The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has released an extended and updated report documenting the Strategic Thinking and Design work (PDF) that the Association undertook from the fall of 2013 through the end of 2015.
Inspired by John Seely Brown’s 2012 ARL Fall Forum talk, “Changing How We Think about and Lead Change,” and led by architect and design consultant Ann Pendleton-Jullian, ARL’s Strategic Thinking and Design process engaged 365 people—drawn from throughout the library community, both within the Association and beyond, and from the academic, funding, and association communities—in “world building” to envision the future of the research library in terms of its role in the future of higher education, and then to focus on ARL’s critical role in that future.
As John Seely Brown wrote in the report’s prologue, “This report is about how ARL took that [2012 Fall Forum] talk to heart, reconceiving the very role of research libraries and crafting steps as a system of action to shape this reconception of the research library as a central force in the unfolding digital/network age.” The report includes a detailed description of the groundbreaking process as well as the ARL Framework and the System of Action that emerged from the process.
This report comes at an opportune time—the Association’s Coordinating Committee is now moving projects that were germinated through this intensive, iterative process into the implementation phase. Watch the Coordinating Committee webpage for ongoing updates on the emerging strategic initiatives.
About the Association of Research Libraries
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 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/.