BL RIC logo The Impact of Digital resources on British Library Reading Rooms

Title: The Impact of Digital Resources on British Library Reading Rooms
Editors:The Marc Fresko Consultancy

HTML Version of the report is available at

HTML Version of the report is available at


The objective of this study was to determine the likely impacts of digital resources on the future demand for British Library reading room seats in the Library’s new building at St Pancras. It examines the effects which Internet resources and CD-ROMs may have on demand for seating space in British Library Reading Rooms. Use of digital media both within the Library and outside were considered; and all kinds of content were included, notably monographs and serials.

The study finds that this is an area which has received little attention. For the most part, it is not possible to produce meaningful quantitative estimates. Qualitatively, some factors will tend to increase demand (digital catalogues, Internet access in Reading Rooms, access to CD-ROMs) while others will decrease demand (remote access to digital resources, whether digitised by the British Library or not). The study produces a model which categorises the different kinds and uses of digital resources, and which allows for more detailed analysis.

This report records the work done during this study and the conclusions reached; and brings together data from the study which may be useful in future work.

The study was conducted in 1996, by means of interviews and desk research.

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