The Business of Discovery - Reflections of UK academic library directors

It has been a priority for the Discovery programme to identify and articulate the business case for the development of services embedding the Discovery principles in UK libraries, archives and museums. RLUK and SCONUL have worked with the Discovery team in developing this dialogue with directors and senior mangers across the variety of academic and national libraries. The eight short films below represent themed highlights from personal interviews, which we found to be not only refreshingly frank and emphatically focused but also representative of many shared observations about the essentials of this shared mission.

    1) State of the Nation 2012: Where are we now? (4:48)

  • Students, researchers, institutions, and the sector at large face a range of challenges in 2012. Some are economic, others technical or operational.In the words of the poet, how does it feel?
  • Contributors:

  • Andrew Green (National Library of Wales), Suzanne Enright (University of Westminster), Mark Brown (University of Southampton), Deborah Shorley (Imperial College, London), Stephen Town (University of York)

    2) Key Issues for Discovery (8:33)

  • What are the key issues faced by libraries and by the sector and its partners in their core mission of making resources (whether institutional or subscribed or open) efficiently, easily and accurately discoverable by students and researchers?
  • Contributors:

  • Kitty Inglis (University of Sussex), Nicky Whitsed (The Open University), Phil Sykes (University of Liverpool), David Ball (Bournemouth University), Sheila Cannell (University of Edinburgh), Stephen Town (University of York), Paul Ayris (University College, London), Mark Brown (University of Southampton), Martyn Wade (National Library of Scotland)

    3) No Wrong Door (3:26)

  • Students, researchers and the wider public are using a variety of channels to access resources managed by academic libraries and their partners. These range from Google to specialised aggregations and local tools. To what extent do we need to support them all?
  • Contributors:

  • Andrew Green (National Library of Wales), Janet Peters (Cardiff University), John Dowd (University of Wolverhampton), Kitty Inglis (University of Sussex)

    4) Linking Resources (4:04)

  • The web has opened up the potential for anything to be linked to anything else, regardless of domain, media or location. The social web has extended those possibilities to user generated content. How can institutions and discovery services leverage potential resource linkages to benefit scholarship and the wider user experience?
  • Contributors:

  • Phil Sykes (University of Liverpool), Anne Jarvis (Cambridge University Library), Paul Ayris (University College, London), Janet Peters (Cardiff University), Stephen Town (University of York)

    5) Surfacing Special Collections (6:38)

  • It’s easy to discover and relatively easy to access commonplace resources. It’s another matter to discover special collections (whether in libraries, archives or museums) at the moment of need. Should institutions be prioritising this aspect of discovery where they alone can make a unique contribution to learning and scholarship?
  • Contributors:

  • Andrew Green (National Library of Wales), Janet Peters (Cardiff University), Mark Brown (University of Southampton), Chris Banks (University of Aberdeen), Paul Ayris (University College, London), Anne Jarvis (Cambridge University Library)

    6) Towards Open Access (3:27)

  • 'Open' is a big agenda worldwide and especially for the UK. It is also multi-faceted, ranging from metadata (the initial concern of the JISC Discovery programme) to the assets themselves – not least scholarly publications and research data. But why is this such a particular concern for universities and their services?
  • Contributors:

  • Deborah Shorley (Imperial College, London), Sheila Cannell (University of Edinburgh), Anne Jarvis (Cambridge University Library), Martyn Wade (National Library of Scotland)

    7) Any challenges? (6:56)

  • We all recognise the importance of the Discovery agenda as a matter of principle and also in the practical context of student and researcher experience. So what stands between us and progress, whether in small steps or giant strides?
  • Contributors:

  • Nicky Whitsed (The Open University), Chris Banks (University of Aberdeen), John Dowd (University of Wolverhampton), Suzanne Enright (University of Westminster), David Ball (Bournemouth University), Stephen Town (University of York)

    8) Power in Collaboration (6:07)

  • Libraries, archives and museums naturally understand the power of community and of collaboration. It’s part of the professional mindset. In what ways can this be brought to bear, to address Discovery challenges and opportunities more effectively and more economically?
  • Contributors:

  • Deborah Shorley (Imperial College, London), Janet Peters (Cardiff University), Phil Sykes (University of Liverpool), Suzanne Enright (University of Westminster), Chris Banks (University of Aberdeen), John Dowd (University of Wolverhampton), Anne Jarvis (Cambridge University Library), Kitty Inglis (University of Sussex), David Ball (Bournemouth University)