How Murray State University libraries took advantage of recession

Strategic Direction

ISSN: 0258-0543

Publication date: 20 September 2011



The purpose of this paper is to review the strategic gains available to a library director under budget stress, using a combination of partnerships and service innovations.


This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and recommendation.


Some see a glass half full; others see a glass half empty. This case study shows how to seize strategic advantage from a depleted budget, and win friends at the same time. It seems impossible to contemplate funding the building of a new library, but at Murray State University (MSU) this was done. The planning of a “learning commons” included all the stakeholders. A marketing campaign accompanied by strategically important alliances swayed the Regents. These alliances firmly fix the library at the center of MSU's strategy.

Practical implications

The review highlights the specific actions and strategic moves that a librarian can initiate to transform the library's strategic position.

Social implications

Library users will benefit from better service levels and wider accessibility using remote access and other new features.


This review reveals in a few sentences exactly what Murray achieved, and how it was done, so the busy manager can decide its relevance



(2011), "How Murray State University libraries took advantage of recession", Strategic Direction, Vol. 27 No. 10, pp. 16-18.

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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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