Students using A Floor in the Library

The Library Towards 2020

Why we're here

As a Library we take an innovative approach to information.

In doing so we further the interests and ambitions of the University, contribute to the delivery of its strategy and enhance its reputation.

We are committed to being user-focussed, digitally driven, socially inclusive and able to demonstrate value. We take a dynamic approach to service delivery, engagement and collaboration.

We provide leadership for the University and the HE sector on the changing scholarly communications environment, including publishing, copyright, open access, research data and impact.

Lancaster University Library has developed an ambitious new vision to help deliver the University’s strategy for 2020. Integral to the successful achievement of the University’s mission through its work underpinning research, teaching and learning and engagement, our ambition is to deliver consistently high quality services to our staff, researchers and students 24/7 regardless of location.

The Library undoubtedly means different things to different users but demand continues to grow year on year for our services, spaces and collections. We will continue to provide environments (physical and virtual) that encourage academic excellence, with our focus always on ensuring a deep understanding of the needs of our users through collaboration and partnership.

As the higher education environment in the UK changes ever more rapidly, new technologies, pedagogies and funding uncertainties are challenging established modes of academic delivery. Simultaneously the changing nature of information provision presents both opportunities and tests for university libraries. It’s now more important than ever that we engage pro-actively with both the University and the wider sector, to enable us to identify best practice, focus on innovation and continual improvement and to be able to measure our performance effectively.

I firmly believe this vision is achievable if we concentrate on what matters most to our users. It is designed to stimulate discussion to help us achieve that goal through engagement and dialogue with our academic, student and Professional Services partners.

Pete Maggs, Director of Library Services
March 2016

Tab Content: What we do

We facilitate research activity within the global research environment by:

• Providing information resources to support research
• Contributing to researcher development
• Creating collaborative research environments
• Preserving, promoting and sharing research outputs and enhancing their impact

We promote excellence in the teaching and learning endeavour by:

• Providing information resources to support teaching and learning
• Contributing to innovative curriculum design and delivery
• Managing diverse, flexible and sustainable study spaces
• Coordinating learning development and delivering an outstanding student experience

We champion engagement by:

• Connecting with our user community to understand their needs and preferences
• Co-producing and improving services jointly with our users
• Investing in our staff to develop their capabilities to deliver excellence
• Exploiting opportunities for collaboration and shared service development

Tab Content: Where we're going

We will place the Library firmly at the heart of the University as expressed through the three key priorities of research, teaching and engagement in the University strategic vision for 2020 (

We will facilitate excellence for all of our users through the physical and virtual environments we manage, as well as the resources we provide, to stimulate creativity, spark new knowledge and encourage scholarship to flourish.

We will work with our user community to meet the changing requirements in academic knowledge creation, dissemination and curation, resource discovery and managed information provision in the new ‘data hungry’ environment; expose our special collections to the research community increasingly effectively and seize new opportunities to support widening participation through local community engagement wherever appropriate.

We see change as an opportunity. We will use it to develop adaptable and inspirational services as well as a flexible and agile workforce to deliver a progressive Library that is central to the University - while ensuring rigorous oversight of our financial well-being.

Tab Content: What we believe

• Library users are at the heart of everything we do
• Information gains value when it is shared
• Inspiring and collaborative environments promote effective learning and research
• Investing in our development is the key to delivering excellence for others
• Effective service delivery requires responsible management of University assets and resources

Tab Content: How we'll do it


We will partner with departments and user groups to understand resource needs and preferences.

We will prioritise electronic resources to maximise access and enhance user experience.

We will measure usage and make demand-driven decisions on what we buy.

We will engage with others in the HE sector and publishing industries to shape innovative and efficient solutions to information needs.


We will take creative approaches to gathering feedback from users and actively involve them in service development.

We will deliver services that are digital and accessible by design, providing customer service excellence.

We will be critical of our services and systematically review them to ensure that they remain effective and sustainable. To succeed, we will invest in the development of our staff and create an environment that challenges and stimulates productivity.

Teaching and Learning

We will participate in the planning and delivery of academic, digital and information skills teaching embedded within the curriculum. To achieve this, we will collaborate with academic and professional services to exploit new models of delivery and provide learning opportunities for all students.

We will play a key role in establishing an environment where all students are engaged in and empowered to develop their learning potential.


We will provide information and services that enable the University research community to maximise the impact of its research while ensuring compliance with the changing external funding landscape.

We will work with the research community and other partners to create collaborative research environments, build effective training programmes and provide developmental opportunities.

We will establish our Special Collections as a key Library strength.

User Experience and Environment

Library Users are at the heart of everything we do. We will provide inspirational and high-quality learning environments that encourage academic excellence, promote collaboration and respond to the changing expectations of our users. 

We will develop a comprehensive digital library experience for the University’s off campus users. We will work with our overseas partners to understand and provide for their resource and service needs.