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The study identifies and analyses the areas of strategic importance for European national libraries and sheds light on how they aim to confront the third decade of the twenty-first century. It shows the focus of their efforts and resources. The websites of 49 members of the Conference of European National Libraries (CENL) were reviewed in April 2019 to gather information on their strategic plans. The 10 plans found were subsequently analysed. The study identified good management practice in terms of the transparency inherent in the ready public accessibility of European national libraries’ strategic plans, as well as 11 areas for priority action defined in the plans analysed: collection and preservation/conservation of knowledge; access; participation in cultural and social life; furtherance of research; improvement of physical space; collaboration and alliance building; support for education; lifelong training for staff; digital innovation; support for business; and working atmosphere. The findings, drawn from 10 libraries with strategic plans, cannot be extrapolated to the entire population of the 49 initially chosen for the study. National libraries should consider the importance of announcing their priorities, disclosing what they do and how by making their strategic plans public. As this review inventories good strategic planning practice in European national libraries, its dissemination here was deemed to be of professional interest.