Challenges for academic libraries in difficult economic times
A new guide from the Research Information Network focuses on how academic librarians are experiencing and responding to ﬁnancial cuts in the current economic climate.
Research Information Network - Press release, 18 March 2010
Based upon data gathered in the UK and internationally, and focus groups with senior librarians during late 2009, the guide looks at the ﬁnancial position of libraries, their strategies for dealing with challenging economic circumstances, and the value of libraries.
After a decade of growth in budgets and services, academic librarians now expect a sustained period of cuts over the next three to ﬁve years. The scale of these cuts means librarians are having to reconsider the kinds and levels of service they can provide in support of their universities missions.
This guide shows how librarians are responding to the issues of balancing expenditure between information resources and stafﬁng and how they plan to sustain levels of service, as well as developing new services to meet new needs. It demonstrates that library directors need the support of senior managers across the higher education sector, as well as from publishers and other information providers, to help address the challenges, as well as the opportunities, faced.
Michael Jubb, Director of RIN, said:
“Libraries have for long played a central role in the lives of universities, in supporting learning, teaching and research. Like the rest of the higher education sector, they are now facing a renewed and intensiﬁed period of ﬁnancial stringency. This guide outlines the key issues that library directors must address, in cooperation with senior managers in the university and information sectors”.
Toby Bainton, SCONUL Secretary, said:
“Higher education institutions in the UK are making some difﬁcult decisions. In planning for ﬁnancial adversity it’s important for senior managers to recognise how essential libraries are to institutional goals.
“The UK higher education sector enjoys global renown and its steadily improving library services have been at the heart of its growth and development. Now libraries specially need the recognition they deserve.”
Challenges for academic libraries in difﬁcult economic times is available at www.rin.ac.uk/challenges-for-libraries. Hard copies are also available to distribute to colleagues, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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