Looking to the future:
what’s the mindset for
a successful
information
organisation?
Keith Webster
Dean of University Libr...
Our Professional Future
Access to information, ideas and works of
imagination is an essential characteristic of thriving
d...
Overview of remarks
As a profession we add value
Not everyone recognises that!
There are tremendous opportunities to deplo...
How do we add value?
British Library adds £419m
of value to the economy
each year
http://www.bl.uk/aboutus/stratpolprog/in...
Australian research study
Contingent valuation
Respondents were presented with different
hypothetical scenarios
They were ...
Use of print resources
Frequently

Sometimes

Never

Journal articles

748

328

99

Books

557

565

53

Abstracts, index...
Use of electronic resources

Frequently

Sometimes

Never

1,112

57

6

Books

307

611

257

Datasets

204

411

560

Da...
Time devoted to using information resources
Personal expenditure on information
resources
Nothing

15.4

$1-250

33.4

$251-500

23.9

$501-1000

16.3

$1001-1250

4....
How much does it all cost?
Respondents asked to indicate annual spend on
collections - to nearest $1 million
6 said $30 mi...
Value for money

Excellent

Value for money relative
to the level of
expenditure disclosed

Very good

Good

Fair

Poor

1...
Where else would you go for stuff?
Another university to which I am also affiliated

106

Other universities to which I ha...
Time matters
Less time than now – I could work more efficiently

1

None – it would make no difference to me

8

Up to 10 ...
Medium-long term effect on
research
Volume of research outputs

Volume will increase

16

Volume will remain unchanged

37...
Key impacts of free access to information on
research
Access to information is indispensible for
research (91% strongly ag...
Funding scenarios
Current spent on information resources
across the three sites is $2,496 per capita
Respondents were aske...
Summary finding
The final scenario would result in total costs
to the institution of $81.4m compared to
actual spend of $3...
Making a difference
Adverse event avoided
Hospital admission
Hospital acquired infection

Percent
11.5
8.2

Surgery

21.2
...
Making a difference
Adverse event avoided
Hospital admission
Hospital acquired infection

Percent
11.5
8.2

Surgery

21.2
...
What is happening in the world
is bypassing university libraries

Peter Murray-Rust
The scientist’s view
JISC Libraries of...
“…contact with librarians and
information professionals is
rare”
“…researchers are generally
confident in their [selftaugh...
“The bad news is that I’m not sure they
understand what goes on in the library other
than taking out books.”
Benton Founda...
• Within five years, graduate students and faculty will fill all

their information needs online, never coming into the li...
The transformed library of the future will be at the core of
teaching, learning and scholarship

•

partnering with academ...
Demands for our core skills
Data services
Digital research
Open scholarship
Evidence-based medicine
Knowledge-based profes...
Collection-centric - 1st generation
Client-focused - 2nd generation
Experience-centered - 3rd generation
Connected Learning Experiences - 4th generation
Current priorities in
academic libraries
1. Continue and complete migration from print
to electronic and realign service o...
Barriers to implementation
Hybrid environment
Faculty (and librarian?) resistance
Costs of space redevelopment
Library sta...
•
•
•
•
•

In the print library
Local access costs low saved time allowed for
research productivity
Library costs high acq...
Research publication is essential to
future research
Technology reduces costs of
production and distribution
Demand from a...
What might this mean?
Ongoing acquisitions will require increasingly less
space
Substantial parts of existing collections ...
What’s involved in storing books?
Open shelves in libraries
Accessible, but expensive centre of campus real
estate
Highly ...
Storage costs for pbooks
Estimated over time to exceed purchase
price on average by 50 percent (Lawrence
et al, 2001)
Grow...
Indicative costs

Open stack

Warehouse

10 year open
then WHS

20 year open
then WHS

141.89

28.77

50.98

66.43
Compare with ebooks
HathiTrust will archive and backup an ebook
at $0.15-$0.40 per annum (using same
discount rates as for...
Use of print collections

Pittsburgh study
1979

Cornell study
2010

40% of collection never circulates

55% of books purc...
Moving forward
Ruthless move towards digital only acquisitions policy, relocation to storage,
collaborative retention, dis...
Accelerate the reduction and removal of
routine transactions
- Increase use of web-based activity
- Increase use of self-s...
Identify opportunities to leverage
economies of scale
- Buy publishers’ bundles to reduce need for
selection decisions
- C...
Library redevelopment
Lots of success stories
Understand need for different spaces on
your campus - do good research
Intentions

