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About Libraries, Museums and Galleries: Strategic Plan

Reimagining Libraries, Museums and Galleries

Reimagining Libraries, Museums and Galleries: Our Strategic Plan 2024-2031


Liverpool 2031

We are excited to publish this strategic plan for Libraries, Museums and Galleries at the University of Liverpool. This plan provides a vision for our services, collections and spaces in support of the University’s ambitions under its strategy, Liverpool 2031. It outlines our overarching objectives as a department for the next seven years around Research and Impact, Education and Student Experience, Global Partnerships and Engagement, and Place and Innovation. It also provides an account of how we will deliver against the two cross-cutting themes of Liverpool 2031 around People and Culture and Sustainability to become an even better place to work, study and visit.

This strategic plan is the result of staff and stakeholder engagement within, and beyond, Libraries, Museums and Galleries. Through conversations, facilitated workshops and open surveys, colleagues have suggested, shaped and stress-tested the objectives and ambitions contained within this document. These objectives will be driven by a series of tangible activities and programmes, the results of which will be measured and reported on within our annual report.

We are proud of our achievements and ongoing work, and we are galvanised by the opportunities presented by Liverpool 2031 to build on these, whilst breaking new ground. These plans are ambitious, and this document is an invitation to you, our users, visitors, partners and communities, to work with us as we reimagine our services, our collections and our spaces for the future.

Dr Matt Greenhall
Director of Libraries, Museums and Galleries

About Libraries, Museums and Galleries

Libraries, Museums and Galleries at the University of Liverpool include:

  • The Sydney Jones Library
  • The Harold Cohen Library
  • The Leahurst Veterinary Science Library
  • Special Collections and Archives
  • The Victoria Gallery and Museum
  • The Garstang Museum of Archaeology and Egyptology

We also care for:

  • The University’s public art across campus
Our vision is to share, inspire and generate knowledge amongst our users, partners and communities, and promote their skills, curiosity and confidence.
Our mission is to enable, embody and amplify the strategic ambitions of Liverpool 2031 as a provider of comprehensive collections and services, as research and curatorial partners, and as professional leaders.
Our values mirror those of the University. We are Ambitious, Collaborative, Inclusive, Innovative and Responsible.

Enabling principles

Three overarching principles will enable our mission and will be pivotal to our contribution to Liverpool 2031:

  • Services and spaces that enable and inspire: we will create services that meet the changing expectations of our users, partners and communities, both onsite and online, enabled by physical and digital spaces that inspire new forms of learning, research and collaboration.
  • Transforming our Collections: we will develop our digital and physical collections to power learning and research. We will work with our users and communities to enhance the representativeness, description and discoverability of our collections within local, national and global landscapes.
  • Provider, Partner, Leader: we will enhance our positions as trusted service providers, as research and curatorial partners, and as professional leaders within the university, city region and global information and cultural sectors.

Research and Impact

Libraries, Museums and Galleries are integral to the research process across disciplines. We are research infrastructure through our provision of diverse collections, services and spaces throughout the research lifecycle. We maximise the visibility and reach of the University’s research outputs through our commitment to Open Research, and we are research partners, utilising our curatorial and specialist knowledge to enrich scholarship and its impact. We provide an interface between the University’s research and the public through our exhibitions, galleries and programming. 

Over the course of Liverpool 2031, we will enhance our role as multi-disciplinary places of experimentation, utilise our unique and distinctive collections, and the skills and expertise of our staff to build our capacity as research partners. We will support the University’s submission to REF 2029 and enable openly accessible ground-breaking research that changes our world for the better.

We will do this by: 

  1. Research partnership: we will build our capacity and confidence as research partners within and beyond the University, leveraging our skills and collections to drive the University’s funding success. 
  2. Routes to impact: we will provide routes to impact for scholarly research, working closely with faculty to present research in an engaging and meaningful way to diverse audiences through our exhibitions, spaces and programming. 
  3. Research Reputation: we will enhance the visibility, accessibility and potential impact of the University’s world-leading research through our commitment to Open Research practice and the responsible and effective use of metrics. 

Education and Student Experience

Libraries, Museums and Galleries are here to support, engage and inspire our students through our provision of enriched learning experiences and services, access to diverse content and collections, and inspiring and flexible spaces. Our physical buildings sit at the centre of campus life, attracting students to study, socialise, reflect, and access multiple university services, whereas our diverse digital collections, and those of our partners, are accessible to our students wherever they are in the world.  

Over the course of Liverpool 2031, we will develop programmes to enable the academic, personal and future success of our students, and prepare them for the world in which they will work, undertake further study and thrive. 

