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ARL Strategic Design Meeting Convenes at Harvard

photo by Lee Anne George

On the day after the 2014 Boston Marathon, 33 participants gathered at Harvard University for the 10th regional design meeting in ARL’s strategic thinking and design process. Lee Anne George reports on the meeting and notes that it represented the turning point from one phase of the design process to a second phase: creating systems of action to close the gap between the present and the library of 2033 envisioned through this process.

The ARL strategic thinking and design work over the past eight months has surfaced the following vision concept: “In 2033, the research library will have shifted from its role as a knowledge service provider within the university to become a collaborative partner within a rich and diverse learning and research ecosystem.” The Boston meeting participants brainstormed steps that libraries could take to achieve this vision. The design team has integrated the results of this brainstorming into a set of potential systems of actions that emerged from previous meetings.

At the ARL Membership Meeting in Columbus, Ohio, next week, ARL member representatives will engage the ideas developed in the strategic thinking and design process. During the Membership Meeting, ARL will collect feedback to refine the systems of action and identify any additional actions that the membership thinks ARL should address. This summer and early fall, the design team and ARL staff will create a working framework—based on the vision and systems of action—to guide the Association for the next two to three years. The proposed framework will be a focus of the October 2014 Membership Meeting.

ARL staff are reporting on selected strategic thinking and design meetings as they happen.

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 125 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL’s mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at http://www.arl.org/.