A bright future ....


The Research Information Network, a national research and policy unit in the UK which looks at the information needs and practices of researchers, has produced what it calls a Guidance Booklet. The title is Ensuring a bright future for research libraries: a guide for vice-chancellors and senior institutional managers. The audience is senior university administrators.

Digital technologies and online information resources have brought fundamental changes in how research is done, and also in what researchers expect from library and information services. The services that librarians and information professionals provide have also changed fundamentally over the past decade. They can now do much more to provide leadership that brings improvements in research performance and effectiveness. New resources, services and technologies continue to create new opportunities, new challenges and new expectations. Librarians and information services need the resources and the continuing top-level support within their institutions to ensure that they can fulfil their potential and meet these challenges. …

… Most higher education institutions (HEIs) have clear research strategies. The challenge now is to set out a clear direction for the relationship between these strategies and the development of your institution’s library and information services, ensuring that the two fit well together. There is also a need for much better communication and engagement between library and information professionals, researchers, and managers at all levels in HEIs.[Ensuring a bright future for research libraries PDF]

It introduces a framework within which to consider library services, and sketches some detail under these headings:

  1. Linking library content and collections to research strategies
  2. Cataloguing, navigation, discovery, delivery and access: Researchers’ needs
  3. Sharing skills and expertise
  4. Communicating and evaluating research outputs
  5. Curation, preservation and disposal
  6. Sustainable resources

Given the audience, I wondered about the level of detail under some of these. I was interested to see the Communicating and evaluating research outputs strand:

Effective communication of research results is an integral part of the research process. Library and information professionals are key sources of advice and expertise about the rapid changes taking place in disseminating, publishing and sharing research results, and also in assessing their impact. Institutions should ensure that they develop and implement, through consultation both with researchers and with library and information staff, strategies that optimise the dissemination and impact of the research their staff undertake. [Ensuring a bright future for research libraries PDF]

This is an area where we have introduced a new program of work: research information management. Indeed it was good to see that there was a variety of contact points with the RLG work agenda.




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