Activities

Achievements
What did you do in the Library?
Use a computer
Quiet study
Meet friends
Group work
Find course materials
Think
Coffee
Borr...
Library redevelopment
Lots of success stories
Understand need for different spaces on
your campus - do good research
Showc...
The role of librarians
Current state

Future state

Many libraries retain large numbers
of librarians to catalogue and cou...
W(h)ither the Library?
Local
distribution
1990s

Global digital
2000s

Cloud-based
models
2010s

Convergent media services
Webster: Looking to the Future: What’s the Mindset for a Successful Information Organization?
Webster: Looking to the Future: What’s the Mindset for a Successful Information Organization?
Webster: Looking to the Future: What’s the Mindset for a Successful Information Organization?
Webster: Looking to the Future: What’s the Mindset for a Successful Information Organization?
Webster: Looking to the Future: What’s the Mindset for a Successful Information Organization?
Webster: Looking to the Future: What’s the Mindset for a Successful Information Organization?
Webster: Looking to the Future: What’s the Mindset for a Successful Information Organization?
Webster: Looking to the Future: What’s the Mindset for a Successful Information Organization?
Webster: Looking to the Future: What’s the Mindset for a Successful Information Organization?
Webster: Looking to the Future: What’s the Mindset for a Successful Information Organization?
Webster: Looking to the Future: What’s the Mindset for a Successful Information Organization?
Webster: Looking to the Future: What’s the Mindset for a Successful Information Organization?
Webster: Looking to the Future: What’s the Mindset for a Successful Information Organization?
Webster: Looking to the Future: What’s the Mindset for a Successful Information Organization?
Webster: Looking to the Future: What’s the Mindset for a Successful Information Organization?
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Webster: Looking to the Future: What’s the Mindset for a Successful Information Organization?

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Looking to the Future:  What’s the Mindset for a Successful Information Organization? by Keith
Webster, Dean of the Libraries, Carnegie Mellon for the October 16, 2013 NISO Virtual Conference: Revolution or Evolution: The Organizational Impact of Electronic Content.

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  • Webster: Looking to the Future: What’s the Mindset for a Successful Information Organization?

