Strategic Plan

Dean's Update

Our strategic plan was launched in January 2020, and was meant to cover a period of five years. In the winter of 2024, as UNH was searching for a new president, we reviewed our plan and determined that the plan remains current. The UNH Library is proud to announce that our strategic priorities will continue to guide our work meeting the evolving needs of the students, faculty, and staff of the University as well as the citizens of New Hampshire through June of 2027. Such an extension provides the incoming university president time to define their strategy and for the UNH Library to respond to it.

Many thanks to everyone who was involved with creating our original strategic plan as well as those who participated in the decision to extend it.

-Kimberly Burke Sweetman, Interim Dean of the UNH Library

Strategic Priorities

Download the UNH Library Strategic Plan 2020-2027

Partner for Student Success & Well-Being


The UNH Library will partner with faculty as well as academic, campus, and community groups to prepare students to be informed and ethical users and creators of information. The Library will actively support historically underserved populations to provide all students with an equal opportunity to succeed.


Work we've done to support student success and wellbeing:

  1. Introduced library tours and orientation sessions for new students during WildCat Days.
  2. Increased communication with the UNH campus through a robust social media presence, bi-weekly newsletter, and presence at campus events.
  3. Provided library materials to remote learners.
  4. Offered hundreds of resource guides to support classes and facilitate research.
  5. Increased website and document accessibility.
  6. Responded to the Diversity Support Coalition Leaders campus concerns, inviting UNH student groups to tag us on social media, use bulletin library boards for publicity, and create pronoun buttons for library staff.
  7. Ensured library publications include photographs that are representative of campus demographics.
  8. Conducted a DEI self-assessment audit.
  9. Volunteered to participate in campus wide gender-inclusive bathroom implementation.
  10. Taught more than 5,000 synchronous and asynchronous classes annually.
  11. Scheduled more than 200 research consultations annually.
  12. Answered more than 8,000 questions at the library information desks.
  13. Planned and executed Frazzle Free Finals programming to help students manage their stress.
  14. Introduced more Therapy Dog visits during Frazzle Free Finals programming.
  15. Working on coordinating regular Therapy Dogs visits throughout the semester, in addition to increased visits during Frazzle Free Finals programming.

Enhance the Library User Experience


The UNH Library will take a user-centered approach to improving spaces, resources, expertise, and technology. The Library will use ongoing assessment to make incremental and user-informed changes. The Library will provide a hospitable and inspiring learning environment in support of UNH’s vision for a welcoming and inclusive campus community.


Work we've done to enhance the library user experience:

  1. Created a Service Philosophy & conducted related work to implement the philosophy throughout our organization.
  2. Opened the Dimond Information Desk, a first point of contact for any in-person information needs.
  3. Completed dozens of projects, and have ongoing projects, to improve the discoverability and access to library resources.
  4. Prioritized inclusive language in the library catalog.
  5. Created a library assessment philosophy and assessment plan to ensure continuous improvement of library services and spaces.
  6. Conducted the Ithaka Local Library Survey of undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty to gather user information as a guide for improving library services, programming, and outreach.
  7. Regularly produced library publications (annual report, fast facts, newsletters, handouts) that are available on the UNH Library website and in the Scholars Repository.
  8. Launched a paging service to allow all users to request materials and pick them up from any library information desk.
  9. Volunteered to participate in campus wide gender-inclusive bathroom implementation.
  10. Assessed furniture in Dimond and Kingsbury libraries for accessibility and safety.
  11. Conducted user research to identify top tasks on the library website, improved website accessibility, and retired dozens of outdated web pages.
  12. Reviewed our e-reserves services and implemented an updated platform.
  13. Launched an improved databases list for a better user experience.
  14. Implemented single sign-on for our Interlibrary Loan (ILL) system and other library systems to consolidate user accounts.
  15. Updated technology in Dimond library meeting rooms and updated public computers in Dimond library.
  16. Replaced chairs in the Milne Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room with more accessible and inclusive chairs.
  17. Extended standard ILL period to 16 weeks.
  18. Sustained patron access to print and electronic resources during COVID-19 shutdown.
  19. Updated ILL webpages for easier requesting.
  20. Provided more than 30,000 items annually to researchers all over the world on a regular basis.
  21. Obtained more than 10,000 items yearly from other libraries through ILL for UNH researchers.
  22. Introduced Project Outcome, a user survey tool that allows us to track user impact over time and compare with peer institutions.
  23. Reviewed and revised circulation policies relating to lost materials and late fees during COVID-19 and eliminated 99% of library fines and fees.
  24. Reviewed and revised Public Room Use Policy to increase room availability.
  25. Opened conference rooms, Studio 235, and the library instruction room for study use during finals.
  26. Refurbished chairs on Level Three in Dimond for student and patron use.

Embrace UNH's Research & Service Missions


The UNH Library will be a collaborative contributor to UNH’s research and service initiatives. As a publisher and preserver of the University’s scholarly output, the Library will have a robust physical and digital archive and a comprehensive institutional repository. The Library will curate its collections and will be an active participant in cooperative associations to support the information needs of its diverse communities.


