Vision, mission, and values
Adopted, May 2020
MIT Libraries Vision: A New Urgency
The need for open, equitable digital access to information has never been more critical or more compelling. In the midst of unprecedented disruptions to our work due to COVID-19, the MIT Libraries share a new document that articulates and amplifies our existing vision, with a sharpened focus, a new urgency, and a clear set of principles to guide our decision-making.
Adopted, September 2017
We envision a world where enduring, abundant, equitable, and meaningful access to information serves to empower and inspire humanity.
The MIT Libraries aspires to advance knowledge by providing a trusted foundation for the generation, dissemination, use, creative engagement with, and preservation of information, in support of the MIT mission and so that it can be brought to bear on the world’s great challenges and in the cause of social justice.
How we pursue our mission is as important as the mission itself, thus our organization supports the core values of both the profession of librarianship and our parent institution, MIT. Our values ground both our strategic decisions and our operational approach: we aim to do great things, and to find joy and meaning in our work.
The MIT Libraries contribute to a better world …
With Openness and Transparency
- We foster lifelong learning and openness among our staff, our colleagues, and the communities we serve.
- We act with integrity to buttress liberty and democracy by protecting intellectual freedom and the right to privacy.
- We aim to conduct ourselves with transparency and authenticity in all aspects of our work and organization.
- We aim to work with others to identify collaborative solutions to community-wide challenges.
- We aspire to promote rigorous scholarship and many diverse ways of knowing and creating to advance human understanding and well being.
Via Curiosity and Inquiry
- We foster work that is creative, and that integrates mind, hand, and heart.
- We welcome thoughtful risk taking and embrace both successes and failures as essential to learning.
- We aim to solve hard problems and tackle grand challenges in our work and our profession.
- We aspire to be a model for innovation and adaptation in research libraries and archives.
By pursuing Social Justice and an Ethic of Care
- We foster deep respect and understanding for human beings inside and outside our organization and the communities in which they live; we approach our work and one another from an ethic of care.
- We aim to provide equitable service to all people, regardless of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, or national or ethnic origin.
- We place special emphasis on services that are welcoming and inclusive of members of groups who are currently and/or have historically been marginalized or denied full participation in society.
- We strive to promote many voices, and to reflect diversity of both knowledge itself and ways of knowing in our collections, and in our approach to information management and organization.
- We aspire to leverage the work, values, and resources of libraries and archives as forces for social justice in our communities.
Our values statement is inspired by, and borrows from these sources: The report of the Institute-Wide Task Force on the Future of Libraries, the American Library Association’s Core Values of Librarianship, the Society of American Archivists Core Values Statement and Code of Ethics, the MIT ICEO’s report on Advancing a Respectful and Caring Community, the MIT Nondiscrimination Policy, Creating a social justice mindset: Diversity, inclusion, and social justice in the Collections Directorate of the MIT Libraries, Bethany Nowviskie’s Capacity Through Care, Virginia Held’s 2005 book The Ethics of Care, and Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc. Statement of Values.