Chapter 8 - Summary of Specific Recommendations
The Development of Information Strategies
- The way in which information can be stored, accessed, and
disseminated is changing fundamentally. In the light of these changes,
each institution should develop an information strategy setting out how
it proposes to meet the needs of those working within it, and the place
of the library in meeting those needs (paragraph 83).
- The funding councils should require a component dealing
specifically with library and related services within the overall
strategic planning information which they periodically seek from
institutions (paragraph 94).
- This component should be based on an institution's own information
strategy. This should aim to foster integration with other aspects of
the institution's work, and in particular the planning of its other
resources. It should incorporate the conclusions of the Review
recommended in paragraph 83, and cover organisational and managerial
issues cussed in chapter four (paragraph 94).
- This information strategy should be sufficiently widely drawn to
encompass the information systems strategy proposed by the JISC
- The senior person responsible for the information strategy should
take a leading role in the management of the institution (paragraph 94).
Spending on Libraries
- Funding council resources to provide for libraries in support of
teaching and learning should continue to be allocated through the block
grant (paragraph 151).
- Each institution should continue to be responsible for deciding the
level of spending it makes on its library services (paragraph 102).
- Each institution should, as a matter of high priority, review
overall spending and the balance between different elements in the light
of the library's strategic objectives, and other factors (paragraph
- Each institution should review whether it is investing an
appropriate proportion of its library budget in the development of short
loan collections (paragraph 175).
- Further development of a coherent and generic set of performance
indicators for libraries should take place in consultation between the
Joint Funding Councils' Indicators Working Group, and SCONUL and COPOL
- The Joint Funding Councils' Performance Indicators Working Group
should draw on the framework governing the production of performance
indicators set out in annex C of this Report (paragraph 116).
- Each institution should draw on the result of this work in making
use of performance indicators in its own internal management (paragraph
Staffing and Staff Management
- Each institution should review whether the balance of library
spending on staff and other elements is appropriate to its own
circumstances (paragraph 118).
- The report on staff management prepared for the Review Group by the
John Fielden Consultancy should be referred to the CVCP and SCOP, who
should be asked to consider whether and if so how its specific
recommendations might be implemented (paragraph 128).
- Each institution should ensure that there is effective coordination
between teaching staff and those responsible for the library and related
provision, and that clear mechanisms exist to implement and monitor this
coordination (paragraph 146).
- The CVCP's Purchasing Unit should investigate the scope for further
cooperative purchasing of library materials (paragraph 133).
- The CVCP should cooperate with the Association of American
Universities and others to find practical ways of influencing the
periodicals market in a manner which provides value for money for
purchasers and a fair return for publishers (paragraph 211).
Quality Assessment and Quality Audit
- Both the HEQC and the funding councils should take specific account
of the quality of library and related services in the audit and
assessment of teaching quality which they undertake (paragraph 189).
- .The effectiveness of liaison between teaching staff and libraries
should be taken into account in the periodic quality audits undertaken
by the HEQC, and in the assessments of teaching quality undertaken by
the funding councils (paragraph 147).
Space and Space Management
- Each institution should review the opening hours of its libraries,
with a view to assessing the advantages of longer opening hours and
implementing these where possible (paragraph 162).
- Institutions should consider the scope for high density storage
arrangements and the space savings this would allow (paragraph 164).
- The funding councils should mount a flexible but closely focused
development initiative concerned with library space and its management,
with a total cost of approximately 140 million over three years.
Institutions as a whole should be expected to find two thirds of this
sum, the remaining third (approximately 50 million) being provided by
the councils in the form of earmarked capital grants (paragraphs
- The funding councils should seek additional funds for this
programme but in any case it should command a high priority for whatever
capital resources they have available (paragraph 169).
Library Co-operation in Support of Teaching
- The funding councils should make available up to 500,000 over three
years in the form of pump-priming funds, as an incentive to promote the
development of co-operative arrangements between libraries, and to help
maximise the benefits and overall efficiency savings to be obtained
Library Provision and the needs of Researchers
- The principal library and information needs of research staff and
students should continue to be met largely from within the block grant;
and each institution should remain responsible for allocating internally
- The funding councils should invite bids from institutions for
recurrent non-formula funding to support specialised research
collections which are widely used by researchers in the humanities, but
whose provision, maintenance, and enhancement gives rise to significant
additional costs which cannot reasonably be met from resources provided
through the block grant. Up to 10 million a year in total should be made
available. Provision of such funds would be on the basis of service
level agreements, and in return for free access to all bona fide
researchers from within the UK (paragraph 228).
