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The Value of Libraries to Research and Researchers

Leading university and research libraries, in collaboration with the Research Information Network, have published a compelling report underlining the value of the nation's top libraries to researchers.

London  ()

Acknowledging that libraries help to attract and retain top researchers who underpin the future of the nation's new knowledge and innovation, the report defines ten key messages. These messages strongly highlight the importance of continuing investment in far reaching, futureproof collections and the promotion of radical change to the face of library services. It is clear from the report that many believe our research libraries to be the bedrock and most valuable asset of our academic institutions. 

The report finds that libraries very definitely contribute to the traditionally recognised scholarly ethos of our universities and provide valued space in which to work and browse. The knowledge and expertise of our research library professionals has also become increasingly invaluable to researchers who acknowledge that without library insight and support they would struggle to attain streamlined access, navigation and interpretation of unimaginable volumes of digital material which the libraries are highlighting and making available to top talent.

At a time when libraries more generally are a target for public sector cost savings, and 'Googlization'  raises questions about the relevance of libraries in the digital age, this report demands urgent attention. It illustrates the massive contribution which outward facing and service oriented information professionals make in supporting an ever demanding community of information-hungry researchers under pressure to produce high quality research outputs. Given that the annual investment in research grants in the UK is estimated at £4.1 billion, university and research libraries are proving that they are making a valuable contribution to the nation's bottom line for the £641m invested in them each year.

Key messages:

1. Good libraries help institutions to recruit and retain top researchers

2. Libraries help researchers win research grants and contracts

3. Libraries promote and exploit new technologies and new models of scholarly communications

4. Repositories increase the visibility of the institution and raise its research profile

5.  Outward-facing libraries contribute to institution-wide initiatives

6. Specialist staff work in partnership with academic departments

7. Connecting with researchers enhances the value of the library's services

8. Dedicated spaces provide a better work environment for researchers

9. Easy access to high-quality content is a key foundation for good research

10. Libraries are a physical manifestation of the values of the academy and of scholarship

To read the full Report go to:

More information on The Research Information Network (

More information on Research Libraries UK (


Dr Michael Jubb, Director, Research Information Network. 0207 412 7285


Jan Wilkinson, University Librarian & Director of the John Rylands Library and member of Research Libraries UK Board. 0161 2753700/07946 738836

Research Information Network
Editorial Contact:
Dr Michael Jubb
0207 412 7285