Content strategy article trilogy

Read our three open access, peer reviewed articles on content strategy & academic libraries

Why write one article when you can write three, I always say. This is the second time I've had an idea that I thought was a single article, but which turned out to be too big and too involved, and resulted in a three article series. Happily I've been fortunate to have patient and equally curious co-authors.

Here for you, three articles about content strategy in libraries by myself and the estimable, excellent Heidi Burkhardt.

McDonald, Courtney and Heidi Burkhardt. 2022. “Web Content Strategy in Academic Libraries: Methods and Maturity.” portal: Libraries and the academy, 22(4): 995-1033.
[Openly available:]

This paper presents a qualitative analysis of nine interviews with academic library practitioners discussing their approaches to Web content strategy work. Findings reveal shared challenges and suggest that, while awareness of content strategy appears to be growing, its practice remains intermittent for many. An updated version of a Content Strategy Maturity Model for Academic Libraries, reflecting participants' comments regarding planning, creation, delivery, governance, and user experience, provides a means to address these challenges flexibly within an institution's culture, resources, and circumstances. Participants also discuss the purpose of the library website and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

McDonald, Courtney and Heidi Burkhardt. 2021. “Web Content Strategy in Practice in Academic Libraries.” Information Technology & Libraries, 40(1): 1-46. [Openly available:]

Web content strategy is a relatively new area of practice in industry, in higher education, and, correspondingly, within academic and research libraries. The authors conducted a web-based survey of academic and research library professionals in order to identify present trends in this area of professional practice by academic librarians and to establish an understanding of the degree of institutional engagement in web content strategy within academic and research libraries. This article presents the findings of that survey. Based on analysis of the results, we propose a web content strategy maturity model specific to academic libraries.

McDonald, Courtney and Heidi Burkhardt. 2019. “Library-Authored Web Content and the Need for Content Strategy.” Information Technology & Libraries, 38(3): 8-21. [Openly available:]

I wrote about this one in a previous post, so I won't repeat all that. Suffice to say this literature review provides useful context about the growth and development of library web sites over the last 25 years.