Strategic Plan 2006 - 2009


The Greater Western Library Alliance is a dynamic, effective, project-oriented regional consortium of leading research libraries located in the Central and Western United States. It is an internationally recognized leader in the transformation of scholarly communication, and a facilitator in the application of new information technologies. The activities and collaborative projects of the Alliance contribute to a demonstrable expansion of access to quality information both within and beyond the boundaries of the consortium.


The Greater Western Library Alliance delivers cost-effective and high-quality information services and resources to its member institutions and their clientele. The Alliance is a full partner and dynamic leader in the national and international scholarly arenas of learning and research. It relies on the highly skilled staffs of its member libraries to capitalize on new technologies, to forge effective and meaningful partnerships, and to promote innovation and excellence.


GOAL 1: Access - GWLA will develop and provide a suite of user-focused services that will improve access to information, be competitive, and will promote reform of the scholarly communication system.

Current Strategies
  • Provide long-term open access to funded research.
  • Expand and promote cooperative access to electronic journals and other shared content and resources through partnerships with journal editors on our campuses.
  • Enhance GWLA's ILL/document delivery services by raising benchmarks for performance.Continue to participate in the leadership of the BioOne electronic publishing initiative through its Board of Directors and Library Advisory Group.
  • Continue to provide more cost-effective access to strategic electronic resources through joint license agreements and purchases.
  • Continue to build a robust virtual reference cluster within GWLA.
Future Strategies
  • Develop shared, federated and improved search capabilities.
  • Plan and evaluate the implementation of new technologies that are of interest to GWLA members.

GOAL 2: Preservation - Through partnerships among its member institutions, GWLA will preserve scholarly information in a variety of formats.

Current Strategies

  • Develop a collaborative project with the Center for Research Libraries to digitize, archive and provide persistent and unrestricted access to federal technical reports issued prior to 1975.
Future Strategies
  • Identify print collections of shared interest and collaborate on reformatting efforts.
  • Develop a collaborative infrastructure to link institutional repositories within GWLA.
  • Investigate and participate in national preservation programs for both print and digital materials.

GOAL 3: Collections - Develop and implement a true cooperative collection development program within GWLA that is both prospective and retrospective in scope.

Current Strategies

  • Create a program and infrastructure for developing targeted, broad-based digital collections that support instruction and research on member campuses. Phase Two of the Western Waters Digital Library ( will serve as the first development project.
Future Strategies
  • Implement and utilize a consortium-wide collection analysis program to determine collective strengths, weaknesses, needs and redundancies in our collections.
  • Expand the cooperative cataloging project to include other non-English language records.
  • Grow GWLA's shared print project beyond the BioOne Collection.
  • Develop a program to identify and address significant shared collection gaps within the consortium.

GOAL 4: Promote Organizational Effectiveness - Insure excellence in all GWLA programs by promoting innovative organizational development within the consortium.

Current Strategies
  • Grow staff expertise in new areas.
Future Strategies
  • Encourage and develop more partnerships and collaboration within GWLA that reach beyond "library-to-library" cooperation.
  • Develop and implement an effective and ongoing assessment process for all GWLA programs.