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Archive for March, 2011

RLUK/RIN have recently brought out a report on ‘The Value of Libraries for Research and Researchers‘. The report presents the findings of a study of the value of the services that libraries in the UK provide to researchers, and of the contributions that libraries from a wide range of institutions make to institutional research performance. I think even though the report highlights UK HE [Higher Education] and research environment, it may be well suited for HE and research environment of other countries.

Key message emanating from the report are:

  • Good libraries help institutions to recruit and retain top researchers
  • Libraries help researchers win research grants and contracts
  • Libraries promote and exploit new technologies and new models of scholarly communications
  • Repositories increase the visibility of the institution and raise its research profile
  • Outward-facing libraries contribute to institution-wide initiatives
  • Specialist staff work in partnership with academic departments
  • Connecting with researchers enhances the value of the library’s services
  • Dedicated spaces provide a better work environment for researchers
  • Easy access to high-quality content is a key foundation for good research
  • Libraries are a physical manifestation of the values of the academy and of scholarship

It is an interesting report to go through and apply certain findings to showcase the value of libraries to researchers and authorities in the present changing times.

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I always believe, libraries have a greater role to play in the present Internet era in spite of drop in the number of users. They can provide excellent services and help library users to sustain the information overload. I came across an excellent presentation entitled ‘The time for libraries is now’  by Ned Potter on Slide Share.

There is an urgent need to engage ourselves in advocating the role of libraries in the present information economy to the Google generation.

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Social media as we all know are primarily Internet- and mobile-based tools such as blogs, micro-blogs, RSS, wikis etc for sharing and discussing information among the people. What many of us feel that these are useful only for general discussions. However, they can play an important role in setting communications and collaborations in the academia.

A guide entitled ‘ Social media: A guide for researchers’ just released by Research Information Network [RIN], points out that social media is an important technological trend that has big implications for how researchers (and people in general) communicate and collaborate. Researchers have a huge amount to gain from engaging with social media in various aspects of their work.  The guide discusses the use of social media for research and academic purposes.  As an intermediary, we also need to take serious note of social media and think how best these can be deployed in providing innovative services to the library users.

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