Academic libraries are increasingly becoming affected by rapid changes in information technology, competition from the private information sector and fear of losing the monopoly position. Academic libraries’ dilemma is evident, based on the declining support from parent institutions and declining use trends. In the face of stiff competition, their reaction has to be quick to preserve their place. Academic librarians cannot efficiently prepare for the future or position themselves until they create a balance between exploitation and exploration. To remain relevant, librarians must re-strategize by building ambidexterity into the library through competitive intelligence (CI). The article explores a structural approach to applying CI to build ambidexterity in academic libraries. The article also identifies the effects of competitive intelligence in a library. The article concludes that it is pragmatic for academic libraries to adopt competitive intelligence to bring about ambidexterity to guarantee academic libraries’ survival and competitive advantage.