UM and Library values

We offer added value from the principles that UM stands for, supplemented by library core values (Maastricht University Library Strategic Agenda – road map to 2021):

  • Collaborative, with a strong emphasis on community building and customer engagement based on communication, information and knowledge exchange
  • Open, with attention to student participation, diversity and inclusiveness, (digital) barrier-free accessibility and Open Science
  • Research, with customised support and showcasing research & societal impact
  • Education, with attention to 21st century skills and a good digital and physical study environment accessible to all UM cardholders
  • Academic, with attention to integrity, creativity, experiments, excellence, stimulating critical and independent thinking
  • Flexible: adaptive, with a strong focus on the value experienced by the users and a customisable service portfolio
  • Sustainable: attention to employee and user well-being, environment-conscious, aimed at reducing the ecological footprint and digital transition based on public values

In 2021 we will build on what has been achieved in the years before. A lot of work is done on a continuing basis while 2020 was partly different as most services were (intensified) digital in terms of the way services have been delivered. We also see that in 2020 certain activities required much more time, e.g. searching and acquiring digital learning resources. The ‘regular’ activities are no longer listed separately in the annual plan 2021. This does not mean they do not matter: they will be on the agenda within the departments and teams as well.

What is before us is an overarching look at a lot of work that is prepared in the departments and teams to arrive at an annual agenda, both large and small, specifically for a team or wide, and priority setting. The 5 spearheads described below are intended as an overarching view, where we construct the library ‘forest’ and where the ‘trees’ can be placed. The ‘forest’ is sketched on the basis of 5 spearheads:


A. A stimulating study environment on campus and community engagement
B. Good facilitation digital education, blended learning* and online access
C. Open Science and visibility scientific output UM
D. Current collections and trainings
E. Integral business operations and new ways of working

*Blended learning is understood here: optimising student learning experiences through a good combination of face-to-face and ICT in education.


What will UM Library be working on in 2021?

A stimulating study environment on campus and community engagement

Where are we now?

In 2020, two new locations of library study places were opened: in Tapijn 11 and in the middle area of the Paul-Henri Spaaklaan (PHS) building of the Faculty of Science & Engineering in Randwyck. In total, UM offers 3,000 generic study places for more than 20,000 students. This is entirely in line – namely 1 study place for every 7 students – with the quality agreements that have been made with the U-Council in the context of the ‘studievoorschotmiddelen’. In practice, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are fewer available and the opening is in line with the regulations and guidelines of the government.

The type of location and the type of spaces within the locations is different. Group assignments, individual study but also training and co-creation are facilitated in different types of spaces such as a learning grid, cockpits, makerspace and video-space. Furthermore, faculties offer study places in their faculty buildings – especially informal ones. Places where students can work and communicate together for a shorter time. There are also education rooms for group work. The quantitative side is good (and the best of Dutch universities). In the coming year, the focus will be on qualitative improvements that also respond to the increasing digital learning resources.

What do we want to achieve and how? 

  1. That all students have a good and suitable study place at their disposal, depending on their needs and wishes and when they need it (as soon as this is possible again due to the limitations because of the COVID-19 pandemic). How? The study locations will have a ‘branding concept’. Each location has a Unique Selling Point with its own specific functionalities and services, closely in line with the functionalities that faculties offer.
  2. Spaces for students and other users of the library offer opportunities for various forms of (hybrid) studying and project-based work, individually and in groups and are optimally available. How? Rooms equipped with facilities for digital presentations and hybrid forms of cooperation with possibilities, for example via apps, for reservation of spaces / study places / video room / makerspace. In addition, facilities and service provision are also adapted based on the changing requirements that blended education places on state of the art study facilities (a.o. ‘sitting room’, well-being room, IT skilling employees).
  3. Improved customer experience. How? Facilities and services are adapted based on user experience and educational and research developments, as well as wishes of the faculties and UM policy in the field of diversity and well-being.
  4. Knowledge sharing and stimulating social interaction with which we strengthen and broaden our community inside and outside the library. How? Our customers and partners offer experiences by setting up a programme with activities and events with – for example – focusing on special collections, the makerspace concept and our locations with an emphasis on Tapijn and PHS.
Good facilitation digital education, blended learning and online access

Where are we now?

