Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Higher Ed/Community College Ed

Major Professor

Kathleen P. King, Ed.D.

Co-Major Professor

Willaim H. Young, III, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Donald A. Dellow, Ed.D.

Committee Member

W. Robert Sullins, Ed.D.


library administration, higher education, multiple case study, university administration


During the past five years (2010-2015), U.S. universities experienced a simultaneous downturn in financial support along with rapid changes in technology and increased demand for accountability. Academic libraries, among the most central and visible units in the university system, were often at the forefront of financial cutbacks and increased pressure to demonstrate both unit effectiveness and closer alignment with the overall institutional mission. Little research existed to document academic libraries’ changes during this volatile period in history, or how the role of the academic library as part of the university system evolved during this period. Through interviews with the library leaders at four public, doctoral, comprehensive research universities in Florida, and an examination of a variety of documents, artifacts, news sources, and electronic and other resources, this qualitative multiple case study explored how four academic libraries were reframed, using the analytic lens of Bolman and Deal’s (2008) theory of reframing organizations. The evidence from this study revealed these four libraries demonstrated engagement in strategic changes across all four of the frames of Bolman and Deal’s (2008) theory of reframing organizations to become innovative, agile, pro-active organizations closely involved in the academic enterprise of their parent universities, and with a reimagined sense of place and purpose as the symbolic heart of the campus. A clear understanding of the activities of these four libraries in reframing their organizations may better inform the future evolution of academic libraries in higher education.