For immediate release | January 31, 2011

New from ACRL: Decision-Making in the Absence of Certainty

CHICAGO – The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announces the publication of “Decision-Making in the Absence of Certainty: A Study in the Context of Technology and the Construction of the 21st Century Academic Library” by S. David Mash. “Decision-Making in the Absence of Certainty” is number 63 in the ACRL Publications in Librarianship (PIL) series.

“Decision-Making in the Absence of Certainty” details an in-depth study of the often surprising decision making process at five American universities that built new libraries at the dawn of the 21st century. Their collective decision to invest many millions of dollars in technology and physical space is a testament to their perceptive commitment to a vision that the very best for students and faculty is a library where both technology and the physical space are well designed.

In the work, Mash explores such questions as: How do we bring together the richness of physical space and the effectiveness of technology to achieve a learning environment that reaps the best of both? What decision-making model can help library leaders face ambiguity about the future as they navigate this complex, high stakes and expensive task?

Readers will gain personal and professional insights that expand to any setting where high stakes decision making is combined with ambiguity and complexity. Mash’s book is ideal for any libraries considering construction projects or seeking insight into the decision-making process in general.

“Decision-Making in the Absence of Certainty” is available for purchase through the ALA Online Store and by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the U.S. or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.


ACRL is a division of the American Library Association (ALA), representing more than 12,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments. ACRL is on the Web at, Facebook at and Twitter at @ala_acrl.