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Strategic Plan

Imperative I: Nurturing Student Success 

The Clarke Historical Library, through direct contact with students in the academic programs, as well as through an active outreach program that contributes to the intellectual life of the campus, prepares students for successful careers and fulfilling lives. 

Imperative II: Fostering Scholarly Activity

The Clarke Historical Library, through its premier collection of material capable of supporting all levels of research in the subject areas documented by the library, as well as through the publication of the Michigan Historical Review, plays a vital role in the scholarly environment of Central Michigan University and creates otherwise unavailable opportunities for research and scholarly publication that attracts and fosters talented and diverse students, faculty, and staff.

Imperative III: Strengthening Partnerships in Michigan and Beyond 

The Clarke Historical Library, through its outreach programs and especially through its historic commitment to preserve and make available historical community newspapers, actively fosters community partnerships


Imperative IV: Fundraising and Infrastructure

The Clarke Historical Library, through enhanced fundraising and through planning for a future that will require both additional physical storage space as well as the means to store and make publicly available historical records which exist only in a digital format, will continue to expand its capacity to accomplish the first three imperatives.

Imperative I: Nurturing Student Success 

The Clarke Historical Library, through direct contact with students in the academic programs, as well as through an active outreach program that contributes to the intellectual life of the campus, prepares students for successful careers and fulfilling lives. 

 

Current Status

  • In fiscal year 2016-17, 165 CMU affiliated individuals registered to use the Clarke Historical Library. Forty-nine sessions of bibliographic instruction (CMU classes which came to the Clarke for group instruction) were taught (students attending a bibliographic instruction session do not register).
  • Annually (fiscal year) create two exhibits and sponsor or co-sponsor 12-14 on-campus presentations.

Three Year Goal

  • Increase the number of both CMU student users and bibliographic instruction sessions for CMU students by 15 percent (5 percent annually).
  • Modify the nature of the student interaction from being largely about facilitating course related research to purposely introduce students to critical thinking skills to enable them to organize and analyze information and information sources.
  • Maintain the current exhibit/presentation schedule while refining the selection of exhibits and presentations to more consciously address student needs.
  • Maintain an annual award for the "best student paper" written by a CMU student primarily out of resources found in the Clarke Library.

Strategies and Targets

  • Increase involvement in curriculum (and thus student use) by developing improved outreach to faculty:
    • Target faculty/courses (review courses offered each semester and reach out to faculty offering courses where Clarke material would be relevant). Outreach should include visiting faculty in their office and also listening to faculty for suggestions about how the library's holdings could be used to benefit their teaching.
    • Target faculty for announcements re: existing/new collections that might be of use to them in teaching (create/maintain mailing lists for this purpose).
    • When identified by the targeted faculty as more useful, offer bibliographic instruction at site where class is taught, rather than insisting class come to Clarke for bibliographic instruction.
    • When identified by targeted faculty as useful, develop in conjunction with faculty member online resource (digitized material from Clarke holdings) for faculty use in teaching courses.
    • Offer appropriate presentations in Clarke for small groups of targeted faculty (if you feed them, they will come – e.g. hold talk at noon and offer a free box lunch).
  • Increase student use by directly targeting specific students/student groups who might use the Clarke Library's resources.
    • Student organizations or students enrolled in specific course (e.g. History 496 – senior thesis). Develop online course packs for specific courses/offer tours or open houses.
    • Target through focused social media campaign.
  • Explore develop/descriptive practices that facilitate discovery of material by students.
    • Employ user-centered descriptive practices. Review literature and as necessary conduct user tests to better understand how undergraduates search for information and incorporate findings into descriptive practice.
  • In student interaction, focus on improving the student's critical thinking skills.
    • Whenever appropriate, include information/introduction about this in extended reference interviews or bibliographic instruction.
    • Develop an experimental one-credit course in critical thinking skills by modifying existing Library 197 course on a pilot basis. Course would use Clarke resources to teach students how to examine and evaluate conflicting source material.
      • If successful, explore possibility of expanding it into a three-credit course.
  • Develop stronger faculty input into exhibit selection and presentation planning by:
    • Regularly consulting with faculty regarding exhibit topics that would contribute to/integrate into their course offerings and thus would directly benefit students.
  • Explore/develop/implement tools to quantitatively track number of exhibit visitors and to better measure the demographic characteristics of program participants. This could include an online registration/item request system tied to CMU's student database.
  • Explore/develop implement online K-12 course packs, developed with the help of appropriate teachers.

