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Earl S. Richardson Library: Library Mission

Earl S Richardson Library Vision

Earl S. Richardson Library Vision

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”   --Benjamin Franklin

In order for a university library to fulfill its purpose effectively, it must pursue a vision, and that vision must be sufficiently bold to shape the library for decades to come.  Thus is the vision of the Earl S. Richardson Library.  Utilizing carefully husbanded human and monetary resources, the Library will contribute to the transformation of the University into an institution unlike the one that currently exists.

Our vision is that the Earl S. Richardson Library will become the 126th member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), thereby becoming the second historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) library to attain this status.  Howard University Libraries is the current HBCU member of ARL.  In realizing this vision, the MSU Library will become one of the premier libraries of  higher education in the state of Maryland, the nation, and the world through achieving excellence in teaching, staff development, services provided, and in the provision of necessary resources—print and electronic—to the Morgan State University community.

The attached Earl S. Richardson Library Strategic Plan will serve as our guide in the attainment of the stated vision.

Earl S. Richardson Library Mission Statement

The mission of the Earl S. Richardson Library is to support the academic programs of Morgan State University, an urban doctoral research university.  The Library provides resources and services to sustain learning, teaching, research, service, cultural and extra-curricular enrichment.  Major functions that the Library performs include, but are by no means restricted to, the following:  Evaluate, select, and acquire resources for the Library’s various collections; process, provide, and preserve resources for access by library users; provide reference, informational, and technological services; and foster intellectual curiosity, research and information literacy skills for life-long learning.

Library Mission


This Library Strategic Plan for the Earl S. Richardson Library, at Morgan State University, during this period, 2011-2021, includes further transition into this new facility.  In addition to the new building and new equipment, there should be new capabilities to provide new services and resources.  The initiatives identified in this Plan serve as a starting point to move the Library toward enhancing its operations to support the University as an urban doctoral research institution.


Morgan State University Vision Statement  

Morgan State University is the premier public urban research university in Maryland, known for its excellence in teaching, intensive research, effective public service and community engagement.  Morgan prepares diverse and competitive graduates for success in a global, interdependent society.  (Approved by the Morgan State University Board of Regents, August 2, 2011).


Morgan State University Mission Statement  

Morgan State University serves the community, region, state, nation, and world as an intellectual and creative resource by supporting, empowering and preparing high-quality, diverse graduates to lead the world.  The University offers innovative, inclusive, and distinctive educational experiences to a broad cross-section of the population in a comprehensive range of disciplines at the baccalaureate, master’s, doctoral, and professional degree levels.  Through collaborative pursuits, scholarly research, creative endeavors, and dedicated public service, the University gives significant priority to addressing societal problems, particularly those prevalent in urban communities.  (Approved by the Morgan State University Board of Regents, August 2, 2011).

Library Core Values

  • We value intellectual freedom.  We respect and protect the right to explore all points of view and the right to privacy.
  • We value the many communities we serve.  We encourage interaction with any individual or group and treat all people with respect, dignity, and courtesy.
  • We value contributions and ideas from all individuals.  We consider many viewpoints before making decisions and encourage creativity.
  • We value responsible resource management.  We spend allocated resources wisely and in ways that afford the broadest benefit to our users.
  • We value learning.  We create an environment that promotes on-going learning for ourselves and our users.
  • We care and we go the extra mile.

Morgan State University Motto:  “Growing the Future, Leading the World.”  

Library Goals

ONE:  Our users will find collections tailored and managed to meet their changing needs and advance the priorities of Morgan State University.  

TWO:  Our users will have seamless, user-driven access to reliable information and services when and where needed and have opportunities to learn how to effectively use and apply these resources.

THREE:  The Library will increasingly support the creation, discovery, sharing, and preservation of the unique digital academic and institutional knowledge assets produced or owned by the University.  

FOUR:  Our users will find welcoming learning spaces, both physical and virtual, that stimulate learning, continually respond to user needs, and enrich the library experience.

Strategic Vision

Where Are We Now, and Where Are We Going?

The Earl S. Richardson Library, other libraries in the University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions (USMAI), and libraries around the world, has been adapting for more than a decade to both the challenges and opportunities posed by today’s digital information environment.  The rise of Internet technologies has created change in the ways the University teaches its students, conducts research, and interacts with its communities.  More information is created, maintained, stored, and shared electronically.  As the world moves from one that is predominately paper-based to one that is digitally-dominated, the work of our students and faculty is changing as well.
The fact is that digital technology is changing the ways we all discover, create, maintain and use information and knowledge.  Those changes, coupled with the spiraling costs of library materials and increasing space costs, will profoundly impact the work of the Library for the foreseeable future.  As our users’ needs change, so will the role of the Earl S. Richardson Library in meeting those needs.  

