'Thinking the unthinkable': radical developments for academic libraries

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

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The decision to stop providing Omega had to be explained to students, but not surprisingly there was some trepidation about how patrons would react. However, as Kortekaas explained, “almost nothing happened, there were no major complaints! And straight away there was a big increase in hits in Google Scholar.”

The library has to ask what it can do for its many users who are already active in the cloud, and the answer, according to Kortekaas, is to continuously improve delivery behind the scenes by for example adding holding information to discovery tools such as the Dutch cataloguing system GGC, and offering Utrecht’s SFX knowledge base to Google Scholar and Scopus.

Questions from the floor probed the issue of ceding control to Google, given concerns that the services such as Google Scholar service could be discontinued at any time. “We have to look at where the users are”, responded Kortekaas.

Thinking the unthinkable, maybe, but the refocusing of the library's mission from discovery to delivery was a theme which for some was the key takeaway of the conference. 

Part 1 of our UKSG coverage is available here.

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

Posted 21 April 2014