The Essential Library - Vision, Mission, Values


The USC Libraries will be an innovative, inspiring, and integral partner in the scholarly achievements of USC faculty, students, and staff. In so doing, we actively contribute to the development of knowledge and the advancement of society.

We will build:

  • a dynamic intellectual and physical environment that will attract and retain top-tier students, faculty, and staff and encourage the creativity necessary to support the global ambitions of USC;
  • vital partnerships, through which we will develop interdisciplinary collections that support faculty teaching and research, student learning, and the cultivation of critical-thinking abilities;
  • an agile, progressive culture of ubiquitous service that connects our users with relevant information;
  • an appreciation of the value of past knowledge, in all its forms, and its role in informing the scholarship of the future.


The USC Libraries actively support the discovery, creation, and preservation of knowledge. We develop collections and services that support and encourage the academic endeavors of faculty, students, and staff; build a community of critical consumers of information; and help develop engaged world citizens. Through these means, we contribute to the continued success of the University of Southern California.


We value reliability, responsiveness, and an active anticipation of users' needs. Through the evaluation and thoughtful application of best practices, we improve services to enable the success of our users.

Through respect, professionalism, and accountability, we earn and maintain the trust of USC faculty, students, staff, and administration, as well as that of our colleagues within the USC Libraries.

We encourage vigorous intellectual investigation and value the results. We support the process of discovery and foster professional development and curiosity.

We define innovation by its capacity to solve problems and support useful new services and collections. We encourage informed risktaking and recognize the advantages of evolving technology, while respecting the collections and technologies of the past.

We communicate openly and directly so that faculty, students, and staff have the information they need to excel; so that our community can make the best possible use of library resources and services; and so that our contributions to USC's strategic goals are apparent to all.

We embrace our roles as guardians of and guides to the universe of knowledge. We advocate for academic freedom and diversity, and we bring our unique expertise to bear on relevant issues.

We create welcoming environments that encourage individual study, collaboration, and the social aspects of learning. We inspire engagement with our collections, services, and spaces through public programming, exhibitions, and other methods of involving our community.