Service Innovation In Academic Libraries: Is There a Place for the Customers?

Research output: Journal Article or Conference Article in JournalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Purpose – The purpose of this article is to investigate whether management and employees in academic libraries involve users in library service innovations and what these user roles are.

Design/methodology/approach – The article first reviews the literature focusing on innovation, new product development, new service development and library science with specific focus on users and management. Subsequently the research uses a case study approach to investigate management and customer involvement in a Danish academic library.

Findings – Results from the case study show that academic libraries are making some attempts to draw on customers in service innovations and not only rely on management and employees. The main conclusion is that there are unexplored possibilities for customer involvement in library service innovations.

Research limitations/implications – One limitation relates to the difficulty of generalization of the findings to other Danish libraries and especially other national contexts. The other one relates to the preponderance of the literature from sources outside the field of library management and library science. Therefore, library managers might have to be cautious in using the results of this study.

Practical implications – The article has practical implications for library managers, employees, library science and innovation researchers alike.

Originality/value – The article is original because it generates new insights into management and especially customer involvement in academic library service innovations on the basis of an in-depth case study of a Danish academic library.
Original languageDanish
JournalLibrary Management
Issue number4/5
Pages (from-to)304 - 318
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Cite this