- Recurrent non-formula funding to the universities of Oxford and
Cambridge by the HEFCE to support their legal deposit libraries should
continue at its present level, conditional on those institutions
providing access to all bona fide research staff and ts from within the
UK without additional cost, and to the development of service level
agreements governing this access (paragraphs 230-231).
- The development of a national and regional strategy governing
library provision for researchers across all subjects should be
developed by the funding councils in consultation at the highest level
with the CVCP, SCOP, the Research Councils, the British Academy, the
British Library and the national libraries of Scotland and Wales, nd the
new Libraries Commission; and detailed proposals should be brought
forward within a year (paragraphs 234-235).
- The funding councils should sponsor a pilot initiative between a
small number of institutions and a similar number of publishing houses
to demonstrate in practical terms how material can be handled, stored,
and distributed electronically while protecting the legitimate copyright
interests of publishers and authors (paragraph 257).
- Each institution should review its local area network as part of
its overall information strategy, to ensure it is of a standard where it
can make full use of the facilities offered by JANET and its successors.
To encourage this, the funding councils, through the JISC, should
support a study to assess the cost to institutions of implementing this
- DENI should also give early consideration to the extension of
SuperJANET to n Ireland (paragraph 261).
- The funding councils (through the JISC) and DENI should collaborate
in securing access, at the most advantageous tariffs, to advanced data
and telecommunication networks (including SuperJANET and Internet) for
the HE sector as a whole (paragraph 262).
- The funding councils should provide 1 million over two years
through the JISC to encourage the development of networking navigation
tools in the UK and the growth of local subject based tools and
information servers (paragraph 265).
- The JISC should monitor the development of standards and make
available financial support if this is necessary to take forward
developments of benefit to the UK (paragraph 271).
Electronic Documents, Journals and Books
- 1 million a year over three years should be provided by the
councils to fund a number of electronic document delivery projects
- The funding councils should make available 0.5 million over three
years to support projects to demonstrate the value of digitising books
and journals out of copyright. Depending on the outcome, a further 0.5
million should be made available to distribute the digitised products
- The councils should provide 2 million over three years to support a
series of projects to elevate the status and acceptability of electronic
journals and to prepare the way for multi-media electronic journals
which will fully utilise the potential of SuperJANET (paragraph 288).
- The funding councils should make clear that refereed articles
published electronically will be accepted in the next Research
Assessment Exercise on the same basis as those appearing in printed
journals (paragraph 289).
- 1 million per year for three years should be made available by the
funding councils to promote the creation of digitised texts that can be
customised to individual requirements. This would involve demonstrator
projects mounted at one or more host universities, and a system to
support copyright permissions and payments (paragraph 294).
Databases, Datasets, and Catalogues
- The councils should provide funding in 1994-95 to enable the JISC
to undertake a feasibility study of the British Academy's recent
proposal that an Arts and Humanities datacentre should be established
- The funding councils should provide 0.5 million a year over three
years through the JISC to fund the continued development of the CURL
database, its conversion to an Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) and
its operation as a national public access catalogue service (paragraph
- The funding councils should commission a study from UKOLN to
establish whether a national retrospective catalogue conversion
programme is justified and to explore the ications of much wider access
both to records and to actual collections so converted. This study
should be monitored by a group of representatives from the academic
community (paragraphs 303-4).
- Demonstrator projects to illustrate the advantages of integrated
bibliographic databases should be funded by the JISC (paragraph 144).
Awareness and Training
- A national networked training programme for librarians and
information scientists working in academic libraries should be
established by the councils with funding of 1 million a year over three
years (paragraph 308).
Library Management Systems
- The councils should ask the JISC to fund a study to explore the
development of a Management Information System specification, and to
encourage strategic thinking about the integration of the library into
the overall information management of an institution (paragraphs 319 and
- Any further developments in teaching and learning methods based on
the CTI or TLTP programmes should give explicit attention to the
interaction between IT based learning materials and the library