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Goals and Objectives

Our previous strategic plan set forth a new and transformational vision for the Library, serving as our road map to expanding the Library’s reach and deepening our impact, fulfilling our mission to engage, inspire and inform our users. That plan, in combination with the complementary, stand-alone digital strategy, set the Library on an exciting new course to put users first. By expanding access and enhancing services, while leveraging data and optimizing resources, we set out to create and cement lifelong and meaningful connections with our users of today and tomorrow.

The strategic plan we are introducing for FY2024-2028 represents the next phase of the exciting journey we began in 2019, building on the Library’s many accomplishments to date. These strategic goals are both enhancements of some of the goals from our previous plan and new successor goals that reflect the maturation of our work over the last five years. They also now fully encompass the Library’s digital strategy. No strategic goals in today’s context could be achieved without the contributions of digital technology. With this in mind, the objective of being more digitally enabled is included in this new strategic plan, recognizing that it is intrinsic to our success.

Goal 1: Expand Access

Make our unique collections, experts, and services available when, where, and how our users need them.

The Library of Congress has the largest collection of human knowledge ever assembled. Consisting of over 176 million books, manuscripts, photographs, maps and audiovisual materials, our collections comprise a trove of incomparable value to Congress, researchers, scholars and the general public. Through its stewardship, the Library preserves our history and cultural heritage and curates our growing collections to best serve all of our potential users.

The Library, however, is more than its extraordinary collections. It is also world-renowned as an unparalleled center for knowledge. Our staff, including librarians, specialists and curators, offer a wealth of experience and expertise to those seeking information and research assistance. Our researchers and analysts in the Congressional Research Service and Law Library of Congress provide authoritative advice and insights to members of Congress. Our Copyright Office staff advises Congress and provides information to the public about complex copyright issues – including those raised by emerging technology. This array of expertise is central to the value we offer.

In today’s digital age, we know for many, if not most users, theirs is a digital-first experience. Many who visit us will do so virtually, never setting foot within our walls, although we hope they will, someday. We are committed to creating virtual experiences of our collections and services that leave these users as delighted, inspired, curious and informed as those who enter the Library’s iconic Great Hall.

Objective 1

Increase discoverability, availability, and accessibility

We will continue making our collections, experts and services more readily discoverable and available for users, whether visiting Washington, D.C., or accessing the Library remotely.

Objective 2

Build and enrich Library collections and content to serve Congress and America’s communities

We will ensure that thoughtful growth of the Library’s collections reflects the breadth, diversity, experiences and needs of the American people, igniting their creativity and expanding their knowledge.

Objective 3

Sustain access to knowledge and creativity

We will ensure that this universal and enduring repository of our nation’s knowledge and creativity is secure for the present and posterity through meticulous conservation and preservation.

Objective 4

Engage visitors with inviting and inspiring digital and in-person spaces

We will welcome visitors to our physical spaces, where they can enjoy reimagined experiences. We will open the Library’s treasure chest and invite them to connect, not only with our beautiful spaces, but also with our collections and services. Of equal importance, we will inspire virtual visitors who explore our expansive online presence.

Goal 2: Enhance Services

Create valuable experiences for every user to forge lifelong connections to the Library.

The Library is an authoritative source of knowledge that enriches the American people in countless ways. Our services are vital to Congress, the community of copyright users, researchers, visitors and blind and print disabled citizens, among many others. We directly serve the American public with programs like the Veterans History Project, which preserves and makes accessible the firsthand recollections of U.S. military veterans, and Teaching with Primary Sources, which allows teachers in local school districts to create curricula using the Library’s digitized collections. The Library is in the forefront of making our resources available and useful to those who come to our buildings and in digital form for those who cannot. 

We seek to better understand the communities we serve and those we aspire to serve, continually evolving and adapting to their needs and expanding the avenues by which they can interact with us to create thought-provoking, inspiring and memorable experiences, fostering trust and establishing lasting connections to the Library.

Objective 5

Understand and engage our communities

We will seek to understand and engage our communities to meet them where they are and provide services and resources that align with their diverse needs and interests.

Objective 6

Enhance digital services to meet our communities’ needs

We will focus on exhibitions, learning spaces, educational materials and cultural programming to transform visitors into users of our services and contributors to our mission.

Objective 7

Provide trustworthy and authoritative data

We will continue building our capacity to collect, process and share data that is trustworthy and authoritative and will deepen our capacity for analysis.

Objective 8

Collaborate to amplify impact

We will collaborate and partner with others to extend our reach to new audiences and to create new ways to gather knowledge from our resources.

Goal 3: Strengthen Capacity

Support our staff and strengthen our operations.

Staff are the heart of the Library of Congress. Our members represent the apex of their professions, bringing unparalleled knowledge, expertise, and experience to bear for the benefit of our users. As such, we will prioritize and invest in our staff members’ development and success, and ensure they are supported by an inclusive and respectful workplace.

To strengthen our operations, we will streamline our processes and advance the systems that support them, making the most of today’s evolving technologies and operational best practices to deliver for our users.

Objective 9

Support a flexible, diverse, and cohesive workforce

We will align and strengthen capabilities across the Library to achieve optimum operational efficiencies while providing enhanced user services.

Objective 10

Develop staff capabilities with an emphasis on digital skills

We will ensure that our staff has the opportunity to develop these and other skills that they need to excel, since digital literacy is a universal skill for our employees.

Objective 11

Promote a safe, fair, inclusive, and collaborative environment

We will promote a safe, fair, inclusive and collaborative environment, because a workforce that feels supported is critical to delivering a high level of performance. We will also communicate our commitment to safe, fair, inclusive and collaborative workplaces as a core value to our staff and users.

Objective 12

Optimize operations and systems for improved performance

We will streamline our operations and deliver broadly accessible platforms and resources, providing cost-efficient, modern infrastructure and digitally enhanced services.

Goal 4: Foster Innovation

Explore new approaches and emerging technologies to address challenges and spark creativity.

We will consider, develop and implement new approaches and technologies that enable improved ways to access, discover and synthesize knowledge that were unthinkable just a few years ago. Exploring these new techniques allows us to provide better access to, and make the most of, our immense collections.

We will encourage Library staff and collaborators to take well-considered risks and propose innovative ideas to bring value to the Library and its users. We want to expand the work of innovators using Library collection items to develop groundbreaking projects, initiatives and services with transformative potential.

Objective 13

Invite curiosity and experimentation to meet evolving challenges

We will empower our employees and partners to be inquisitive and inventive as they seek to meet the challenges of rapidly changing technology and user expectations.

Objective 14

Innovate with imaginative approaches and emerging technologies

We will encourage our users and employees to explore novel ways to interact with our collections through technological advances combined with creativity and imagination, creating possibilities for extracting new knowledge.

Objective 15

Leverage data to discover new paths and opportunities

We will harness the use and power of data and data analysis to guide our programs, services and systems.