What is your issue?

It is always interesting to read how people reflect on practice in the light of acknowledged environmental change. The provocative statements [pdf, transcribed as HTML here] issued by the Taiga Forum received some attention, and focused some medium term environmental factors and possible responses.

I have been looking at some more near-term reflections. Sconul (the UK Society of College, National and University Libraries) has identified their 'top concerns'. A [pdf] report is available. They have clustered survey results in four categories, which are interesting in themselves as indicators of emphasis:

  • Planning and strategy including implementation
  • Space issues
  • Implementing self-issue and return service
  • Digital deposit and repository development
I was interested to see the remark about 'super-convergence', the oganizational alignment of all academic support activities (not just library and IT, as has been common in the UK). This is one example of the many concerns that revolved around the changing political and organizational contexts of their institutions. Other issues are the deployment of space to support learning activity, the development of institutional repositories, and balancing quality of service and efficiency gains in self-service environments. The report enumerates individual comments which are worth a read through.

I am again struck by how the library increasingly works as part of a wider set of research and learning support services, supporting the 'networkflow' of their common users.

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Update: The Taiga link to the provocative statements does not appear to be working at the moment. The statements are transcribed by Tom Keays here.

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