In order to facilitate online education, blended learning and online access, good functional management of the various education systems is an important condition (Canvas, ZOOM, BlackBoard Collaborate, Mediasite, Testvision, Proctorio, FBF, Wooclap and SDT). In March 2020, due to the national COVID-19 measures, education had to be offered (mainly) online. The system landscape has therefore been expanded with additional pressure on the organisation and human resources. In order to be able to respond earlier and be well prepared for such conditions in the future, UM develops a digital educational vision and the place of edutech in it (so-called technology enhanced education). We have expertise to be able to make an educational contbution when making didactic choices for an optimal combination of face-to-face and ICT. We can achieve this by providing advice, training and workshops that are in line with existing activities and the latest developments. Furthermore, we pay attention to the functional and didactic needs of new training courses and to lifelong learning.

What do we want to achieve and how?


  1. Canvas fully rolled out and in use within UM and also made accessible to external students of UM; Provide expertise on Canvas’ best-fitting functional and didactic capabilities; Be able to answer functional questions about managed systems as well and as quickly as possible. Taking into account the Test Vision UM, the faculty wishes and the needs of the training and block coordinators, we want to give as appropriate advice as possible about the various possibilities of Canvas, Testvision and other available tools. How? To ensure structural expansion of the capacity in the organisation for the management and development of the digital learning environment; by keeping the expertise of functional administrators up to date, by stimulating didactic knowledge development in addition to functional knowledge and by seeking to connect with UM and (inter)national knowledge networks and innovative projects.
  2. Optimise accessibility and enable ‘barrier-free’ study. How? We will check the education systems and tools for accessibility criteria. We will also check and evaluate the website “Online Library” and the Online Library portals for accessibility.
  3. Support of video use in education consisting of functional and didactic advice and the offering of various training options. How? To have expertise in the field of video construction and workshops and advice regarding the didactic use of videos in education. In addition, there is a physical room at the library with the necessary video attributes that both students and teachers can use.
  4. Advice for lifelong learning based on the functional and didactic capabilities of systems that the library manages. How? By participating and contributing, from the expertise available at the library, to new and ongoing projects in this field.
Open Science and visibility scientific output UM

Where are we now?

UM endorses the principles of Open Science and supports scientists to put these fundamental principles into practice and to make science ‘as open as possible, as closed as necessary’. In this way we strengthen the ties with our environment, from regional to international level and from citizens to professionals. Open Science can help to make science more seen, in the broadest sense of the word.

The library provides various services to scientists in order to facilitate Open Access, FAIR DATA, Open Education and in making scientific output visible. Taking into account that research assessments are increasingly based on alternative metrics that show (societal) impact of the UM/MUMC+ research and that the WP career policy “Recognition and Rewards” will focus more on alternative career paths.

What do we want to achieve and how?


