4 Priority One: Student-Focused Universal Access to Libraries


As the higher education landscape continues to evolve and move into online and hybrid environments, there is an even deeper need for a place of connection and support across the student experience; libraries can be that place. Through clearly communicated services, universal access to libraries and shared policies and assessment mechanisms that provide actionable data on library usage to shape decisions, CUNY Libraries can provide enrolled students with an accessible, welcoming and seamless experience to ensure their success.

Five-Year Actions by Goal

Goal 1 (Integration):

  • Create consistent, student-friendly access policies and user-centered digital and physical spaces that recognize the marginalization and discrimination experienced by CUNY students.
  • Spearhead university-wide communication, branding, and design initiatives that connect CUNY students and faculty with the broad range of library services and content available to them.

Goal 2 (Innovation):

  • Increase remote access to library collections and services through innovative procurement and access models, like controlled digital lending (CDL), that provide the fullest use of resources to the greatest number of people.
  • Develop paid experiential learning opportunities and a student advisory committee to directly communicate needs and advise OLS on all aspects of library services, including the development of new initiatives.

Goal 3 (Centralization):

  • Create coordinated mechanisms for tracking and assessing use of library services and spaces at a campus and university level to facilitate evidence-based decisions that direct resources where they will have an impact.
  • Collaborate with Central IT Services to rebalance technology access across CUNY Libraries, ensuring that CUNY students and faculty can use CUNY Libraries’ WiFi, workstations, printers and other technology no matter their primary CUNY affiliation.

End States

We will know we are successful when:

  • CUNY Libraries have shared access policies, and all CUNY students have access to all libraries, both in person and online, regardless of primary campus affiliation.
  • CUNY Libraries employ universal and user experience (UX) design, and proactively use consistent data for making evidence-based policy, service and investment decisions.
  • Increase student engagement and feelings of connection with the library and its librarians and staff.


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The City University of New York Office of Library Services Strategic Plan: 2022-27 Copyright © by CUNY Office of Library Services is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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