Follett Report

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 (paragraph 268).
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 103).
Each institution should review whether it is investing an appropriate proportion of its library budget in the development of short loan collections (paragraph 175).

Performance Indicators

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 (paragraph 110).
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 115).

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 166-168).
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 (paragraph 184).

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 (paragraph 218).
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).

Information Technology


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 proposal(paragraph 261).
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).

Navigational Tools

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 (paragraph 277).
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 (paragraph 279).
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 (paragraph 299).
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 301).
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 320).
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 (paragraph 318).

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