  1. Increasing the visibility, accessibility and reuse of scientific output in order to increase both the scientific and social impact of UM scientific research. How? Expanding the possibilities to publish research output open access (gold road) and/or make it accessible and reusable (green road). To this end, we continue the national and local transformative agreements with publishers and also extend them to other publishers and output. We are also exploring the possibility of publishing open access in-house. We also continue the route via “You share, we take care!” (Taverne), which makes it possible to open access scientific publications that could not be published open access via the institutional repository (Pure). This is now done on a voluntary basis as an opt-in, but we are exploring the possibility of setting this approach as a rule for all UM researchers (opt-out). We also focus on preprints, as attention to this output form has taken off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, in 2021 we aim to increase the share of open access of the scientific output to 80%, with the ultimate goal of reaching 100% (in terms of peer reviewed publications) within three years via the aforementioned routes. In addition to increase the visibility of our scientific output, we ensure the maximisation of accessibility and reuse of research output to increase the impact of UM.
  2. The creation of FAIR research data (primary output of scientific research), which is reliable, findable, (where possible) accessible and reproducible. How? To this end, we offer various forms of research support during the various phases of the research lifecycle. In order to optimise the Research Data services, the library has the lead in integrating this service within UM and align MUMC+. This also includes the design of a Digital Competence Centre in which the library is also responsible for the development and coordination of the data stewardship services, training, advice and information provision via the Research Data Management (RDM) portal. Specifically, we aim to provide the scientists with a Single Point of Contact, which gives them a reliable source of information for RDM@UM services, which makes the service transparent and easily accessible. In addition, a Graduate School training programme in the field of RDM and Open Science will start in 2021.
  3. Evaluating the research output for quality and impact. How? By providing good steering information for monitoring, discovering, connecting scientific output to the UM/MUMC+. Partly as a result, the library participates in a project to arrive at a UM-wide system for research registration. We also provide various bibliometric analyses and research intelligence. Specifically, we aim to make an up-to-date research intelligence dashboard available to all faculties and research groups. The implementation of this dashboard is primarily aimed at supporting, evaluating and, if desired, strategic policy development. In the future, opportunities to use the dashboard to substantiate grant proposals from individual scientists and/or annual reports and accreditations of faculties or research groups can also be explored.
Current collections and trainings

Where are we now?

UM has a good collection of scientific information relevant for education and research in all domains. In addition, we provide the scientific data and information related to patient care. In order to find the right sources of information and to be able to use them properly, a wide range of training and workshops in information skills takes place. Furthermore, we have a special collection that is used both in education and socially.

What do we want to achieve and how?


  1. Encourage careful use of scientific information. How? By providing services to block coordinators (explanations and training on Keylinks Learning Resources), providing information, creating a copyright video clip and giving workshops on copyright and completing copyright sample (UVO audit). In addition, a pilot for interested faculties will be started with a copyright tool.
  2. Embedding information literacy framework in bachelor’s programmes UM. Explicit attention to the development of digital literacy of students and employees. How? Modules on information skills have been developed and are available for teachers and students. The information specialists will work with faculty staff to determine how the information literacy framework can be integrated into the programmes. We provide training courses for bachelor and master students in information (digital) literacy. PhD students can enrol in an advanced course in systematic review.
  3. Improve collection management system functionality (successor Islandora) and explore possibilities for using AI (artificial intelligence) and LOD (linked open data) to connect collections inside and outside UM. How? To investigate how AI is used elsewhere, we want to check whether this is useful and desirable for our stakeholders.
  4. Renewal of collection management. How? Formulate a vision for the future in which the possibilities for developments in the field of open access and open educational resources are outlined, with attention to accessibility and use of the various sources, possibilities of AI in which we pay attention to the needs of the users.
  5. Improve communication to and visibility of the expertise for users with regard to the collection. How? Hold a pilot in which various forms of embedded librarianship are investigated and which form(s) best meet the needs and wishes of the faculties/MUMC+.
Integral business operations and new way of working

Where are we now?

In 2019, the multi-year Integrated Operations programme was launched that will have an impact on almost all business processes in the library (HR, finance, procurement) and make them more efficient and effective. This digital transition is also visible in other places in the organisation now that we work from the mobile home office where the work does not have to be done on location. The COVID-19 crisis has shown that much of the work can take place online, regardless the place where one is working. At the same time, there is the request (or need) to work on location and be closer to the users.

What do we want to achieve?


  1. The first phase of the integrated Business Operations has been implemented. In concrete terms, this means that the basic accounting, purchasing process and trajectory of HR changes (enrolment, leave, absenteeism, off-boarding) have improved.
  2. Introducing new policies regarding activities based and place independent working in combination with hybrid working methods and attention to social interaction, setting up back offices and pilots with on-site work in a faculty or campus location.