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Leading the library of the future: w(h)ither technical services?


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Presentation to the ALCTS President's Symposium, ALA Midwinter meeting, Boston MA, 8 January 2016

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Leading the library of the future: w(h)ither technical services?

  1. 1. Leading the library of the future: W(h)ither technical services? 8 January 2016 Keith Webster Dean of University Libraries Director of Emerging and Integrative Media Initiatives @cmkeithw
  2. 2. @cmkeithw
  3. 3. We do not do everything, but at what we do we aim to be the best in the world.
  4. 4. Technical Services: an obsolete term used to describe the largest component of most library staffs in the twentieth century.That component of the staff was entirely devoted to arcane and mysterious processes involved in selecting, acquiring, cataloging, processing, and otherwise making available to library users physical material containing information content pieces (incops).The processes were complicated, expensive, and time-consuming, and generally served to severely limit direct service to users both by producing records that were difficult to understand and interpret, even by other library staff, and by consuming from 75–80 percent of the library’s financial and personnel resources. Norman D. Stevens, “Selections from a Dictionary of Libinfosci Terms,” in “Beyond ‘1984’: The Future of Technical Services,” special issue, Technical Services Quarterly 1, no. 1–2 (Fall/Winter 1983): 260.
  5. 5. In the twenty-first century, the advent of new forms of publication and new techniques for providing universal records and universal access to information content made the organizational structure obsolete.That change in organizational structure, more than any other single factor, is generally credited as being responsible for the dramatic improvement in the quality of library service that has occurred in the first decade of the twenty-first century. Norman D. Stevens, “Selections from a Dictionary of Libinfosci Terms,” in “Beyond ‘1984’: The Future of Technical Services,” special issue, Technical Services Quarterly 1, no. 1–2 (Fall/Winter 1983): 260.
  6. 6. TODAY’s WORLD
  7. 7. 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
  8. 8. Students crowd libraries - without using libraries
  9. 9. The success of e-journals has driven the researcher from the library
  10. 10. Open Science
  11. 11. Growth of web-based knowledge and research tools - often outside the institution
  12. 12. Open access has shaped policy agenda
  13. 13. Library budgets under pressure
  14. 14. Shareholders and VCs expect ROI
  15. 15. Customer pressure Investor pressure
  16. 16. “…contact with librarians and information professionals is rare” “…researchers are generally confident in their [self- taught] 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”
  17. 17. Where do library clients go? Specific e-resource General search engine Library catalogue Library building 1 18 38 47 13 28 21 37 2003 2012 Search engine Wikipedia SNS Email Online database Virtual reference Library website 0 0 1 1 2 7 83 Where do student start a search? Where do academics begin research? Perceptions of libraries 2010, OCLC Faculty study 2012: key insights for libraries and publishers, Ithaka
  18. 18. Faculty study 2012: key insights for libraries and publishers, Ithaka
  20. 20. 1 - The Library
  21. 21. Collection-centric - 1st generation
  22. 22. Client-focused - 2nd generation
  23. 23. Experience-centered - 3rd generation
  24. 24. Connected Learning Experiences - 4th generation
  25. 25. Collaborative knowledge, media and fabrication facilities - 5th generation
  26. 26. Generational model Print collections CD-ROM Electronic journals Online databases/indexes Cloud-based digital archives E-books Generation 1 Generation 5
  27. 27. • Each generation is additive, not a substitute • As libraries have added new formats, these have often not led to disposal of old materials • Libraries have introduced valuable new services without necessarily discontinuing other activity • Libraries are increasingly pursuing important - but niche - technology projects
  28. 28. 2. The scholarly journal
  29. 29. The growth of global scientific output in the last 30 years Thomson Reuters, Journal Citation Reports
  30. 30. The big deal • Access to vast quantities of content for researchers • Bundles bought on basis of package rather than titles • Difficult to select/remove individual titles • Pricing structures change • Incentives to launch new titles? Incentives to use M&A? • Majority of bundle use is by top 10% of titles - a lifeline for lesser- used titles • Citations were currency of print world - usage is today’s measure
  31. 31. 3. Media consumption
  32. 32. W(h)ither the Library? Local distribution 1990s Global digital 2000s Cloud-based models 2010s Convergent media services Adapted from Redefining the academic library, ABC, 2011
  33. 33. Created with Haiku Deck CURRENT TRENDS
  34. 34. 1. Researcher workflows
  35. 35. Grant-wri9ng Compliance Data management Data analysis Resource management Networking IP protec9on Publica9on Compe99ve intelligence IDEATION EXPERIMENTATION PLANNING DISSEMINATION Protocols RESEARCH WORKFLOW Research planning Literature interac9on Insight and decision support
  36. 36. Grant-wri9ng Compliance Data management Data analysis Resource management Networking IP protec9on Publica9on Compe99ve intelligence IDEATION EXPERIMENTATION PLANNING DISSEMINATION Protocols Research planning Literature interac9on Insight and decision support
  37. 37. Grant-wri9ng Compliance Data management Data analysis Resource management Networking IP protec9on Publica9on Compe99ve intelligence IDEATION EXPERIMENTATION PLANNING DISSEMINATION Protocols Research planning Literature interac9on Insight and decision support
  38. 38. Grant-wri9ng Compliance Data management Data analysis Resource management Networking IP protec9on Publica9on Compe99ve intelligence IDEATION EXPERIMENTATION PLANNING DISSEMINATION Protocols Research planning Literature interac9on Insight and decision support
  39. 39.
