The Essential Library - Integration with our Community




As an active center of knowledge creation, preservation, and discovery, the USC Libraries must forge productive partnerships with the individuals, groups, and organizations that shape the context in which we develop collections and deliver services. The attendant demands and opportunities inform all facets of library operations. Every essential act of integration with our community improves our capacity to support the teaching, learning, and research mission—which is intensely local yet assertively global— of our university.

USC students, faculty, and staff form the primary constituency of the USC Libraries. This determined, innovative community embodies a significant diversity of study habits, media literacies, and research methods—all of which are influenced by effective engagement with library resources and expertise.

As we create new opportunities for meaningful integration, several current collaborations will provide useful models. Our work with the USC Writing Center and the Engineering Writing Program enriches the perspectives of students and instills confidence as they pursue increasingly complex research. Through collaborations with campus centers and institutes, such as the Center for Religion and Civic Culture, we preserve rare materials and present them to researchers at USC and beyond in innovative ways. As we produce more programming in conjunction with Visions and Voices, we contribute context to events and promote active use of authoritative, scholarly resources.

The potential impact of USC's research, scholarship, and creativity is boundless, and the libraries must participate fully in collaborative activities that bring the world to USC and extend USC's influence throughout the world. Building upon our relationships with organizations such as the Pacific Rim Digital Library Alliance and the group of Asian universities participating in the Outstanding Academic Papers by Students program, our libraries will actively pursue partnerships in regions of strategic importance to USC. As we assume a more visible global profile, we must continue to apply resources selectively and thoughtfully, pursuing collaborations where partner institutions can complement and enhance our expertise and resources, while building our capacity to realize opportunities uniquely suited to USC's strengths.


  1. Secure increased funding for library faculty, staff, and collections that support USC teaching and research priorities.
  2. Develop an information-literacy program, such as a semester-long course, certificate program, or re-establishment of USC's master's degree in library science.
  3. Improve workflow for managing the review and processing of gifts.
  4. Develop a library research and grant-seeking agenda.
  5. Improve outreach to new USC faculty, students, and staff, with an emphasis on new members of the USC community before they arrive at the university.
  6. Create new academic and cultural programs—that communicate the essential qualities of library collections, services, and personnel—in partnership with groups on campus and other relevant partner organizations.
  7. Encourage development of research programs between the USC Libraries and USC faculty and departments.
  8. Evaluate document-delivery services and determine necessary levels of support, including staffing and office space.