Launching 'Empowering Libraries' – BLC’s New Strategic Action Plan

Today we publish Empowering Libraries, BLC’s new strategic action plan to guide our work in the years ahead.

Since its founding, BLC has been a change agent, acting to strengthen ties, facilitate resource sharing, and expand collaborative practices across northeast academic and research libraries. BLC began with an exchange of ideas, expanded to the sharing of resources and cooperative projects, developed communities of interest, and, through its cooperative action, enriched library users with a breadth of resources not available from any one library. BLC’s success in the past and vision for the future lies with our members, who have from the beginning believed that information should be free and that knowledge should be shared.

To ensure our plan represents the diverse aspirations of BLC’s membership, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee has drawn upon 35 conversations with BLC’s membership Communities, survey responses from 200 library staff, and insights from more than 300 colleagues across our member institutions. 

We’ve brought renewed focus to BLC through a new mission statement, the first in the history of our consortium. 

The Boston Library Consortium empowers a coalition of libraries in the northeastern United States to share knowledge, infrastructure, and resources at scale.

We’re also adopting a foundational set of guiding principles that animate our consortial activities by centering and celebrating the expertise of our colleagues across BLC’s 26 member institutions.

Our strength lies in our diverse membership network of public and private universities, liberal arts colleges, state libraries, public libraries, and special libraries united by a commitment to champion innovation through collaboration.

BLC pursues member-driven initiatives that:

  • Encourage inclusive and transparent decision-making
  • Create equitable opportunities for participation and collaboration at all levels
  • Amplify shared and diverse expertise to advance library practice
  • Support the continuous evolution of BLC as a learning organization

Empowering Libraries charts an ambitious path to advance five strategic priorities through a series of strategic initiatives over the next two years. 

Ensure long-term success by articulating sustainable organizational strategies

Maximize access to library collections using innovative and cost-effective mechanisms to share print and digital content

Advance collection development, management, and assessment projects that leverage the diverse strengths of BLC’s member institutions

Facilitate a vibrant exchange of ideas, knowledge and resources to build organizational capacity, collaboration, and leadership skills

Position BLC as a catalyst and central resource to lead, research, assess, and manage shared systems and services

Our Strategic Action Plan (PDF) contains more details on each of these strategic priorities. BLC’s board of directors voted unanimously to adopt the plan, set to launch at BLC’s annual membership meeting, BLC Forum. 

We’re energized to be able to share with you the next chapter of BLC’s journey, empowering our coalition of libraries to share knowledge, infrastructure, and resources at scale.

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Boston Library Consortium