  40. 40. Traditional workflow All of these tools licensed by institution
  41. 41. Open Science All of these tools accessible by researcher
  42. 42. 2. Researchers & communication
  43. 43. Ever talk with citizens about science, research Ever talk with reporters about research findings Ever use social media to discuss or follow science Ever blog about science and research 0 25 50 75 100 % of AAAS scientists who ever do each of the activities How scientists engage the public
  44. 44.
  45. 45. 3. Open access
  46. 46. An Impacts Framework RESEARCH
 Most/Many served, 
 but not all CONSUMERS/
 Few served INDUSTRY/
 Part served, 
 Current reach OPEN ACCESS
 Potentially serves all RESEARCH
 Access for all, research participation based on merit, not means. Potential benefits:
 Speeding up discovery.
 Reduction of duplicative research.
 Fewer blind alleys.
 New research possibilities. Better educational outcomes & enhanced research capabilities. SOCIETY
 Access as needed, informed consumers (e.g. health and education). Potential benefits:
 Contribution to the 'informed citizen' and 'informed consumer', with implications for better use of health and education services, better consumption choices, etc. leading to greater welfare benefits, which in turn may lead to productivity improvements. INDUSTRY
 (1) Access as needed, more informed producers & policy. (2) New businesses add value to content (e.g. Weather Derivatives).
 Potential benefits:
 Accelerate and widen opportunities for collaboration, commercialisation & adoption. The potential for much wider access for GPs/ nurses, teachers/ students, and small firms in consulting, engineering, ICT, nanotechnology, biotechnology, etc. The potential for the emergence of new industries based upon the open access content.
  47. 47. “The Holdren Memo” To achieve the Administration’s commitment to increase access to federally funded published research and digital scientific data, Federal agencies investing in research and development must have clear and coordinated policies for increasing such access. Memo on Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research White House Office of Science and Technology Policy February 22, 2013
  48. 48. Pinfield et al (2015)
  49. 49. 4. Open science
  50. 50. Useful knowledge Sharable knowledge
  51. 51. 5. Funding
  52. 52.
  53. 53. Science funding • Ever-increasing expenditure on healthcare in most nations will support continued expansion of the medical subsegment of the STM market • Publishers will look to offset the decline in print revenues through new solutions - eg workflow, performance measurement and cool ‘toys’ • R&D growth in Asia and the US will continue to underpin the STM market
  55. 55. Current directions in academic libraries 1. Continue the migration from print to electronic and realign service operations 2. Review location of lesser-used 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 After Lewis, 2010; Webster 2010; Webster 2012
  57. 57. Thinking about technical services “Those services involved in the acquisition, recording, and preserving of materials” Tauber, Technical services in libraries, 1954
  58. 58. 1. Library collections
  59. 59. The ‘owned’ collection The ‘facilitated’ collection The ‘licensed’ collection The ‘borrowed’ collection • Pointing people at Google Scholar • Including freely available e-books in the catalog • Creating resource guides for web resources • Purchased and 
 physically stored A collections spectrum The ‘demand-driven’ collection The ‘shared print’ collection OCLC Research, 2015.Figure: A collections spectrum.
  60. 60. Low Stewardship In few collections In many collections Research & Learning Materials Open Web Resources ‘Published’ materials Special Collections Local Digitization Licensed Purchased High Stewardship
  61. 61. 2.The scholarly record
  62. 62.
