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


1. The Vision
The basis for the national research strategy is the Library and Information Commission's 2020 Vision - with the UK as a hub of the global information economy. The Vision's three core concepts are Connectivity, Content and Competences.
2. The Scope
The strategy provides a framework for collaboration between agencies in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, to position library and information research in the United Kingdom in a European and global context. The strategy takes a holistic, multi-sectoral approach to the information industry and to the field of library and information services and emphasises the need to transfer research findings, where appropriate, into practice.
The Players
The strategy aims to orientate library and information research towards outcomes which are dependent on the decisions made by people at different stages of the research process. In this section we identify the "players" affected by research activity :
4. The Research Programme
Five thematic areas provide a framework within which strategic research needs are grouped. The core themes, Connectivity, Content and Competences, which derive from the 2020 Vision, are linked with two themes which are fundamental within the programme: the impact and role of library and information services; and the economics of library and information services.
A three year rolling programme is proposed, to be reviewed annually.
5. Infrastructure
An action plan in five critical areas of the research infrastructure is also proposed, in order to support a more systematic approach to research and development. This will involve:
6. Roles
The primary role of the Library and Information Commission in relation to library and information services research is to provide strategic co-ordination and facilitation. The implementation of this strategy will depend for its success on close collaboration with the British Library Research and Innovation Centre (BLRIC), the British Association for Information and Library Education and Research (BAILER), and other agencies, some of which will transcend the library and information services field.
The implementation of the strategy will require additional funding, and the Library and Information Commission will take a proactive role in liaising with other funding agencies to increase the funding base for library and information research.
7. Consultation
These proposals have been developed by a process of extensive consultation within and beyond the library and information services community.
A Research Mapping Exercise and a Consultation Exercise involved various data gathering techniques and the findings demonstrated remarkable consensus regarding future priorities for library and information services research.
The consultation process continues, through the wide distribution of these proposals for comment. We wish to ensure that the research strategy is an organic, flexible and renewable framework for development of library and information services which meet the requirements of the 21st century.
We particularly seek your comments on:
The research programme and the infrastructure issues

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