Library and Information Commission Prospects: a strategy for action

Library and Information Research, Development and Innovation in the United Kingdom - Proposals for consultation

Library and Information Commission Research Committee, November 1997

[3] The players

In developing this strategy, particular attention has been paid to the varying concerns of the players or stakeholders in the research process. Future consultation will also take these into account.

People who use information services

The people who will ultimately benefit from research are individual users and potential users of information services, in a public, commercial or private capacity.

People who manage library and information services

The prime users and potential users of research are the practitioners who make decisions about policy and management of library and information services. We also include organisations for which information represents an economic value, such as commercial information publishers and information service providers, and the information industry at large. Finally we include those commercial interests and industries which might not consider themselves as being within the information industry, and are increasingly being recognised as knowledge-based organisations.

Research commissioning bodies and other policy makers

Organisations which commission and fund research are key players whose attention we wish to engage, and whose collaboration we seek, to endorse and implement this strategy. These include bodies which make or contribute to policy decisions relating directly and indirectly to library and information services.
Significant "players" with whom the Library and Information Commission already has strong relationships include the British Library Research and Innovation Centre (the major locus of library and information research in the UK over the last 25 years), the Higher Education Funding Councils Joint Information Systems Committee (responsible for eLib and other programmes), the European Commission Directorate General (DG) XIII and other relevant Directorates..
There are many other bodies which already fund and commission research which in turn contributes to library and information services. These include central government, national and regional organisations, local government and public services departments, industry and trade bodies, and private, commercial and voluntary sector bodies. Of particular importance are the Research Councils of which the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council and the British Academy Humanities Research Board have increasing significance for library and information services research.


A substantial proportion of research activity in the field takes place in specialist departments for information and library management in the higher education sector. This incorporates research effort at both doctoral and masters degree levels. Other important players include research institutions, commercial research companies, consultants, and library and information professionals conducting research on behalf of their organisation or in pursuit of professional development.


Although independent, the Library and Information Commission derives its remit from Government and its most important role is to provide a single coherent voice on behalf of the library and information services community in advising government on policy and legislation. This strategy proposes a framework for future progress, both to advise government and to act as a catalyst for change in the library and information community itself, using research, development and innovation as its basis.

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