhance our digital collections and multimedia resources to provide greater access and more thorough integration with teaching and research.
- Further develop digital exhibitions based on our collections to support public programming and advancement.
- Evaluate and improve overall collection management, emphasizing availability and accessibility of materials.
- Increase promotion of our collections, spaces, and services to students, scholars, and researchers.