Strategy 2027

The strategic development of the university library is laid down in a four-year strategy towards 2027. The title of the strategy A close partner – in everyday life and in the processes of change signals the university library’s desire to increase the value of the partnership.

The library will contribute to the realisation of the university’s strategic ambitions within the university library’s core areas of competence.

Since the establishment of the current setup, Copenhagen University Library has worked purposefully and systematically to strengthen its mutual partnership with the university at all levels. The strategic ambition is to continue to provide worldclass university library services and at the same time lay the foundation for an even closer partnership in the coming years.

Strategic Starting Point

On this page, you can read more about the trend analysis that forms the basis of the strategy, as well the university library’s organisational context and its development from 2012 to 2022. 


Copenhagen University Library is a collaborative organisation based on an agreement between the University of Copenhagen and the Royal Danish Library. The purpose of the university library is to provide a strong framework for the development and optimum use of the resources spent on library services for the university’s researchers, teachers and students.

The collaboration on the university library was established in 2008 with a view to optimising library operations and establishing joint management. Subsequently, focus has been on a significant digital boost, quality development and ongoing cost efficiencies, which has also resulted in increased consolidation and unification of the university library. The collaboration is anchored in the Danish Royal Library’s board of directors as well as managerially embedded as an integral part of the university’s management, advisory bodies and international alliances, including IARU, LERU and 4EU+.

The university library contributes to realising the university’s strategic ambitions within education, research and innovation. The strategic development of the university library is laid down in a four-year strategy prepared in close dialogue with the university management and approved by the rector and chief executive of the Royal Danish Library. The strategy is translated into annual plans, which function as action plans for the realisation of the strategy. The university library’s service catalogue also describes the fixed and additional services provided to the university by the university library.





The university library is organised into departments that match the university’s faculty structure, as well as into underlying core areas that are based on classic library competencies. This organisation ensures interdisciplinary use of resources and competencies. The core areas are shown in the figure below.



In connection with the strategy, a ten-year analysis has been prepared,3 which shows, i.a., that:

  • The collaboration on the university library is strong and consolidated.
  • The use of the university library’s e-resources has increased rapidly.
  • The number of physical library visits has been decreasing.
  • The university library increasingly supports research and education proactively.
  • The university library continues to provide more services despite reduced financial resources.

Click here to read more in the strategy appendix: “The development of Copenhagen University Library 2012-2022” (pdf)



The strategy has been prepared based on an analysis of university library trends, which has been discussed and qualified with stakeholders within the university. The topics of the analysis are shown below.

Click here to read more in the strategy appendix: “Trends towards a university library of the future” (pdf)


Strategic Objectives

The University Library's strategy consists of the following six strategic objectives:

Over the past decade, the university library has worked hard to make the knowledge portfolio of the university one of Europe’s strongest. In the strategy period, the university library will further develop the portfolio in interaction with the university to ensure open access to publicly funded research. Developments will, amongst others, be in accordance with the evaluation of Denmark’s national strategy for Open Access, and negotiating new directions in the future of scholarly publishing with publishers.

The university library will also monitor the impact of artificial intelligence on the publishing industry, including whether or not tech companies will play a new and more active role in the future.



There is a great need to measure and demonstrate the societal value of research. In the strategy period, the university library will strengthen the data research managers need to make informed decisions and to measure research impact, as well as explore the need for impact data in the innovation field.

To ease the academic burden associated with publishing and registering research, the university library will update its teaching in data and information skills and competences. During this strategy period, the university library will in particular develop core and speciality courses on data and information literacy aimed at competence development for newly arrived international researchers and PhD students.

The university library will communicate the evaluation of and any adjustments to Denmark’s national strategy for Open Access. Consequently, the university library will increase the visibility of open publication platforms and improve services and systems that support researchers’ publishing opportunities for data, journal articles and monographs.



Technological developments are opening up new opportunities for accessing and processing knowledge. It is vital that students’ skills and competences in data and information literacy are continuously developed. The university library is already a central part of the university’s model for digital literacy and competences. Throughout this strategy period, the university library will explore the potential use of artificial intelligence for students and by students and strive to be an innovative and practice-oriented partner for the university in this area.

The university library will also consolidate its existing teaching in information literary, embed - ded in the university’s programmes. Further, in line with the university’s objective to strengthen innovation and entrepreneurship, the university library will develop tailor-made courses for students participating in innovation courses and programmes.



Uddannelseslandskabet er under forandring. Universitetsbiblioteket vil følge implementeringen af kandidatreformen og udviklingen af universitetets strategiske ambitioner for livslang læring, herunder hvordan universitetsbiblioteket kan bidrage med undervisning i data- og informationskompetencer på erhvervskandidatuddannelserne og i universitetets efter- og videreuddannelsestilbud.

