Establishing Shared Purpose: Developing Unit Specific Mission, Vision, and Values in an Academic Library


  • Shelly Hypes UNC Charlotte
  • Ryan Harris UNC Charlotte
  • Stephanie Otis UNC Charlotte



mission, vision, values, Public Services


In a large, public university library, the leadership team for Public Services wanted to provide a solid foundation for communication, collaboration, and shared decision making. In pursuit of that goal, the two groups within Public Services undertook to develop mission, vision, and values statements to highlight their unique purpose and provide direction for their work. Each group developed a unique and self-directed process of brainstorming and consensus building workshops and meetings; respecting and honoring the differences between the groups was an essential step in establishing shared values and successful cross-unit communication. These smaller group processes will later come to inform the work and collaborations of the unit as a whole and have already led to productive conversations and improvements in group communication. Reflecting on the process and products has allowed the unit as a whole to find and focus on commonalities in their values and work. This experiential report will provide definitions and guiding questions to serve as models for those working in academic libraries that wish to guide the development of these defining statements within their own particular context.