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Introduction 11 This report1 documents the Strategic Thinking and Design work that the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) engaged in from the fall of 2013 through the end of 2015. Fueled by the deep desire of the ARL membership to rise to the challenges facing higher education in the 21st century, and with grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Association engaged in an unprecedented project to reimagine the future of the research library and then reshape ARL, its organization, to help bring that future into being.
This report is a collaborative effort. John Seely Brown, who wrote the prologue, inspired the Association to embark upon this journey. The architect of the process you see before you is Ann Pendleton-Jullian. Sue Baughman, David Consiglio, Lee Anne George, Susan Gibbons, David Gift, Kaylyn Groves, Tom Hickerson, James Hilton, Lori Jahnke, Anne Kenney, Wendy Pradt Lougee, Rick Luce, Carol Mandel, Jim Neal, Susan Nutter, Ann Pendleton-Jullian, Dawn Schmitz, Brian E. C. Schottlaender, Elliott Shore, Elizabeth Waraksa, Martha Whitehead, John Wilkin, and Amy Yeager shared their ideas and compiled, wrote, edited, and brought the work to fruition. Paul Soulellis designed this publication. The diagrams were a collaboration between Ann Pendleton-Jullian and Paul Soulellis. Our greatest thanks are to the 365 participants in the Regional Design Meetings and Design Studios who gave their time and best thinking to the Strategic Thinking and Design process. Much of the work described in this report was made possible by grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.