Library Mission

Carleton College’s Gould Library Mission

The Laurence McKinley Gould Library fosters learning and inspires discovery through our collections, expertise, and environment.

(Adopted 2013)

The Gould Library Vision and Values

The Laurence McKinley Gould Library is an active participant in the college’s mission to provide an exceptional undergraduate liberal arts education. In support of Carleton’s curriculum, we build collaborative partnerships that enrich the intellectual climate of the campus. We create an atmosphere that sparks curiosity, discovery, and the pursuit of knowledge. In fulfillment of our teaching mission, we develop services and collections that are flexible and responsive to the needs of Carleton College, and we foster a culture of inclusiveness that respects the diversities of our community. We strive to do all of this in a manner that is welcoming and safe; that encourages and values intellectual freedom; and that empowers students with the lifelong capacity for information literacy necessary for continued growth.

(Adopted 2013)

The Gould Library Strategic Plan: 2013-2018

(download the full Strategic Plan for 2013-2018)

The Laurence McKinley Gould Library is situated at the heart of Carleton, acting both as a College service, supporting the scholarship of the Carleton community, and also as an academic hub on campus, particularly leading the College’s efforts to produce information literate graduates. As an active center of academic life, the Library must remain flexible and responsive to changing expectations on campus and in the information landscape. We in the Library approach these changes both eagerly and thoughtfully, with an eye towards sustainability and good stewardship of our resources. 

While facing these opportunities and challenges, we will harness six guiding values to inspire and lead us. These values are threaded throughout the plan and form the underlying motivation for our many strategies and goals:

While each of these values is important, collaboration is especially visible in this strategic plan because it is so integral to our work in all areas. The Library depends upon and actively cultivates successful collaborative relationships with many groups, on and off campus, and these collaborations are crucial to our success. The Library’s strategic plan combines the goals of the College’s 2012 strategic plan, “Carleton’s Future: A Strategic Plan for the College 2012,” with the Library’s goals and guiding values. This plan articulates our key priorities and achievable goals, organized into six equally important categories: Services, Curriculum and Teaching, Co-Curricular Student Experience, Collections and Access, Physical Plant, and Staff.

  • Active Flexibility -- creating capacity for experimentation, allowing us to identify and embrace beneficial changes
  • Advocacy -- using the Library’s position and expertise to champion equitable and sustainable access to information
  • Collaboration and Community -- building and sustaining mutually-advantageous relationships within the Library, across the College, with St. Olaf, and with other key partners
  • Stewardship – caring for and maintaining our resources and collections
  • Strategic Assessment -- strengthening the Library through evidence-based practices
  • Visibility -- communicating the Library’s value to the campus and beyond

(Adopted 2013)