New from ACRL - Difficult Decisions: Closing and Merging Academic Libraries

For Immediate Release
Fri, 08/14/2015


Kathryn Deiss

Content Strategist


CHICAGO – The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announces the publication of “Difficult Decisions: Closing and Merging Academic Libraries,” edited by Sara Holder and Amber Butler Lannon.

In response to factors such as the decline in circulation of print materials, cuts to library budgets, decreasing demand for in-person reference service and the implementation of new service models, as well as the increasing interdisciplinary nature of academic research—research libraries across North America are merging and consolidating library branches. Merging libraries is complex work for the librarians tasked with these projects. Not only do moving staff, collections, and services require careful planning and execution, there are also myriad stakeholder groups affected when a library closes, all of whom require individualized attention, consideration, and response.

“Difficult Decisions” explores library consolidation through commentary, research, and case studies written by librarians with experience navigating these events. Individual chapters address either the entire process of a consolidation or closure, multiple aspects of one or more experiences, or one aspect that is particularly important such as communicating with faculty or using data to make decisions about collections. The book is a comprehensive resource for library administrators, librarians asked to assist with these challenging projects and anyone working in a library undergoing a merger, and is appropriate for all types of academic libraries, as well as an instructive casebook for collections at schools of library and information science.

“Difficult Decisions: Closing and Merging Academic Libraries” is available for purchase in print, as an e-book, and as a print/ e-book bundle through the ALA Online Store; in print and for Kindle through; and by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the U.S. or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.


The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 11,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship. ACRL is on the Web at, Facebook at and Twitter at @ala_acrl.