Work we've done to embrace UNH's research and service missions:

  1. Raised awareness of the library’s services, resources, and expertise through increased social media engagement, regular library promotional publications, defined library talking points, and a library slogan.
  2. Migrated our Digital Collections to the UNH Scholars Repository to improve discoverability and user access.
  3. Used gift funds to purchase a highly capable scanning system to improve digital collection work.
  4. Grew our Digital Collections, increasing the research and scholarly resources available through the library. Added collections and content include issues of the New Hampshire, the Judge Ivorey Cobb Collection, and the Becky Field Digital Archive.
  5. Received $242,364 from the American Rescue Plan Act via the New Hampshire State Library to digitize New Hampshire City and Town Annual Reports, adding more that 15,000 volumes, and completed the multi-year project.
  6. Completed an inventory of rare books in our catalog, improving access to our distinctive collections with up-to-date cataloging and location information.
  7. Grew collections in the Milne Special Collections and University Archives to support university curricular needs and to preserve the historical legacy of the university. The added collections include the New England Botanical Garden collection, twenty years of UNH Athletics files, and legacy records and documentation from Granite State College.
  8. Worked closely with UNH Law and UNH Manchester libraries to consolidate costs of shared resources and improve awareness of shared resources across campuses within the current budget constraints.
  9. Continued to make UNH scholarly content open source to increase user access to research, including UNH Honors Theses and Capstones, UNH Masters Theses and Capstones, UNH Doctoral Dissertations, UNH Survey Center Polls, and Carsey School of Public Policy Research Briefs.
  10. Increased awareness of NH Town and City Reports Digital Collection through social media marketing, a UNH Today  feature, and a feature piece in NH Town and City Magazine.
  11. Hosted a webinar on NH Town and City Reports collection and promoted its use as a resource for town and city clerks, increasing town and city website links leading to the library's collection.
  12. Used gift funds to host an opening reception for the New England Botanical Garden at Tower Hill collection for the public, to raise awareness of the new collection.
  13. Tabled at UNH Homecoming to talk with students and alumni about the University Archives as a resource for university history and research. This outreach effort led to monetary and material donation connections.

Grow as a Flexible, Creative & Inclusive Organization


The UNH Library will be an agile, responsive, and service-focused organization. The Library recognizes that its people are its strongest asset and will provide ongoing investment in each team member’s knowledge and skills. The Library will provide a work environment that encourages each individual to contribute to their full potential.


Work we've done to grow as a flexible, creative, and inclusive organization:

  1. Restructured internal communication and consolidated reporting lines to decrease meetings and increase productivity.
  2. Made flexible work arrangements available to all employees.
  3. Established a decision-making process that seeks broad input.
  4. Provided sit-stand desks for all employees.
  5. Implemented activity codes for improved financial record keeping and planning.
  6. Incorporated usability and accessibility training for staff.
  7. Encouraged staff to participate in professional development opportunities with use of allocated funds.

Cultivate Sustainable Practices


The UNH Library, as a responsible steward of its resources, will define core services and make them as efficient, effective, and responsive as possible. The Library will embrace an imaginative approach to building capacity for the future while advocating for greater institutional investment. Environmentally sustainable practices will be infused throughout library spaces and operations.


Work we've done to cultivate sustainable practices:

  1. Approved an Open Access Policy and library faculty voted to endorse the Budapest Open Access Initiative 2020, Invest in Open Infrastructure, and the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment.
  2. Provided extensive education around academic publishing, open access publishing, open science, data management, scholarship repositories, and open educational resources through campus venues, such as the Faculty Senate, campus leadership meetings, Library Representatives meetings, faculty development programs, academic departments, and graduate and undergraduate courses and events.
  3. Participated regularly in Open Access Week, Open Education Week, and Love Data Week.
  4. Relaunched our open access publishing guide.
  5. Signed Read and Publish agreements with several publishers allowing UNH authors to publish open access articles with no article processing charges.
  6. Collaborated with the Chemistry department to de-access low use titles, creating a more usable collection and creating potential space for new uses.
  7. Purchased journal backfiles to replace bound volumes, ensuring perpetual access to content and creating potential space for new uses.
  8. In partnership with Special Collections and Archives, the UNH Library led the way for regional interlibrary lending and borrowing of Special Collections materials, reducing travel to view research materials that previously remained in place at the holding institution.
  9. Joined the Public Health Digital Library, an NIH initiative allowing practitioners and local health departments to access public health collections at local research libraries.
  10. Provide access to UNH collections to New Hampshire residents through interlibrary loan, and the New Hampshire Borrowing Initiative.
  11. Transitioned to cashless service.
  12. Communicated regularly with New Hampshire public libraries, sharing how the UNH Library can support public libraries and their users.
  13. Used gift funds to repair and refurbish wooden library furniture, saving the library money, supporting a local business and earning the UNH Sustainability Award.
  14. Replaced many lightbulbs in all library locations with LED lightbulbs to conserve energy.

About the Planning Process

The Strategic Planning Task Force began work in January 2019. This group included representation of administration, faculty, and staff from across the Library. The charge was to create a concise and actionable strategic planning document to guide the Library for three to five years.

The input and editing process was inclusive of all library faculty and staff and later drafts were reviewed by a wide range of campus stakeholders. Much work was done to align the Library’s priorities with the University's priorities and to address current trends in higher education and academic libraries.

The Future of UNH: Four Strategic Priorities

Progress for each strategic priority was updated in March 2024.