We will do this by: 

  1. Enabling academic success: we will develop comprehensive and high-quality learning and academic skills training to meet the needs of our changing student community under the KnowHow banner. 
  2. Curriculum-powered content: we will develop collections and digital tools shaped by the changing needs of the Liverpool curriculum, and work collaboratively with other University departments to support personalised learning experiences and assessment for our students. 
  3. Thriving communities: we will forge inclusive, inspirational and supportive experiences and environments in which all of our students can develop, experiment and thrive. 

Global Engagement and Partnerships

Libraries, Museums and Galleries are the guardian of a global collection, spanning communities and cultures from around the world, and our staff are professional leaders within the international information and cultural sectors. Our digital ambitions provide new opportunities to forge international relationships, whether for research, learning or community engagement, and they enhance our role as a conduit of collaboration between our students, colleagues, city communities and global partners. 

Over the course of Liverpool 2031, we will leverage our skills, collections and capabilities to create new international collaborations to maximise the impact of our work. We will actively support the University’s new strategic partnerships whilst enhancing our contribution to its established international relationships.

We will do this by:

  1. Bridging the Global and Local: we will enhance our role as a visible interface between the University’s global partnerships and the Liverpool City Region.  
  2. Global student community: we will provide flexible services to embed equity in content and skills provision for our growing international student community.  
  3. International audience: we will use our virtual interfaces and platforms to grow our international audiences and present the wealth of the University’s collections, research, and collaborative potential to the world. 

Place and Innovation

Libraries, Museums and Galleries are an integral part of the cultural and social infrastructure of the Liverpool City Region. We are an interface between the University and our neighbouring communities, and we are building trusted and sustainable relationships across the city. We support wellbeing and a sense of belonging on campus for our students, visitors and neighbours.  

Over the course of Liverpool 2031, we will develop relationships with the region’s cultural, enterprise and local communities, enabling us to work more creatively with our students, faculty, professional services and local partners. 

We will do this by: 

  1. Creating a sense of place: we will invest in our buildings as learning communities and social infrastructure for our students, staff and neighbours.
  2. Cultural partner of choice: we will enhance our position as a trusted partner within the Liverpool City Region, committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion as an employer, collecting institution and cultural venue.
  3. Collective collection: we will reveal the local relevance and global significance of our cultural and heritage assets as part of a collective collection.

People and Culture

People are at the centre of Libraries, Museums and Galleries, and our services, spaces and collections. Our colleagues are renowned for the friendly welcome and expert support they provide to our users, partners, visitors and communities, both onsite and online. We work within local, national and international professional sectors in which Liverpool colleagues are recognised for their expertise and experience. 

To enable the ambitions of Liverpool 2031, we will nurture and celebrate the skills and capabilities of our staff, build their confidence as research and curatorial partners, and work collaboratively to fully utilise expertise available across the wider University and beyond. We will embed Equality, Diversity and Inclusion throughout our work, working collaboratively with our colleagues, neighbouring communities and partners to become a more diverse and representative place to study, work, visit and thrive. 

We will do this by:  

  1. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: we will embed EDI throughout our work and become more representative of the users and communities that we serve. We will attract and retain the best talent through creating an environment in which all colleagues can thrive. 
  2. Professional development: we will build enriched and high-quality professional development opportunities tailored to the changing skills requirements of the information and cultural professions. 
  3. Continuous improvement: we will build a high-challenge and high-support environment in which a culture of continuous improvement and collaboration is embedded throughout our activities. 


Libraries, Museums and Galleries deliver highly efficient services within some of the most densely occupied spaces on campus. Changing user expectations present opportunities to rethink how we deliver our services, the format of our collections, and the use of our spaces.

We will embed sustainable practices within our existing activities, whilst highlighting opportunities and challenges within emerging programmes, infrastructures and user behaviours. We will visibly embed the UNSDGs within our work, and utilise experience and knowledge from across the University and the information and cultural sectors. We will interrogate our own practices, and those of our suppliers and partners, to support the University’s Net Zero ambitions and Climate and Sustainability Strategies.  

  1. Space programme: we will embed sustainability within the development and use of our buildings to better meet the growing and changing needs of our users.
  2. Sustainable behaviours: we will generate awareness of the environmental impact and energy requirements of digital content and activity amongst our users, colleagues and suppliers, and promote sustainable digital behaviours and procurement practices.
  3. Change in context: we will highlight the contemporary relevance of the University’s heritage collections to place environmental and societal change within wider historical contexts, revealing new narratives and longitudinal perspectives, and communicating these to our users and audiences.


Reimagining our Libraries, Museums and Galleries sets out our ambitions for the future. Achieving these will require us to confidently reimagine who we are, what we do, and how we work as service providers, research and curatorial partners, and professional leaders.  

We look forward to working together to achieve these objectives in support of our mission to enable, embody and amplify the ambitions of Liverpool 2031. 

For further information about this plan contact us.