Document Type


Publication Date



Emerald Group Publishing


Purpose – The purpose of this article is to communicate how an academic library can establish and implement a realignment process to prepare itself to serve users in the 21st century.

Design/methodology/approach – The authors employed a case study approach to present the challenges of realigning an academic library. They describe the collaborative and interactive process that OSU Libraries undertook to envision what a 21st century academy library might demand and to realign its units to support this vision. They summarize the positive outcomes of this process and provide an overview of what next steps might be.

Findings – A combination of visioning exercises and collaborative study of the appropriate LIS literature were key to establishing the direction that the libraries' realignment would take and the eventual organizational structure the libraries implemented. The realignment activities not only emphasized collaboration among unit heads, but also emphasized the importance of clear communication, ongoing assessment, and connection to the university's overall strategic goals and realignment in order to guarantee eventual success.

Originality/value – This article describes a process that most academic libraries could emulate to shift the focus of legacy operations and departments to those that successfully meet the challenges of the twenty-first century academic library.



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