The changing face of academic libraries


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The changing face of academic libraries

  1. 1. The changing face of libraries: an academic perspective Maureen Wade Director of Library Services LSE 5 August 2009
  2. 2. Changing face of academic libraries • Changing HE environment • Shift from print to electronic information • Changing expectations and behaviour of library users • Pressure on budgets and space
  3. 3. Changing HE environment • Government agenda on expansion of universities • The student as customer – improving the student experience • Government pressure to produce and disseminate research – linked to funding
  4. 4. Shift from print to electronic information • E-journals well-established; e-books slower to take-off • Libraries still managing print as well as e-resources • More complex resource discovery and access issues • Expectation of information in digital format
  5. 5. Use of e-journals • RIN report: E-journals: their use, value and impact, April 2009 • UK universities spent nearly £80 million on e-journals in 2006/07 • Estimate of 102 million articles downloaded in one year • Back-runs as well as current journals increasingly available • On-campus and remote access
  6. 6. E-books • Availability of large collections of e- books eg Oxford Scholarship Online • Title-by-title acquisition of e-books for course reading • Availability of e-book readers: Sony, Kindle • Awaiting tipping point in usage of e- books
  7. 7. Resource discovery • Library catalogues primarily designed for access to print books • Library users want access to e-journals at article level • Libraries need to integrate access to information in different formats • Students and researchers expect Google-type search options
  8. 8. Access issues • Universities moving to streamline access to e-resources – single sign-on • Reciprocal access between libraries for print collections – for e-resources hampered by licensing conditions • Moves by JISC, SCONUL and M25 Consortium to address this issue
  9. 9. Changing user expectations • Most information should be available electronically • Google-type search functionality and integration • Variety of types of study space to suit different styles of working • Libraries will collect and manage universities’ research outputs
  10. 10. Pressure on library budgets and space • Hybrid libraries – collecting print and electronic no longer affordable • Extra costs of VAT on e-resources and higher-than-RPI inflation • Pressure on space of continuing growth of print collections • Pressure on space and budgets of expanding student numbers
  11. 11. How are academic libraries meeting these challenges? • Shift from print to electronic information • The Library as a place • Financial pressures • Managing universities’ research outputs
  12. 12. Print to electronic – resource discovery • Purchase of journal records to provide article-level searching • Cataloguing of e-books alongside print • Use of web 2.0 tools to highlight collections – blogs, Delicious tags, Facebook presence • Add-on interfaces to library catalogues – to give Google-type searching and Amazon functionality
  13. 13. Digitisation of print • Collaboration with commercial providers eg Google / Oxford • JISC £22m digitisation programme 2004-09 • 19th century pamphlets online • First World War poetry digital archive • British Cartoon Archive • Individual university fundraising
  14. 14. The Library as a place • Services to academic staff are increasingly delivered to the desktop • Collaboration to reduce duplication in print collections – UK Research Reserve project • Focus on high-quality storage of archives and special collections • Design of range of study spaces to suit diverse needs
  15. 15. Changing study space needs • Group study – large areas and bookable rooms • Learning cafes – food and drink, soft seating • Silent areas for individual study • Fixed PCs still required • Wireless everywhere plus power for laptops
  16. 16. Coping with financial pressures • Use of self-service • RFID for self-service loans • Virtual reference desk software • Information skills via VLE • Focussing collection policies in liaison with academic staff • Providing course materials online to cut down on multiple copies
  17. 17. Library’s role to promote research output • Huge rise in institutional repositories of research papers • Universities bringing in ‘mandates’ to ensure deposit of research papers • Theses increasingly being made available in institutional repositories • Work underway on formats and metadata standards
  18. 18. What does this all this change mean for library staff? • Basic values and skills remain essential • Leadership and strategic vision • Effective management of people and resources • Subject knowledge & information management skills • Customer service ethos
  19. 19. New roles /skills for library staff • More technical knowledge of information systems and software • Knowledge of metadata formats and standards – building on cataloguing /classification • Specialist roles emerging eg digitisation manager, data librarian, information skills trainer • Marketing skills – targeting services to specific user groups
  20. 20. Questions?