Strategic Plan & Policies

Mission Statement

Since the establishment by Benjamin Franklin of the first lending library in colonial Philadelphia, public libraries have been at the heart of the cultural life of American communities. As quiet, sheltering spaces dedicated to enriching the present and the future with the legacies of our literary and learned past, they have helped to educate individual citizens and to shape our collective national memory. They have, as well, brought the wider world to patrons in all corners of these United States. As that world seems to grow both wider and closer than ever before, changing at a vertiginous rate, many of our citizens will continue to turn to enlightened public libraries for a vision of learning, literacy and communication.

The University City Public Library is dedicated to examining and defining that vision for a notably diverse community whose citizens span a wide range of economic, educational and ethnic backgrounds. This very diversity requires the library to play several roles. While maintaining its historic ties to print culture, it must also, within its means, incorporate innovations in the rapidly evolving field of electronic communication. Its collections in several media are selected and administered by a regularly evaluated professional staff that is encouraged to keep abreast of new developments in library science and information technology. In addition to its responsibility for maintenance and improvement of the library’s physical plant, the staff and the director seek to create an environment that will attract patrons of all ages and from all neighborhoods of our city.

Balancing its obvious appeal to the educationally and technologically privileged with the more inclusive
task of offering educational opportunities to the entire populace of University City, the library intends to
serve citizens across the entire spectrum of interests and abilities. It must, not, even unwittingly, promote a division between those who know and those who do not. Similarly, it will identify the needs and concerns both of its regular patrons and of those who do not regularly enjoy its services.

Besides serving individual patrons, the library also continues to be a focal point for community activities related to or enriched by its resources. In its location at the west end of the University City Loop, it is a central part of this active culture center.

The library respects and celebrates the many cultural, religious and ethnic threads in the urban tapestry of University City, a municipality widely known for its enthusiastic support of education, self-improvement and community service. We, the trustees and staff of this institution, affirm this proud tradition and seek to perpetuate it into the coming century.

Strategic Plan

The Library Board of Trustees approved the UCPL Strategic Plan at the December 2016 meeting.  The plan was created through the cooperation of UCPL staff, administration, and Board of Trustees, with input from stakeholders in the community.


The policies below were created by the UCPL administration and approved by the Library Board of Trustees. If you have questions or comments about these policies, please contact UCPL Director Patrick Wall at 314-727-3150 or by emailing