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Mission & Objectives


The Harvard Library advances scholarship and teaching by committing itself to the creation, application, preservation and dissemination of knowledge.



Harvard Library is a world-class academic library, an unparalleled resource for learning and research. Engaging users through curated discovery, digital collections, reimagined physical space, and specialized research support, Harvard Library delivers exceptional experiences to its user communities. Serving as an information hub, the Library connects users to related disciplines and to University-wide teaching resources. Today, Harvard Library’s holdings range from traditional print collections to rapidly expanding digital resources. It is the work of the Harvard Library to provide the University's faculty, students, and researchers—now and in the future—with comprehensive access to these materials.


Objectives in Action

At the March 2016 all-staff meeting, Sarah Thomas shared a version of the Harvard Library Objectives in Action, a one-page document summarizing activities in support of the organization’s five strategic goals.

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Objectives In Action document


Strategic Priorities

Priorities for FY15 priorities were collaboratively developed at a Library Leadership Team offsite in June 2014. Priorities for FY16 represent continuity of the multi-year priorities while phasing out the now-complete Enhanced Discovery & Delivery, and adding a new priority on Data Management.

Strategic ObjectivesFY15 PriorityFY16 Priority

Implement a Harvard Library collection and content development strategic plan in support of University-wide research teaching and learning

1. Collection Development

1. Collections and Content

Enable effective access to the world of knowledge and data through intuitive discovery, networks of expertise and global collaborations

2. Enhanced Discovery & Delivery

3. Open Access

4. New Library Services Platform

2. Open Access

3. Library Services Platform

Deliver innovative and programmatic support for learning and research in partnership with faculty and other researchers

5. University-wide RTL Support

6. Understand & Deliver Digital Objects

4. Research, Teaching and Learning

5. Improve Delivery of Digital Objects

Steward vulnerable and critical research information in partnership with academic and administrative functions across the University and beyond

7. Coordinated Digitization

8. Manage Born Digital

9. Harvard Depository — Next Generation

6. Coordinated Digitization

7. Manage Born Digital

8. Harvard Depository Strategy

9. NEW — Data Management

Support a robust professional development network in a learning organization

10. Staff Development

10. Staff Development