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Staff Resources

Goals and Critical Success Factors

Goal 1: Create, organize, and deliver collections that support the evolving curricular and research needs of the University community.

Goal 2: Transform the tools of scholarly research by implementing strategic technologies that reflect the priorities of SMU while serving the broader scholarly community.

Goal 3: Re-brand CUL as a powerful resource for the University community and increase awareness and use of collections and services.

Goal 4: Create comfortable, inviting, and vibrant library spaces – both physical and virtual – that are responsive to the social dimensions of learning and research, that protect collections, promote the discovery of knowledge, that allow for growth, and that provide appropriate workspaces for staff.

Goal 5: Build on the high level of customer service provided by CUL and proactively address changing user behaviors and needs.

Goal 6: Invest in the requisite talent and expertise needed for a preeminent research university library system by  recruiting, developing, and retaining staff with the skills and knowledge required to provide leadership in a complex environment.

Goal 7: Create a culture of open communication and collaboration, encourage and reward innovation, facilitate and empower staff initiatives, and streamline work processes.

Goal 8: Develop a stronger financial base to acquire the raw materials of university research and meet CUL programmatic goals through a vigorous and successful program of fundraising and development.


Goal 1: Create, organize, and deliver collections that support the evolving curricular and research needs of the University community.

Critical Success Factors

1) Acquisition decisions are informed by and responsive to user needs as collections are systematically evaluated for curriculum support.

2) Users report that CUL collections meet or exceed their needs.

3) An established inventory control program successfully manages and evaluates collections on an ongoing basis for physical condition and relevancy. Conservation and preservation are performed as needed.

4) Collections are easy to access, navigate, and use, both physically and virtually.

5) Course reserves are delivered through a system that successfully addresses user needs.

6) Special collections materials and gifts are rapidly represented in the catalog upon their acquisition.

7) CUL is included in all critical initiatives regarding SMU’s expanded research agenda.

Goal 2: Transform the tools of scholarly research by implementing strategic technologies that reflect the priorities of SMU while serving the broader scholarly community.

Critical Success Factors

1) Strategic technologies are progressively implemented.

2) New technologies are thoroughly evaluated, selected, and implemented on a timely basis to support scholarly research and to make internal operations more efficient.

3) Technology evaluation, selection, and implementation are informed by and responsive to input from faculty and students.

4) Documented processes guide the review of proposed and adopted technologies so that decisions about purchase, implementation, and retirement/replacement are made in a timely and systematic manner.

5) The evaluation and prioritization of digitization projects reflect the priorities of students and faculty for online access to collections, and are guided by established processes.

Goal 3: Re-brand CUL as a powerful resource for the University community and increase awareness and use of collections and services.

Critical Success Factors

1) CUL is a catalyst to deepen and broaden the information fluency and technical literacy of its users.

2) CUL enhances the quality of scholarship by providing the tools for skillful access, organization, and evaluation of information.

3) CUL’s web presence incorporates contemporary web design, is accessible to users with disabilities, and provides efficient and easy-to-use access to collections and services.

4) CUL proactively reaches out to faculty, students, and others in the SMU community through a strong subject liaison program.

5) CUL is actively involved with faculty and administration in curricular initiatives.

6) CUL provides active and engaging programs that educate users and promote library resources and services to the SMU community.

7) CUL programs, collections and resources are marketed and publicized to both internal and external constituents.

8) All SMU departments work closely with the University Archivist to identify and preserve their records of historical value and to transfer them in a timely manner to the SMU Archives.

Goal 4: Create comfortable, inviting, and vibrant library spaces – both physical and virtual – that are responsive to the social dimensions of learning and research, that protect collections, promote the discovery of knowledge, that allow for growth, and that provide appropriate workspaces for staff.

Critical Success Factors

1) Building architecture, design, and collection arrangement enhance the user experience.

2) Public spaces create an environment conducive to quality education, research and work.

3) Staff workspaces are located to maximize workflow efficiency and to take advantage of existing strengths of CUL’s physical facilities.

4) CUL has full use of and access to all space within its various facilities.

5) Collections, especially the rarest and most valuable, are located in physical environments that support both access and preservation.

6) CUL provides a virtual environment where students and researchers can connect with one another and feel comfortable exploring and interacting with digital collections and services.

Goal 5: Build on the high level of customer service provided by CUL and proactively address changing user behaviors and needs.

Critical Success Factors

1) CUL responds quickly to and better understands user needs and information-seeking behaviors, developing enhanced systems to assist users identify and use information.

2) Users report high levels of satisfaction with service and support.

3) User services are effectively marketed and publicized to internal and external constituents.

4) All staff go above and beyond the norm necessary to provide excellent customer service.

5) CUL contributes to the university’s mission and spirit by encouraging innovation and responding creatively to new challenges with service improvements.

6) The CUL website serves as an effective portal to library resources and is an important research tool for students, faculty, staff, and the wider SMU community.

7) CUL is a proactive partner with the Office of Student Affairs, expanding library involvement with Resident Life and Student Housing.

8) Information literacy and library research skills are an integral part of every undergraduate’s education.

Goal 6: Invest in the requisite talent and expertise needed for a preeminent research university library system by recruiting, developing, and retaining staff with the skills and knowledge required to provide leadership in a complex environment.

Critical Success Factors

1) Recruitment and employment processes enable CUL to attract highly qualified staff.

2) CUL follows established career advancement and management succession practices that support internal promotion and job growth.

3) Staff and managers receive training and development opportunities that enable them to successfully meet job expectations.

4) Staff and managers report being satisfied with and engaged in the CUL organization.

5) Managers use the CUL performance management system to hold staff accountable for performance.

6) CUL expands its range of required skill sets by hiring beyond traditional positions.

Goal 7: Create a culture of open communication and collaboration, encourage and reward innovation, facilitate and empower staff initiatives, and streamline work processes.

Critical Success Factors

1) Goals and priorities are communicated clearly to and understood by all staff and managers.

2) Established goals and priorities govern decisions regarding resource allocation.

3) The organization is structured effectively to align people and resources to support achievement of goals and priorities.

4) Collaboration, flexibility, innovation, and enhanced efficiency are promoted and rewarded.

5) Best practices from benchmark and other universities are adopted to improve work processes.

Goal 8: Develop a stronger financial base to acquire the raw materials of university research and meet CUL programmatic goals through a vigorous and successful program of fundraising and development.

Critical Success Factors

1) Librarians receive competitive salaries and benefits based on regional and national standards.

2) Salaries for non-librarian staff and students are competitive with those in other SMU divisions.

3) Acquisitions funding is competitive with both area institutions and with research libraries nationwide.

4) Allocated funding is used efficiently to support CUL programs and initiatives.

5) A robust development and external relations unit focuses efforts on fundraising and development activities.

6) CUL is well-positioned to play a central role in SMU’s Centennial Campaign and to achieve CUL’s campaign goals.

7) CUL fundraising priorities are effectively marketed to SMU donors and prospects.

8) CUL’s major campaign goals are funded e.g. the first phase of the renovation of the Fondren Library Center by 2013.