The purpose of this paper is to explore the relevance of diversification in the strategic management of libraries.
The literature is examined to identify issues attached to diversification and also examples where libraries have pursued this strategy. Lessons that can be learned from other sectors regarding diversification are presented and their relevance for libraries considered.
The paper finds that diversification is relevant for libraries because of increased competition in places where people can access information. It provides a way to grow and develop. Various diversification approaches exist and they all have a level of risk. Extra resources are also necessary when diversification is pursued. Library managers have to be able to judge when the risks in diversification are justified.
The paper provides food for thought for library practitioners in the use of diversification in developing future services.
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