Positioning the academic library within the institution: a literature review
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Cox, John. (2018). Positioning the Academic Library within the Institution: A Literature Review. New Review of Academic Librarianship, 24(3-4), 219-243. doi: 10.1080/13614533.2018.1466342
A strong position in the institution is vital for any academic library and affects its recognition, resourcing, and prospects. Higher education institutions are experiencing radical change, driven by greater accountability, stronger competition, and increased internationalization. They prioritize student success, competitive research, and global reputation. This has significant implications for library strategy, space, structures, partnerships, and identity. Strategic responses include refocusing from collections to users, reorganizing teams and roles, developing partnerships, and demonstrating value. Emphasis on student success and researcher productivity has generated learning commons buildings, converged service models, research data management services, digital scholarship engagement, and rebranding as partners. Repositioning is challenging, with the library no longer perceived as the heart of the campus but institutional leadership often holding traditional perceptions of its role. This review discusses literature on how academic libraries have been adapting or might adapt, functionally, physically, strategically, and organizationally to position themselves effectively within the institution.