'The library happens elsewhere': radical developments for academic libraries

The future of academic libraries under the spotlight: part 1 of our UKSG coverage.

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The library’s focus is on “delivery, delivery, delivery – what we have doesn’t matter, what matters is how fast we can deliver”. In this new mindset, there is no difference between suggested acquisitions, inter-library loans, and stack retrievals, and the library moves from link resolver to being a “delivery hub”.  

At the same time, the library is focusing on the flow of information from itself, to the rest of the world. In 2012, the University founded Stockholm University Press, and merged all publishing activity to the library. “We were happy, then terrified, then happy again”, explained Söderbäck.

The library provides publishing support to the university’s researchers, students, and senior management, based on its infrastructure, expertise and local and global collaboration. For example, the llbrary can provide advice on issues such as copyright, CC licenses, and ORCID; research evaluation; financial co-ordination; and publication channels both through other publishers and Stockholm University Press.

Söderbäck summed up the challenge, and the change in mindset: “the library has to make a difference! And if we don’t, then maybe someone else should do it.”

Part 2 of our UKSG coverage is available here.

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The future of academic libraries under the spotlight: part 2 of our UKSG coverage.

Posted 21 April 2014