    1. 1. Looking to the future: what’s the mindset for a successful information organisation? Keith Webster Dean of University Libraries 16 October 2013 1
    2. 2. Our Professional Future Access to information, ideas and works of imagination is an essential characteristic of thriving democracies, cultures and economies. This is increasingly so in the global information society. Information is a cultural, social and economic resource and a commodity of crucial importance in a huge range of diverse enterprises. Librarians and information scientists can be at the heart of this revolution, in demand for their creative, technical and managerial expertise. Library Association/Institute of Information Scientists, 1999
    3. 3. Overview of remarks As a profession we add value Not everyone recognises that! There are tremendous opportunities to deploy our skills There isn’t much money to pay for more of us We need to rethink our business operations to free up our people
    4. 4. How do we add value? British Library adds £419m of value to the economy each year http://www.bl.uk/aboutus/stratpolprog/increasingvalue/britishlibrary_economicevaluation.pdf
    5. 5. Australian research study Contingent valuation Respondents were presented with different hypothetical scenarios They were asked about their willingness to pay, and the amount they would expect to pay Webster (2012) The evolving role of libraries in the scholarly ecosystem
    6. 6. Use of print resources Frequently Sometimes Never Journal articles 748 328 99 Books 557 565 53 Abstracts, indexes and bibliographies 342 458 375 32 264 879 Conference proceedings 163 633 379 Technical papers 144 408 623 10 116 1,049 148 554 473 CDs, DVDs, etc. 65 432 678 Other 27 51 206 Standards and specifications Patents Government publications
    7. 7. Use of electronic resources Frequently Sometimes Never 1,112 57 6 Books 307 611 257 Datasets 204 411 560 Databases 624 371 180 52 275 848 Conference proceedings 250 667 258 Technical papers 174 432 569 27 167 981 195 565 415 AV materials 73 415 687 Other 18 23 213 Journal articles Standards and specifications Patents Government publications
    8. 8. Time devoted to using information resources
    9. 9. Personal expenditure on information resources Nothing 15.4 $1-250 33.4 $251-500 23.9 $501-1000 16.3 $1001-1250 4.3 $1251-1500 1.7 Over $1500 5.1
    10. 10. How much does it all cost? Respondents asked to indicate annual spend on collections - to nearest $1 million 6 said $30 million + (3 reported $100m +) 51 less than $1,000,000 600 don’t know UQ mean of $11.3 million Equates to mean of $1,760 per capita Actual spend is $2,797 per capita (37.1% under)
    11. 11. Value for money Excellent Value for money relative to the level of expenditure disclosed Very good Good Fair Poor 182 118 53 16 10
    12. 12. Where else would you go for stuff? Another university to which I am also affiliated 106 Other universities to which I have no affiliation 173 National Library of Australia 113 State libraries 149 Other public libraries 58 Overseas universities 97 Learned Societies 36 Specialist subject-focused research institutions 73 Institutional and open access repositories 160 Purchase from publishers or document delivery intermediaries 172 Obtain from colleagues/authors 183 Other 23
    13. 13. Time matters Less time than now – I could work more efficiently 1 None – it would make no difference to me 8 Up to 10 per cent more time 15 11-15 per cent more time 15 16-20 per cent more time 33 21-25 per cent more time 44 26-30 per cent more time 36 31-35 per cent more time 17 36-40 per cent more time 19 Over 40 per cent more time 191
    14. 14. Medium-long term effect on research Volume of research outputs Volume will increase 16 Volume will remain unchanged 37 Volume will decrease 326 Total responses: 379 Quality of research Quality will increase 15 Quality will remain unchanged 62 Quality will decrease 302 Total responses: 379
    15. 15. Key impacts of free access to information on research Access to information is indispensible for research (91% strongly agree) Maintain comprehensive overview of developments in field (77%) Eliminate unproductive time (74%) Avoiding duplication of research done elsewhere (50%)
    16. 16. Funding scenarios Current spent on information resources across the three sites is $2,496 per capita Respondents were asked to recommend a budget for the purchase of single-user access to the resources they need - average $3,511 per capita Respondents were also asked to estimate the costs if they had to be self-sufficient (purchases, travel to libraries etc) - average $5,894 per capita
    17. 17. Summary finding The final scenario would result in total costs to the institution of $81.4m compared to actual spend of $34.5m - a financial return of 136 percent
    18. 18. Making a difference Adverse event avoided Hospital admission Hospital acquired infection Percent 11.5 8.2 Surgery 21.2 Additional tests/procedures 49.0 Additional out-patient visits 26.4 Marshall (1994) The impact of information services on decision making
    19. 19. Making a difference Adverse event avoided Hospital admission Hospital acquired infection Percent 11.5 8.2 Surgery 21.2 Additional tests/procedures 49.0 Additional out-patient visits 26.4 Patient mortality 19.2 Marshall (1994) The impact of information services on decision making
    20. 20. What is happening in the world is bypassing university libraries Peter Murray-Rust The scientist’s view JISC Libraries of the future debate, April 2009
    21. 21. “…contact with librarians and information professionals is rare” “…researchers are generally confident in their [selftaught] abilities.., librarians see them as..relatively unsophisticated” “…librarians see it as a problem that they are not reaching all researchers with formal training, whereas most researchers don’t think they need it”
    22. 22. “The bad news is that I’m not sure they understand what goes on in the library other than taking out books.” Benton Foundation, 1996 “User perceptions negatively affect the ability of librarians to meet information needs simply because a profession cannot serve those who do not understand its purpose and expertise.” Durrance, 1988
