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Strategic Themes

In developing this strategic plan for FY2024-2028, we considered and prioritized a set of themes that would inform our goals and suffuse our activities. These themes affirm that we strive to be digitally enabled, user centered, data informed, inclusive and welcoming and that we seek collaboration and partnership, actively engaging with our communities.

Digitally Enabled

The Library’s 2018 digital strategy outlined a vision for our digital transformation in which we would throw open the treasure chest, connect and invest in the future. Digital technology now permeates every aspect of the Library, and it is necessary to use it strategically to meet the needs of a rapidly changing world. Discussions of digital issues cut straight to the values and mission of the Library, enriching our processes, culture and experiences. Digital access at the Library of Congress means more than working online — it also includes themes such as collaboration, inclusiveness and resilience. The Library is already digitally enabled, and incorporating digital considerations throughout this plan reinforces our commitment to expand our digital capabilities in a strategic, trustworthy and approachable way.

User Centered

Since its establishment over 200 years ago, the Library has evolved from an institution exclusively serving Congress to one that also serves a broader audience. As a user-centered organization, we prioritize first understanding and then meeting the needs, wants and expectations of our users. We recognize that enhancing the user experience is an ongoing process rather than a one-time event.

Our user-centered strategy revolves around four key user groups: Congress, creators, connectors and learners. These groups are not mutually exclusive. Users can assume different roles and engage with the Library in many capacities. Understanding these various interactions across platforms and locations is crucial for designing and delivering the best user experience.

We believe that each interaction with the Library presents an opportunity to guide users along a path that begins with awareness, traverses discovery and use and ultimately concludes with connection to the Library. By broadening awareness and targeting outreach, we aim to ensure that people understand the range of unique, and perhaps unexpected, offerings the Library provides, drawing them into this user experience continuum.

We aim to create personal relevance and value for users, ensuring that their interactions with our collection items and services inspire a lasting connection. We give users reasons to return, introducing new engagement opportunities and strengthening their bonds with the Library over time.

Data Informed

We thoughtfully use data and analytics to inform our decisions. Good data provides valuable insights into the behaviors, preferences and needs of communities and helps us improve their experiences as users, maximizing the impact of our resources and services.

Access to more high-quality, aggregated data about our users — collected and used responsibly with safeguards for user privacy — will allow us to generate new insights that can lead to greater efficiency and effectiveness. Staff will be empowered by this data to turn what they learn into principled action, working with users and with each other to address issues as they emerge and to make timely improvements. For an institution as large as the Library to be effective, our approach to achieving the goals and objectives outlined in this strategic plan must be integrated across the organization. This means collaboration, including promoting shared outcomes and resource planning, to enable our service units to fulfill their mission-specific goals.

Inclusive & Welcoming

The Library continues to cultivate an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone. We acknowledge the value of different voices, experiences and cultures, and we understand that they enrich and tell a more complete national story.

We serve a diverse nation, and we seek to reflect this in a workforce that has diversity of many kinds — of skills, backgrounds, abilities and perspectives.  We strive to foster a supportive and inclusive culture that promotes a sense of belonging within the Library community. In an environment where everyone feels valued, respected and empowered, they are best able to contribute their unique insights and talents to accomplishing our shared goals.

Collaborations & Partnerships

Collaborations and partnerships are key to expanding the Library’s reach and amplifying our impact. Through collaborations with appropriate partners, the Library can tap into a broader network of expertise, collections and resources. Partnerships provide opportunities for joint initiatives and shared projects that yield new or enriched content and deeper connections to the communities we serve. The Library can then unlock possibilities to leverage collective strengths, to learn from our partners and to innovate in pursuit of enhanced operations and services.

Community Engagement

Active engagement with communities offers us valuable insights into their needs, interests and aspirations as users. It also gives us the benefit of their perspectives as experts regarding our collections related to these communities. This enables the Library to develop programs, services and resources that resonate with and meet the unique needs of diverse user communities. Community engagement also promotes inclusivity, ensuring that the Library’s offerings are accessible, available and relevant to users from various backgrounds, cultures and abilities. Through our collective voices, shared experiences and collaborative efforts, we shape a future and preserve a past where everyone’s story can be valued and heard.