Curtin University is well-known locally for being an innovative, ambitious and collaborative institution, and our library is no exception. Our vision is to be a library with great heart that empowers great minds.

Based in Perth, Western Australia, Curtin University Library serves a community of over 60,000 students, academics and community members. We also support global university campuses in Malaysia, Singapore, Dubai and Mauritius.


At the beginning of 2020, we began a project to create a new strategic direction document that would guide our work in supporting learning, teaching and research at Curtin University. This would be a challenging undertaking in the best of times, but in the context of COVID-19 lockdowns and disruptions it was both a necessary and timely opportunity to reflect on the way we operate.

The project began with an environmental scan to analyse the current and emerging trends that exist within academic libraries. We looked at a number of key sources from other universities and organisations to inform the possible content and format of our strategic direction. Narrowing our focus to stakeholders local to us, we then consulted other university staff and areas. It was important to us to gain a better understanding of their future direction and needs and see where there could be synergies in our plans.

CU2After looking outward, we then turned our attention inward. Our staff completed a SWOT analysis which examined our current situation and future external factors affecting our operations. We identified our existing strengths as our collections, our staff, our engagement with other areas of the university and the resourcing for our refurbished library space. Some notable future opportunities uncovered were online and blended learning, data literacy, open access and service flexibility. Threats to monitor were digital preservation, exchange rates when purchasing subscriptions and the place of our physical library in a digital world.

We found it interesting how our areas of focus changed over time as we gathered more information and liaised with staff and other stakeholders. The process changed our expectations of the strategy document and as we learned more, we further refined what we wanted from our strategy. We could translate what others had done to work better with our unique circumstances.

Our final strategic direction is an important tool in our annual planning and an invaluable touchstone in defining our value and purpose. Our goals will guide us over the period 2021 to 2025 to ensure that we support the learning, teaching and research of the University; demonstrate leadership nationally and internationally in our areas of expertise; and ensure that our operations remain sustainable.

After much thought and consultation, our strategic direction prioritises five areas of focus:

  • Library as partner
  • Trusted information resources
  • Library spaces
  • Community engagement
  • Culture and workforce

Read our Library strategic direction 2021 – 2025 to learn more about our goals over the coming years.