Strategic Plan

2013 - 2016 Strategic Directions

CARL—the Canadian Association of Research Libraries—is the leadership organization for the Canadian research library community. The Association’s members are the 29 major academic research libraries across Canada together with Library and Archives Canada and the Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (NRC-CISTI).


CARL—the Canadian Association of Research Libraries— provides leadership on behalf of Canada’s research libraries and enhances their capacity to advance research and higher education. It promotes effective and sustainable scholarly communication, and public policy that enables broad access to scholarly information.

Strategic Directions
In a research, teaching and learning landscape transformed by technological, demographic and socio-economic change, Canadian research libraries are adopting innovative strategies for acquiring, preserving and sharing knowledge. CARL represents and actively supports the many new and expanded roles for research libraries identified by its members. Specifically, CARL advances the vision, builds the capacity and promotes the value of Canadian research libraries while supporting improved access to research.


1 Advance the Vision of Canadian Research Libraries
1.1 Redefine our research collections and services
As academic resources in a growing number of formats become increasingly diverse, interdisciplinary and aggregated, CARL helps its members redefine their collections in ways that serve new teaching and research strategies and new areas of academic endeavour.
1.2 Strengthen the national role of the research library network
As its members identify and coordinate initiatives that extend beyond local and regional boundaries, CARL offers support to Canada’s critically important national heritage, research, and higher education agendas.
1.3 Promote community and international engagement
CARL members increasingly expect to contribute to, and derive support from, communities and community organizations that exist outside their specific academic or institutional context. CARL represents its members accordingly, and creates partnerships and opportunities for information exchange that support a vibrant programme of collaboration and engagement.


2. Build the Capacity of Canadian Research Libraries
2.1 Facilitate collaborations to share and preserve Canada’s research collections
CARL members play a critical part in the stewardship of research resources that support scholarship, policy-making and innovation. CARL explores and supports new collaborations between libraries and with other research organizations to attain more cost-effective methods for this stewardship.
2.2 Develop expertise for new and emerging roles
As change in research, teaching and learning continues to accelerate, becoming increasingly computational and extending globally, CARL supports the development of libraries that include a wider variety of expertise and professional backgrounds.
2.3 Help members address resource management issues
Transformations in research and higher education converging with socio-economic changes require new, evidence-based approaches to leadership, the effective management of libraries and the successful development of new library programs. CARL provides a forum for members to address these issues and exchange best practices.


3. Promote the Value of Canadian Research Libraries
3.1 Support and develop more outcomes-based measures to demonstrate library impact on research, teaching and learning
CARL coordinates the development of library-related metrics and tools relating to academic success, research outcomes, success rates for grant proposals, etc.
3.2 Facilitate the assessment of library services
Through the delivery of assessment-related programming, information sharing, and support for relevant research, CARL supports members as they use outcomes-based evidence to establish the research library’s ROI (return on investment) and other measures of its value.
3.3 Expand the role of the library in research
CARL and its members develop strategies, alliances and metrics to increase the number of opportunities to be research partners and to showcase library contributions to successful research initiatives.


4. Support Access to Research
4.1 Coordinate research data management initiatives
Recognizing the value and potential of research data and data-intensive research to transform scholarship fundamentally, CARL coordinates efforts around awareness and advocacy, support and training, access and discovery, archiving and preservation, and virtual research environments.
4.2 Promote open access and new forms of scholarly communication
CARL plays a leading role in promoting the ongoing transformation of modes of scholarly communication and the values of equity of access, broad dissemination and long term preservation of research that underpin the open access movement.
4.3 Represent the interests of the academic community in the information policy arena
CARL is a major national voice for the interests of the academic community in information policy and a balanced and fair approach to copyright and intellectual property issues.