The issues and change factors that are likely to affect libraries in the future as we move towards the provision of more electronic resources and the 'hybrid' library concept, have been well documented. Projects such as IMPEL2 have examined changing organisational structures and strategic issues that necessitate a change in the way libraries are organised and managed. An eLib supporting study managed by the Tavistock Institute examined the impact of eLib activities on cultural change in Higher Education. The study evaluated the eLib programme's success in "achieving cultural changes supportive of the development and uptake of electronic media and network services and their integration in the work contexts of librarians and teaching and research staff".
However, most of these studies have been retrospective or have examined current practice. It is suggested that a study is needed that looks forward beyond the present and tries to anticipate the changes that will shape the future and that will initiate development towards this future. It is suggested that the study should involve a broad cross-section of stakeholders and look to identify common ground between them as well as develop action points through which the outcomes of the study can be implemented and taken forward. There is scope for the study to examine all services with an active interest or involvement/stake in the study area.
The study should examine the wider management and organisational changes required for the future. It has been suggested that a workshop should be held as part of the study process, where the views and ideas of chief librarians can be explored. The workshop would then be followed up with further investigative work. A final report would be produced.
The study should address the following areas:
Some of the issues that the study should cover include:
Institutional issues: management and organisation
Strategic issues - information strategies, encompassing communication, teaching and learning issues
Institutional issues: personnel matters
Institutional issues: end users
The total cost of the study is expected to be under 7,000 pounds (including VAT if applicable).
Proposals will be evaluated by referees. The following criteria will be used for evaluation purposes:
The final report will be published in conjunction with eLib. Reports should be delivered in an appropriate electronic format, to be agreed with UKOLN. Proposers should be prepared to assign publication rights (including electronic) for the study to JISC, or its nominee.
Proposals should be submitted by midday on Friday 13 November 1998. Four hard copies of the proposal should be sent to Sally Criddle at UKOLN.
The draft report will be required by 31 May 1999.
Queries should be directed to Sally Criddle at UKOLN.
Information about eLib supporting studies is available at <URL: http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/dlis/models/studies/>