Academic libraries operate in a challenging environment. They face financial pressure as well as increasing competition from organizations such as Google, Amazon and Apple iTunes for services they have traditionally delivered. Broad cultural shifts in information provision and discovery are also affecting students’ expectations of their services.

Information and library infrastructure: Emerging opportunities

Academic libraries operate in a challenging environment. They face financial pressure as well as increasing competition from organizations such as Google, Amazon and Apple iTunes for services they have traditionally delivered. Broad cultural shifts in information provision and discovery are also affecting students’ expectations of their services. 

Aim

This strand of work will identify and exploit emerging opportunities to help libraries rise to these challenges by delivering improved access to the resources and services that researchers and learners require.

The work is focusing initially on:

  • Shared library services. Realising the potential of a data centric model for library systems, this work will build on the SCONUL /HEFCE shared services report, to develop a shared electronic subscriptions management service, led by JISC Collections.   
  • Mobile infrastructure. The strand will develop a mobile infrastructure for library services and systems built on the findings of previous work to identify user needs for mobile services.
  • User requirements. Studies are building on the findings of the Google Generation and Digital Information Seekers reports which looked at the information needs of different groups of library users. 

Examples of expected change include:
By late 2012
  • shared management of subscription resources and their metadata; data will be input once and shared.  
  • Innovative new mobile services and systems for researchers and students e.g. a student will be able to search for a book in the library based on a photo of a book spine taken in Blackwells that morning. 
Longer term
  • Increased capacity within the library sector to adapt to new technologies and user demands
  • Libraries will be able to demonstrate that they provide good value for money by targeting funds at the most appropriate resources at the right time.
The strand will have two components:
  1. identify emerging opportunities;
  2. develop work to exploit these opportunities.

We will be using an innovative and community focused methodology to ensure that opportunities are successfully identified and the information and library community supported to take advantage of them. 

Contact

  • Ben Showers, Programme Manager, Digital Infrastructure

    Telephone: +44 (0) 203 006 6015

    Mobile: +44 (0) 7891 470 735

    Email:

    Fax: +44 (0) 207 240 5377

Summary
Start date
1 October 2011
End date
31 July 2013
Funding Programme
Digital infrastructure: Information and library infrastructure programme
Topic
Strategic Themes