As the University adapts to a new information environment,  so will the Library.  And, as the University community continues to rely on the Library as a center of learning and knowledge, we must foster a flexible, adaptable, and creative environment to meet changing needs.  Therefore, while continuing to provide excellent traditional library services, we will:

Provide appropriate print collections and move more of our collections and services online;

Strengthen our services as a vital gateway to the information needed by our users, whether held by us or elsewhere;

Take a leadership role in discovering, capturing, preserving, and making available the unique digital research, knowledge, and information assets created or collected by the University community;

Re-think the role of the Library as a physical space—no longer just a quiet place to study alone or check out a book, but also a campus environment for collaboration, learning, and social interaction; and,

Build our own capacity to provide 21st Century library and information services, aligning our work and services directly to the University’s teaching, research, and service mission and academic priorities.

How Will We Get There?

The Earl S. Richardson Library will excel as a 21st Century academic library.  This strategic plan sets key directions and strategies to guide us as we continue to move forward.  Those directions are captured in the following four goals and associated objectives.

Goal One:  Our users will find collections tailored and managed to meet their changing needs and advance the priorities of the University.

Objectives for Goal One:

Objective 1.1.   We will develop methodologies to better understand the usage of our collections and the current and future needs of users in order to make informed decisions in collection development and management.

Objective 1.2.  We will review and update our collection management policy, providing a framework for targeting future acquisitions on user needs and institutional strengths.

Objective 1.3.  We will seek realistic approaches to contain the rising acquisition costs of collections.

Objective 1.3.1.  When possible, we will expand the use of consortia and collaboration in order to contain the cost of selecting, purchasing, processing, housing, and preserving collections.

Objective 1.3.2.   We will expand and develop cooperative relationships that allow us to rely on other institutions outside the USMAI to provide materials in areas which are not our strengths.

Objective 1.4.   We will increase the number and range of digital resources available to our users, based on 
their needs.

Objective 1.5.   We will develop and test approaches, standards, best practices, and models for collecting, preserving, and accessing digital collections, collaborating with University, state, regional, national, and international organizations.

Goal Two:   Our users will have seamless, user-driven access to reliable information and services when and where needed and have opportunities to learn how to effectively use and apply these resources.

Objectives for Goal Two:

Objective 2.1.   We will enable users to interact with our services through emerging or user-familiar technologies

Objective 2.2.   We will simplify access to our services and our collections.

Objective 2.3.   We will develop services that further integrate collections and services into the online teaching, learning, and research environment.

Objective 2.4.   We will promote and expand access to unique Morgan State University collections by seeking partnerships and funding for digitization efforts.

Objective. 2.5.   We will strengthen our outreach activities to ensure that users know how the Library can and does serve them.

Objective 2.5.1.  We will develop and implement communications and marketing strategies with focused marketing campaigns.

Objective 2.5.2.  We will create a consistent, uniform image to establish the Library as a visible, branded, recognizable resource.

Objective 2.6.   We will find innovative ways to enhance our users’ understanding of the complexities of the information environment and help them become more adept at conducting effective searches, evaluating information sources, analyzing information needs, and using information effectively.

Goal Three:  The Library will increasingly support the creation, discovery, sharing, and preservation of the University’s unique digital academic and institutional knowledge assets.

Objectives for Goal Three:

Objective 3.1.   We will define and communicate the Library’s role in the University digital information environment, particularly our role in the creation, maintenance, preservation, storage, and sharing of the University’s digital information and scholarship.

Objective 3.2.   We will make it a priority to ensure that Morgan State University’s institutional and knowledge assets in both physical and digital form are available and preserved for as long as needed.

Objective 3.3.   We will facilitate the planning and implantation of a shared campus approach to the management of Morgan State University’s digital information and scholarly assets as an extension of the Library’s traditional role with University archives/special collections.

Objective 3.4.   We will develop a University archives/special collections records management document to address the life-cycle management and long-term preservation of University records and personal papers in all formats.

Objective 3.5   We will implement digital projects to collect, preserve and make available unique collections of value to the University and the state of Maryland, selecting projects based on their relevance to our teaching, learning, and service missions and institutional history; their broad potential for use; their possible contribution to state, regional, national, and international digital collection efforts; and their potential to generate external support.

Goal Four:  Our users will find welcoming learning spaces, both physical and virtual, that stimulate learning, continually respond to user needs, and enrich the library experience.

Objectives for Goal Four:

Objective 4.1.   We will develop effective use of our space, balancing the needs of our staff, our users, the public, the collections, and technology.

Objective 4.2.   We will strengthen measures to ensure the security of our users, staff, guests, and materials, recognizing that having  reliable security is of paramount importance to expanding our role as an intellectual and learning environment and meeting user expectations.

Objective 4.3.   We will further develop our role in virtual learning communities through dynamic information portals and online reference services.

Objective 4.4.   We will develop and deliver cultural outreach programs that promote learning and discovery.

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