January 27, 2022

Research Libraries: ARL Awarded IMLS and Mellon Grants for Strategic Thinking and Design

From the Association of Research Libraries:

ARL has been awarded two grants to support a strategic thinking and design process in 2013–2014. This strategic process will frame the critical work of the Association and define the role ARL plays in higher education and research to maximize its ability to be agile and responsive to rapidly changing priorities and member institution needs. To accomplish this goal, the ARL membership and members of the higher education and library communities will engage in a three-part iterative process of strategic thinking:

+ Data gathering and analysis (July 2013–January 2014)
+ Regional meetings (September–December 2013)
+ Design studios (October 2013–January 2014)

The three streams will each inform the work of the other and will merge at a retreat of the ARL Board of Directors in February 2014.


A $49,800 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program will support the regional meetings and design studio process. The regional meetings will be held throughout the US and Canada with ARL member libraries and other stakeholders interested in the future of research libraries. The design process works by incorporating new information as it is introduced along the way, through: (a) analysis of what has been done in the past; (b) asking what the relationship of past work is to the emerging vision and goals; (c) new questions that are raised by provisional what-if scenarios; and (d) new stakeholders who are pulled into the process.

A $50,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will support the data-gathering and analysis phase of the process. This phase is important for developing a clear understanding of current research library and higher education issues and challenges. An environmental scan of all ARL libraries and universities—including their IT organizations and university presses—through qualitative data mining of mission statements, strategic plans, and organizational charts will be completed. The information gathered will be used to inform the regional meetings and design studio processes.

Direct to ARL Strategic Thinking & Design Info Page

See Also:  IMLS Awards More than $14.6 Million in Federal Grants to U.S. Libraries (September 26, 2013)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.