5 Priority Two: Institutionalizing Path Breaking and Proven Practices


Libraries across the country are innovating in multiple areas and breaking out of a generalist, reference, circulation, and acquisitions frame. CUNY cannot afford to be left behind. Given the nature of our student body, innovating in CUNY Libraries is inherently a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) issue, especially when we implement practices that engage students not as passive receivers of knowledge but as active creators and curators of knowledge. Although CUNY Libraries have innovative librarians and staff members, too many who do innovative work do not feel their work is valued or supported. In order to sustain and build on progress and validate the work of our colleagues, we need to prioritize actions that institutionalize these efforts as programs that require permanent staffing and infrastructure within OLS and campus libraries, while also valuing the core functions of libraries that make innovation possible.

Five-Year Actions by Goal

Goal 1 (Integration):

  • Incentivize library innovation and capacity building by creating awards and certificates that recognize innovative, impactful librarianship, and service to the University and can be used for tenure and promotion dossiers.
  • Advocate and collaborate with library leadership and campus administration on recruitment efforts that establish permanent staffing lines supporting innovative programs like OER, open research, DEI, and distinctive/special collections and archives based on campus and university strategic priorities.

Goal 2 (Innovation):

  • Facilitate new tenure and promotion guidelines in CUNY Libraries that value work in current trends in librarianship and emerging forms of scholarship, as well as capacity-building efforts like grant writing, program development, and technical expertise.
  • Showcase innovative library practices by convening librarians and broader faculty to amplify innovative librarianship, and by building cross-campus repositories of innovative library scholarship to maximize its operational impact.

Goal 3 (Centralization):

  • Develop necessary expertise within OLS to strategically provide central support for innovation in CUNY Libraries.
  • Develop collaborative grants, funding capacity, and project management to support innovation and bring CUNY Libraries together on shared goals like DEI, accessibility, and digital collections initiatives across the system.

End States

We will know we are successful when:

  • Increased number of specialized or innovative faculty librarians and staff, as well as OLS positions that provide targeted expertise to support and scale innovation.
  • Library tenure and promotion guidelines explicitly value innovative work that positions students as creators and curators of knowledge as well as core work that grows the organizational capacity of CUNY Libraries.
  • Student, faculty, and organizational engagement increases across CUNY with open education, scholarly communication, archival programs and other digital initiatives on campuses.
  • The Open Educational Resource Program is fully institutionalized, so that faculty get “credit” in tenure and promotion for open pedagogy work, and the “zero textbook cost” course attribute is socialized with students.


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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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