The academic library


I got an email from a recruiter a while ago wanting to talk about candidates for a director at a UK research library. I was struck by some of the language used. The post was described as one of the “most significant non-academic posts” (my emphasis) in the college, and it reported to a “head of administration”.
If this were a post at a peer US University, it would in all likelihood not be described in this way, or positioned thus in the institution. It would be described as an important part of the scholarly enterprise, and it would probably report to the chief academic officer, the provost. In the US you have library deans and discussions about faculty status for librarians.
I am not sure what this difference signifies ….

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Libraries are not ends in themselves, but serve the interests of the organizations of which they are a part. As university emphasis varies around research, education and career poles, we can expect to see libraries evolve to support those emphases more strongly.
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