The educational landscape is changing. The university library will monitor the implementation of the national graduate reform and the development of the university’s strategic ambitions for lifelong learning. This includes how the university library could contribute with instruction in data and information competencies on the university’s master programmes for working professionals and with instruction on university’s continuing and further education and training programmes.

The university’s guiding principles for education emphasise increased diversity in student recruitment. During this strategy period, the university library will experiment with its role in the recruitment of students. At the same time, the university library will collaborate with relevant partners in order to strengthen upper secondary school students’ data and information literacy skills and competences. Thereby, the library intends to facilitate the transition to university, by, among other things, making online courses easily accessible to upper secondary schools.



The university library plays an important role in students’ everyday lives. In this strategy period, the university library will develop its physical library environments in close collaboration with students in order to strengthen their affiliation and well-being. Consequently, this approach will contribute to increasing the university library’s focus on accessibility and diversity.

In line with the provision of digital services, the university library will develop and adapt its user communication, aiming to support the needs students, teaching staff and researchers have in their everyday lives at the university.



In recent years, the Royal Danish Library has worked to reduce its climate footprint. The main source of greenhouse gas emissions from the Royal Danish Library is the storage and use of licensed resources, which today is a challenge to measure and therefore difficult to draw up a reduction plan for. During this strategy period, the university library will collaborate with international suppliers and LERU university libraries to measure and, if possible, reduce the climate footprint of these licensed resources.






Organisational Objectives

To support the strategic objectives, the university library's strategy has the following organisational objectives:



The university library strives to be a stable and trustworthy partner at all levels of the university. This applies particularly in a time when the university’s organisational landscape is changing. Throughout this strategy period, the university library will continue its outreach to the university. The university library will strengthen its capacity to collect and analyse relevant data, which will form the basis for data-informed partner dialogues and decision-making. As the university implements organisational changes, the university library will react and adapt its own organisation.

The university library will also collaborate with the university on specific projects, such as the The University Library building and The Innovation Triangle.


The university library will continue to be an innovative and visionary workplace that promotes professional development and well-being. During this strategy period, the university library will work with visible recognition mechanisms. At the same time, the university library will maintain its focus on competency development within its core areas as the most important parameter for change, e.g. within artificial intelligence and pedagogical competencies.

Finally, the university library will strengthen the employees’ ability to take cross-organisational actions, to contribute to realising the university library’s goals and to align to the university’s strategic agendas.


Financial Framework for 2024-2027

The university library’s finances and room for manoeuvre is based on grants from the Royal Danish Library and the University of Copenhagen, the latter as the customer of the services offered by the university library. The University Library’s total grant in 2024 is expected to be DKK 142.7 mill., of which DKK 98.5 mill. is from the Royal Danish Library and DKK 43.9 mill. from the university.


Mill. DKK (2024 prices)





From the Royal Danish Library





From the University of Copenhagen





Grants in total to the university library





Note 1: Indirect expenses to building operation etc. are not included
Note 2: Finances for 2024 is settled. The grants of the subsequent years from the Royal Danish Library and the University of Copenhagen are expected to be adjusted.



The Royal Danish Library’s finances are exempt from the government’s reprioritisation contribution and the budget proposal for 2024 does not contain significant cuts. Any future cuts for the Royal Danish Library as a whole would also affect the university library. Thus, this strategy period will also involve financial uncertainty, which has to be considered from year to year.

In the strategy period of 2020-2023, the license agreement negotiations have succeeded in reining in the significant price increases that were a reality in previous strategy periods. This has resulted in a significant difference in finances, as these are typically four-year agreements with publishers, where a fixed price increase has previously been the norm. It is the continuous ambition to maintain a tough stance in these negotiations, not only because it affects the university library’s finances, but also because it ensures open and equal access to knowledge for Denmark and the rest of the world.



In 2024, the university’s expenses related to the university library function are expected to amount to DKK 43.9 million (in 2024 prices), of which DKK 25.6 million is direct expenses for library services and DKK 18.3 million is earmarked for the licence portfolio.

In the previous strategy period, several cost reduction requirements from the faculties were met. Following the administrative reform of the university, the university library is expected to make further adjustments to its functions and management. It is worth noting that during the past 15 years of close collaboration with the university, the university library has centralised, streamlined and ensured the level of service and development despite financial cuts from both the Royal Danish Library and the university.5 It would be difficult to maintain and develop such high levels of service through further financial cross-cuts