May 28, 2022

Research Article: “Visions of Value: Leading the Development of a View of the University Library in the 21st Century”

The following article (open access) recently made available online is published in the Journal of Academic Librarianship.


Visions of Value: Leading the Development of a View of the University Library in the 21st Century


Gavin Boyce
Angela Greenwood
Amy Haworth
Jacky Hodgson
Chris Jones
Gary Marsh
Maria Mawson
Rosa Sadler
Affiliations: University of Sheffield (All Authors)


Journal of Academic Librarianship
Volume 45, Issue 5 (September 2019, 102046)
DOI: 10.1016/j.acalib.2019.102046


Over the course of 2018 the University of Sheffield Library conducted a series of interviews and workshops with stakeholders as part of a strategic project to reflect on the value of the university library in the 21st century.

Using a mixed methodology, participants were asked to reflect upon the future Higher Education (HE) environment for the university and, for academic participants, their discipline. In this context participants were also asked to reflect upon the future value of the University Library in a series of questions designed to elicit value statements using a tool which the project group have called the ‘Wheel of Value’.

The resulting reflections upon the future environment have been grouped into four categories reflecting the drivers for change; Digitalisation, Student Experience, Diversification and Collaboration recognizing that there is considerable overlap and interconnection between these. The reflections on the future value of the library are presented by Wheel of Value higher order categorization. This approach proved useful in eliciting responses from participants in the face of recognized difficulty in getting beyond current views of the library and the approach is recommended to other universities looking to carry out a similar project. The results of this research will be used to inform the development of a view of the library for the purpose of engaging with our university community and key partners.

Direct to Full Text Article

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.