Imperative II: Fostering Scholarly Activity

The Clarke Historical Library, through its premier collection of material capable of supporting all levels of research in the subject areas documented by the library, as well as through the publication of the Michigan Historical Review, plays a vital role in the scholarly environment of Central Michigan University and creates otherwise unavailable opportunities for research and scholarly publication that attracts and fosters talented and diverse students, faculty, and staff.

Detailed Collecting Objectives

The Clarke Historical Library aspires to preserve and to promote within the CMU community:

  • A nationally recognized collection in the areas of
    • The history of the people of the Three Fires              
    • Michigan newspapers
    • Michigan railroads
    • Kit Home Manufacturers (Aladdin)
    • KKK in Michigan
    • An international collection of exemplary children's literature from the nineteenth century through the present

       
  • A regionally (Midwest) recognized collection on
    • Angling
    • Birdseye views of Michigan cities
    • Great Lakes and Michigan maps
    • U.S. presidential campaign biographies

       
  • A collection of Michigan material that comprehensively supports professional (graduate level) research on any relevant historical topic.

 

Current Status

  • Through its research collection the Clarke Historical Library makes possible and fosters original research both among undergraduates and scholars in the topics documented by the library.
    • Those areas identified for national leadership already meet or come close to that goal.
    • Those levels identified for regional leadership meet that goal.
    • The library collection can sustain graduate level research in most areas related to Michigan history.
  • Through the Michigan Historical Review, the Clarke Historical Library actively encourages and publishes academic scholarship regarding Michigan history and the history of the Midwest.
  • Through exhibits and presentations, the Clarke Historical Library actively assists in the creation and maintenance of a scholarly campus environment.
  • Through the microfilm/digitization program, the Clarke continues to expand number of newspapers available to preserve and make more accessible to scholars online key resource in undertaking Michigan local history.
  • Clarke staff is expected to engage in professional activity, including publication.

Three Year Goal

  • Maintain and grow the collections at approximately the same rate as in the past three year cycle, with particular emphasis on areas of excellence as well as the ability to support graduate level student papers (master's degree) on Michigan history-related topics.
  • Continue publication of the MHR twice annually.
  • Continue mounting two exhibits and sponsoring or co-sponsoring twelve to fourteen programs each fiscal year.
  • Develop goals for the digitization of in-house collections.
  • Continue to expect Clarke staff to publish and participate in professional discussion.

Strategies and Targets

  • Continue ongoing strategies and targets as outlined in past three year goals.
    • Continue to particularly seek out and obtain items in areas identified as of national excellence.
    • Explore the practicality of expanding the angling collection to be one of national excellence and if practical begin work to make the collection of national significance.
    • Identify areas of Michigan history where collection cannot support/is weaker than it should be regarding graduate level research and seek necessary material to address the problem.
  • Develop a prioritized list of material within the Clarke to be digitized and made available online.
  • Explore/develop/implement tools to quantitatively track number of exhibit visitors and to better measure the demographic characteristics of program participants.
    • Create baseline data and measure annual change.

 

Imperative III: Strengthening Partnerships in Michigan and Beyond 

The Clarke Historical Library, through its outreach program and especially through its historic commitment to preserve and make available historical community newspapers, actively fosters community partnerships

Current Status

  • Partnerships resulting in microfilming/digitization of local Michigan newspapers.
  • Traveling exhibits, usually based on work done for one of the two annual exhibits mounted in the Clarke's galleries.
  • Partnerships based on working relationship with CMU Alumni Relations
  • Occasional staff presentations to outside organizations.

