Lessons learned from library mergers at colleges of higher education in Flanders

Adriaan Swanepoel


This article reports the findings of an investigation into merger experiences of several libraries of colleges of higher education in Flanders. The purpose of the study was to gain first hand knowledge from institutions who recently merged; especially, what best practices to follow and what to avoid. Data was gathered with a mail questionnaire and followed by personal interviews with the heads of the selected libraries concerned. The article includes topics such as the composition and tasks of merger task teams, most difficult issues in the planning phase, the role of consultants, how progress is monitored and communicated, dealing with different organisational cultures, decisions that have an impact on merger outcomes, appointment of a post-merger library head, duration of a merger, do's and don'ts, outcomes of library mergers, and challenges of library mergers. It is concluded with a list of lessons that other libraries can learn from the Flemish experience and indicates whether a particular lesson is supported by the merger literature or not.


Library mergers; College libraries; Flemish libraries

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7553/71-1-659


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ISSN 2304-8263 (online); ISSN 0256-8861 (print)
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