  63. 63.
  64. 64. 3. Researcher analytics
  65. 65. ERA uses a number of bibliometric tools for the citation analysis indicators. Two broad types of citation analysis are used in ERA: Relative Citation Impact (RCI) and the distribution of publications based on comparisons with field- specific benchmarks. REF will assess universities on the basis of the quality of research outputs, the vitality of the research environment and the wider impact of research.
  66. 66. 4. Data analysis
  67. 67. 5. Partnerships
  68. 68. Technical services opportunities • Consortia • Liaison librarians • Research community
  69. 69. 6. Service initiatives
  70. 70. Technical Services Librarians • Have adapted to: • Next Gen catalogs • Electronic journals and books • Powerful online indexes • Locally digitized collections • Locally created digital objects
  71. 71. Some thoughts • E-book approval plans • Mobile platforms • Metadata/image description • Solve discovery • Solve e-books! • Respond to shifting patterns of demand
  73. 73. Today’s environment • We operate in a networked world - local collections in themselves make learning and research incomplete • We should no longer focus on acquiring the products of scholarship; we must be embedded within scholarship • New methods of research - open science, digital humanities, etc. - reshape researchers’ needs and demands • How do we get there?
  74. 74. R. Kenney, OCLC 2009
  75. 75. • We’ve seen from various studies that the catalog is rarely the first - and often the last - point for information discovery. How sustainable are the costs of local cataloging? • Budgets - and especially staffing levels - are under pressure across most libraries. Which roles have the biggest impact on the university? • How can we demonstrate the efficiency gains (and financial gains) from the shift from print to digital?
  76. 76. How do our clients (students, teachers, researchers) see your work? How does your department impact on the university's biggest goals - student recruitment, progress and achievement; attracting research funding; improving research outcomes? Do you have evidence to share? Where do you want to go?  Who do you benchmark against? What are the biggest problems our clients face and how can you solve them? Some reflections for us all
  77. 77. How can you add value? How can you maintain and extend excellence - consistency, reliability - and how can you perfect execution? How do you balance near-term pressures (today’s workload and fixes) and long-term needs (opportunity to innovate and improve)? Some reflections for us all
  78. 78. Old metrics in a new environment? • Number of books in collection • Number of items loaned • Number of questions answered • Number of serial subscriptions • Anything that moves and can be counted • Anything that doesn’t move - just in case
  79. 79. Desired position • Create an organizational culture that supports and drives strategic innovation • Establish critical capabilities tuned to the evolving academic and scholarly communications landscapes • Evaluate innovation efforts to ensure both sensible investment and gains in organizational learning and improvement • Demonstrate impact on institutional mission and priorities • Inform resource allocation
  80. 80. Driving innovation • Return on investment - Uptake of services; contingent valuation; share of revenues attributable to library investment • Organizational capability - Employees trained in innovation; creation time and space for innovation; links to strategic plan and assessment of innovative developments • Leadership - Sponsorship of innovative programs and projects; % time spent on strategy and innovation compared to routine management
  81. 81. Possible new metrics • Impact on student recruitment and retention • Impact on student learning outcomes • Contribution to research excellence • Impact on broader economic, social and health outcomes • Return on investment
  82. 82. value-libraries-research-and-researchers
  83. 83. The need to understand • Dubious about some studies which make claims about the value of libraries • Commissioned a study to assess the value library-provided information resources deliver to their research communities
  84. 84. 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
  85. 85. In a world where digital is becoming the default format for information, the library will remain a vital presence on campus, sustaining serious scholarship and providing opportunities for interactive research and study environments. To support this important work for students, faculty, and staff, and to create 21st-century library spaces for 21st- century learners, the library will: • Develop information specialists as partners in research, teaching and learning. • Collaborate with peer institutions to provide coordinated access to a global collection of information resources. • Steward the evolving scholarly record and champion new forms of scholarly communication. • Be recognized globally as a leader in the development of the scholarly information ecosystem.
  86. 86. The role of librarians Current state Many libraries retain large numbers of librarians to catalogue and count Even more librarians wait at service desks ‘just in case’ Few librarians leave the library building Future state Librarians embedded in research and teaching activities Librarians become campus specialists in areas such as e- science, academic technology and research evaluation 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
  87. 87. uqkeithw Keith Webster cmkeithw Keith Webster cmkeithw