    23. 23. • Within five years, graduate students and faculty will fill all their information needs online, never coming into the library • Libraries will open up their space to other areas of the university, and develop designer spaces for students • All library collections and services will be delivered from the cloud, and 90% of information needs will be met by nonLibrary providers http://taigaforumprovocativestatements.blogspot.com/
    24. 24. The transformed library of the future will be at the core of teaching, learning and scholarship • partnering with academic departments to create learning activities and environments • helping to build an infrastructure for learning • creating an intellectual commons for the community Guskin (2004) Project on the Future of Higher Education
    25. 25. Demands for our core skills Data services Digital research Open scholarship Evidence-based medicine Knowledge-based professions 26
    26. 26. Collection-centric - 1st generation
    27. 27. Client-focused - 2nd generation
    28. 28. Experience-centered - 3rd generation
    29. 29. Connected Learning Experiences - 4th generation
    30. 30. Current priorities in academic libraries 1. Continue and complete migration from print to electronic and realign service operations 2. Retire legacy collections 3. Continue to repurpose library as primary learning space 4. Reposition library expertise and resources to be more closely embedded in research and teaching enterprise outside library 5. Extend focus of collection development from external purchase to local curation Lewis (2007); Webster (2010)
    31. 31. Barriers to implementation Hybrid environment Faculty (and librarian?) resistance Costs of space redevelopment Library staff training Faculty reception Institutional acceptance of repository services
    32. 32. • • • • • In the print library Local access costs low saved time allowed for research productivity Library costs high acquisitions, maintenance, curation, buildings Correspondence between library reputation and research quality Great libraries attracted great scholars Great scholars attracted great funding
    33. 33. Research publication is essential to future research Technology reduces costs of production and distribution Demand from academy is for online content Almost all new content born digital Large swathe of scholarly print material now digitised
    34. 34. What might this mean? Ongoing acquisitions will require increasingly less space Substantial parts of existing collections can be relocated off-site and replaced with digital versions As services like Google books mature this will accelerate (subject to statutory provisions) This will provide new space opportunities for universities and their libraries
    35. 35. What’s involved in storing books? Open shelves in libraries Accessible, but expensive centre of campus real estate Highly compact off-site configurations Low storage costs, better preservation but high access costs Very different to electronic storage! Courant and Nielsen (2009) On the Cost of Keeping a Book
    36. 36. Storage costs for pbooks Estimated over time to exceed purchase price on average by 50 percent (Lawrence et al, 2001) Grow over time as acquisitions continue Require either more storage, more discards or more efficient storage
    37. 37. Indicative costs Open stack Warehouse 10 year open then WHS 20 year open then WHS 141.89 28.77 50.98 66.43
    38. 38. Compare with ebooks HathiTrust will archive and backup an ebook at $0.15-$0.40 per annum (using same discount rates as for print books that equates to $5-$13)
    39. 39. Use of print collections Pittsburgh study 1979 Cornell study 2010 40% of collection never circulates 55% of books purchased since 1990 never borrowed If a book isn’t borrowed during first 6 years, only 2% chance it will ever be used 13% Average circulation from open shelf collections 65% of books purchased in 2001 hadn’t been borrowed 1% Average circulation from high density collections ~0% Average circulation from off-site storage
    40. 40. Moving forward Ruthless move towards digital only acquisitions policy, relocation to storage, collaborative retention, disposal Lobbying publishers and aggregators for better ebook terms Securing campus buy-in
    41. 41. Accelerate the reduction and removal of routine transactions - Increase use of web-based activity - Increase use of self-service - Close labour-intensive low volume services Prefer digital form at all times Patron-driven acquisition as supplement Better discovery services - eg Summon
    42. 42. Identify opportunities to leverage economies of scale - Buy publishers’ bundles to reduce need for selection decisions - Consolidate distributed collections, warehousing or disposing of obsolete material - Consolidate and multi-purpose service points
    43. 43. Library redevelopment Lots of success stories Understand need for different spaces on your campus - do good research
    44. 44. Intentions Activities Achievements
    45. 45. What did you do in the Library? Use a computer Quiet study Meet friends Group work Find course materials Think Coffee Borrow books
    46. 46. Library redevelopment Lots of success stories Understand need for different spaces on your campus - do good research Showcase good examples (e.g. Hunt Library, UQ)
    47. 47. The role of librarians Current state Future state Many libraries retain large numbers of librarians to catalogue and count Librarians embedded in research and teaching activities Even more librarians wait at service desks ‘just in case’ Librarians become campus specialists in areas such as e-science, academic technology and research evaluation Few librarians leave the library building Librarians have meaningful impact Current barriers Many librarians lack skills and useful qualifications Many librarians are resistant to change Academics do not believe librarians are useful or credible partners
    48. 48. W(h)ither the Library? Local distribution 1990s Global digital 2000s Cloud-based models 2010s Convergent media services
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