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ODU Libraries Strategic Plan, 2023-2028

Learn about the Libraries' 5-year plan and our related accomplishments!

Competitive Environment Analysis

The leadership team then turned its attention from internal factors to the external environment. Using Michael Porter’s Five Forces method and feedback from Libraries staff, the team analyzed the Libraries’ competitive environment for the Threat of New Entrants, Bargaining Power of Suppliers, Bargaining Power of Buyers, Threat of Substitute Products or Services, and Rivalry Among Existing Competitors. This analysis concluded that the modern academic library competes for users on multiple axes, including as supplier of information resources, facilitator of student learning, supporter of faculty research, and provider of learning spaces. In the simplest terms, however, the most significant competitive threats to the academic library are the free and ready access to information afforded by the Internet, and unstable or declining university funding. The former makes it possible (and desirable) for users to bypass the library entirely and satisfy their information and research needs with lower-quality content, while the latter forces the library into subsistence mode and makes it difficult to innovate or transform services in meaningful ways. These factors position academic libraries in an operating environment that is in the decline stage of its life cycle, one that, without significant and strategic course correction, may cease to exist within the coming decades. 


* Casadesus-Masanell, Ramon. Industry Analysis. Core Curriculum: Strategy. Harvard Business Publishing, 2014. P. 4.

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