Publication Date


Document Type



Library and Information Science | Nonprofit Administration and Management | Strategic Management Policy


This manuscript is a post-print version of an article published as follows:

Smith, G. A. (2021). Revisiting Strategy in a Time of Crisis. Library Leadership & Management. 35(3).


The season of upheaval brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic is a critical occasion for libraries to revisit their organizational strategies. Strategy includes two complementary dimensions: alignment with the environment and the pursuit of competitive advantage. Rapid changes in the environment call for practicing strategic thinking iteratively rather than engaging in a fixed rhythm of multi-year planning. An effective library strategy displays four key attributes: (1) It responds to the concerns of diverse stakeholders. (2) It is flexible enough to adapt to emerging conditions. (3) It enacts organizational mission but can also help to reshape it. (4) It integrates with organization development to achieve success with and through people.