Three Year Goal

  • Seek recognition by CMU central administration that Clarke Historical Library partnerships constitute a "program of distinction" as defined by the CMU five year strategic plan and should be prioritized at the university-level.
  • Continue microfilm/digitization program.
  • Continue creating and circulating traveling exhibits and seek to develop online catalogs for exhibits in the building.
  • Continue relationship with Alumni Relations, including regular contributions to their social media outreach to CMU alumni.
  • Continue staff presentations to outside organizations.

Strategies and Targets

  • Define criteria for "program of distinction" and process through which such programs will be identified, and undertake necessary steps to obtain recognition as such at university-level.
  • Establish productivity for microfilm/digitization program at approximately the current level, a minimum of 80 reels/250,000 images per year.
    • Increase administrative/operational efficiency of program and outside funding for program.
  • Create one new traveling show annually and annually travel shows at a minimum of two offsite venues.
    • Develop annual outreach to potential exhibit partners to better promote exhibits and increase requests for them.
    • Develop mechanism to explore with past hosts of traveling shows ideas for future traveling exhibits that they would find interesting.
    • Explore possibility of exhibiting traveling shows in non-traditional locations.


Imperative IV: Fundraising and Infrastructure

The Clarke Historical Library, through enhanced fundraising and through planning for a future that will require both additional physical storage space as well as the means to store and make publicly available historical records which exist only in a digital format, will continue to expand its capacity to accomplish the first three imperatives.

Current Status: Fundraising & Infrastructure

  • The Clarke Historical Library externally funds approximately 19 percent of the library's annual budget (External funding sources are roughly divided as ½ grants, ¼ microfilm /digitization program project and ¼ cash gifts).
  • Storage areas for physical material is currently at about 65 percent full (last available study from June 2014 and thus understates current situation).
  • Digital material stored for Clarke Historical Library is approximately 25 terabytes online with an additional several terabytes of material stored on various "temporary" media within Clarke Historical Library physical storage space. CMU is currently making available through the Office of Information Technology (OIT) long-term storage for online data at a cost of $50 per terabyte per year ($1,250 in the current fiscal year for 25 TB of storage).

 

Three Year Goal: Fundraising & Infrastructure

  • Maintain the percentage of non-University funding within the Clarke budget at 19 percent and attempt to increase this number to 21 percent.
  • Maintain approximate current balance between grants, cash gifts, and Microfilm/Digitizing program.
  • Estimate amount of digital storage space needed to accommodate annual growth based on results of CMU digital records management program, the output form the Microfilm/Digitization program that needs to be permanently stored within the Clarke, incoming manuscript material received in a digital format, and digitization objectives for existing non-digital material, and develop needed capacity to store material.
  • Monitor development of Park Library master building plan to develop additional storage space within in the Park Library, with a preference for space on the first floor, while also being mindful that planned growth may require use of offsite storage.
  • Seek opportunity to create dedicated instructional space separate from reading room.

Strategies and Targets

  • Fundraising
    • Develop means to better identify and communicate areas of library excellence with library users, participants in library programs and exhibit visitors and target these individuals for fundraising activity.
    • Develop better means to recognize donors such as special donor openings for exhibits or donor-only events to precede presentations.
    • Develop increased grant writing capacity with goal of submitting one or more major grant per year (defined as more than $100,000) and two or more minor grants (defined as less than $100,000).
    • Continue outreach for Microfilm/Digitization program at current levels, while also exploring/remaining open to additional potential opportunities.
  • Infrastructure
    • Use numbers generated from CMU electronic records project to estimate digital storage need and seek appropriate space/funding from Libraries/OIT.
    • Monitor development of Park Library master building plan and act as opportunity for remodeling of first floor develops. If first floor remodel is not attempted in a sufficiently timely manner to meet planned growth, seek alternative possibilities including offsite storage.
    • As possible, seek dedicated classroom space.