LIBER’s current Strategic Plan was introduced in 2013 by then President, Dr Paul Ayris. In 2015, the strategy was extended for a further two years, under the leadership of current President Ms Kristiina Hormia-Poutanen.

It presents an ambitious plan for development and growth to support LIBER members’ activities, based around three Key Performance Areas (KPAs). These KPAs encapsulate the main areas on which LIBER is concentrating its strategy for growth. They are:

  • Scholarly Communication and Research Infrastructures
  • Reshaping the Research Library
  • Advocacy and Communications

The objectives of these Key Performance Areas are captured in Implementation Plans (overseen by our Executive Board and supported by a comprehensive Communications Strategy).

The Strategy has been produced at a time of unprecedented challenge in the European Higher Education sector, which has changed following the current economic crisis being experienced in many parts of Europe. These changes are being observed in many European countries – both by Universities and by the European Commission. It is a challenging time in which to produce a new strategy.

What LIBER has done is to take the challenges identified by a PEST analysis (looking at Political, Economic, Social and Technological developments) and to identify the opportunities, which are considerable, that this analysis has offered for growth and development in facilities and services to support LIBER Participants. This new Strategy builds on the successes and learning of the previous LIBER Strategy and the past work and experience of the Steering Committees and Board members to raise LIBER’s profile as a European library organisation.

Infusing the whole of the strategy are the concepts of collaboration and prioritisation of resources. LIBER has identified and defined the areas in which it feels it can best work in the period 2013-15. Alongside the 3 Key Performance Areas, LIBER will also work in partnership and collaboration with other groupings and library organisations in Europe to deliver a library infrastructure which meets the growing needs of library users.

LIBER libraries are many and varied: National Libraries, University Libraries, State Libraries, Special Libraries and Library Consortia. All these categories of libraries are encompassed within LIBER’s new strategic plan.


LIBER will support the academic mission of its members by building on existing strengths and balancing resources to maintain and improve a quality of service that befits the European researcher.

By 2017, LIBER will:

  • Increase its provision of services and resources that meet the changing profile and increasingly high expectations of users based in LIBER institutions
  • Serve existing users and engage new audiences, using best of its collections, expertise and spaces
  • Strengthen its partnerships with the EU, European University Associations and a number of cognate organisations and consortia
  • Increase its advocacy activity on behalf of European libraries to the EU, LIBER member institutions, research funders, sponsors
  • Help build a workforce in LIBER member institutions whose skills continue to keep pace with change


  • To provide an information infrastructure to enable research in LIBER institutions to be world class
  • To enhance the experience of users in LIBER institutions, which is enriched by the facilities and services which LIBER can offer
  • To promote and advocate for European libraries in all European and national fora where the voice of LIBER needs to be heard
  • To develop library and information professionals who are innovative and can offer leadership to LIBER and to the national/international library community


LIBER is committed to:

  • High-quality services for all users of library and information services
  • Intellectual freedom and access to scholarship
  • Collaboration with campus, local, national, European and global partners
  • Stewardship of collections and institutional resources, in the most appropriate format
  • Leadership, innovation and a willingness to embrace opportunities for change
  • Inclusivity, equality of opportunity and fulfilment of potential

Key Performance Areas and Implementation Plans

The Strategy identifies 3 Key Performance Areas (KPA) in which LIBER should concentrate its activities, and an accompanying Implementation Plan which sets out detailed goals, structures for achieving the goal. The KPAs and associated topics are as follows:

  1. Scholarly Communication and Research Infrastructures – new developments in Scholarly Communication, primary
    research data and new, emerging information research infrastructures.
  2. Reshaping the Research Library – digitisation, the role of digital heritage collections in the digital age, digital curation,
    re-designing library spaces and leadership.
  3. Advocacy and Communications –  the marketing of LIBER and the benefits of membership to Europe’s
    libraries; and advocacy to EU organisations, research funders and others of the important role that libraries play in the European information chain.

Accountability Framework

This Framework marks LIBER’s recognition that it is accountable to its members for the delivery of the strategic goals, which have been agreed by the LIBER Participants. It identifies who is responsible for measuring what elements of the strategy and when. It encompasses:

  • The role of the LIBER Board and the family of LIBER Committees in the delivery of the Strategy
  • Implementing the Strategy through Implementation Plans
  • Communicating implementation progress to a variety of stakeholders
  • Using a variety of management and feedback data to inform the Strategy and to provide evidence as to progress and success

LIBER Board and the family of LIBER Committees

The Framework is owned by the LIBER Board, which is ultimately responsible, with the LIBER Executive Director, for accounting for Strategy progress. At its regular meetings, it will monitor progress and the various lines of accountability reporting and make reports to the LIBER Participants.

Each KPA is assigned a Leader, who will oversee progress towards strategic goals by means of KPA Implementation Plans. These measure progress by means of success criteria. KPA Leaders will be accountable to the LIBER Board for progress, and will provide regular progress reports against Implementation Plans.

To aid implementation, each KPA Leader will establish a Steering Committee, and such Working Groups as necessary, which will be charged with implementing the plans agreed for that Key Performance Area. The LIBER Finance Committee will oversee LIBER’s financial performance, ensuring that income is raised and funds are spent to support LIBER’s strategic aims. The LIBER Conference Programme Committee will oversee the academic Programme for each LIBER Annual Conference. Accountability activity will be co-ordinated by the LIBER Executive Director, as Strategy Co-ordinator.

Management Data

The LIBER Board will, as part of its remit, facilitate the collation of management information and statistics, plus feedback data (from surveys and comments/complaints), necessary both to monitor the implementation of strategic goals and to inform the development of the strategy over time.