The MIT Libraries has adopted new statements of its vision, mission, and values, which were recently published on the Libraries’ website. This declaration of the organization’s intentions and beliefs follows a two-year effort by the Institute-wide Ad Hoc Task Force on the Future of Libraries to define how the Libraries can best advance MIT’s mission and seek solutions to the world’s greatest challenges. The process of articulating the Libraries’ vision, mission, and values was a highly collaborative one that included robust discussion across the organization.
Prior to adopting the new statements, the Libraries published drafts on PubPub, an open-source publishing platform developed at the MIT Media Lab, which allows commenting and discussion. All library staff members were given the opportunity to provide their input and to see and respond to the comments of others. In addition, workgroups, teams, committees, and departments were invited to engage in group-level conversations about the vision, mission, and values and to provide feedback as appropriate.
“The process itself was an effort to enact some of our values, especially openness, transparency, and risk-taking,” says Director Chris Bourg. “We want to foster a culture of innovation at the Libraries, where critical thinking and experimentation are encouraged. We also want to create a culture that truly values diversity, inclusion, and transparency and to explore ways our library can be a force for equity and justice, within MIT and beyond.”
This is a critical moment for the MIT Libraries to clearly state and embrace the kind of organizational culture it is trying to create and sustain, as it moves toward realizing the goals of the Future of Libraries report. Under the leadership of Tracy Gabridge, deputy director, the Libraries will move forward with developing strategic priorities that reflect the newly articulated vision, mission, and values.