The costs (average UK research university) One production server One test server Technical support (0.5 FTE) Metadata creation (0.25 FTE) Advocacy and liaison (1 FTE) Management (0.5 FTE) Digital preservation (assessment, metadata & storage)
Out-sourced: the pros Can be cheaper overall Market is becoming competitive Reduces risk More easily ‘sold’ to fund-holders May be only possibility for smaller institutions
Out-sourced: the cons Loss of control New area of activity – far from stable Fluidity of environment argues for in-house control meantime if possible Marketplace is immature: difficult to compare vendors What assurances of institutional ownership and preservation of assets? Effect upon reaction time
How to find the costs? See them as partly substitutional, not wholly additional Reprofile the budget to put digital content at the centre Obtain grant funding for start-up Apply to parent university for funding (create demand first of all, through ‘doorstepping’) Do the research on hidden costs (e.g. how much does the status quo cost – distributed and unmanaged provision?) What is the cost of the risk (actuarial calculation)?
Institutional Library The introverted library (pre-web) (British Library)
The collaborative library (British Library) UKPMC arXiv Digital libraries (collaborative collections) datasets Certificated archives Institutional Library IR
“The roof is on fire”: is this the end of libraries?
The roof is on fire “Within the existing system, libraries are trying hard to optimize the output of a system with far from optimal input” “It has become increasingly difficult for libraries to fulfil their fundamental role of safeguarding equity of access” “In the PDF version of the information chain, libraries are aggregating the aggregators.That is a lot of aggregating for a digital world.” “At the core of the problems that libraries are facing is the total dependency on information held upstream in the information chain” “As such, there are numerous incentives for libraries: – to rethink themselves – to be pro-active in exploring alternative mechanisms for scholarly communication”
Libraries: the good news Libraries are close to authors: – a great position to obtain institutional material – a great position to archive institutional material Libraries are fast at embracing new technologies Libraries have very knowledgeable people Libraries provide a level of redundancy in services that is no longer required in a digital environment The Library as an institution that safeguards equity of access has global representation
Libraries: the bad news As organizations libraries are slow movers, hosted by slowly moving institutions Libraries are slow to recognize the fact that a new technology may allow (or beg) for a new mode of operation The information world runs on Internet time
“Effective collaboration is extraordinarily difficult for many reasons … Cooperation does not for the most part put a collection or library on the map … We must be honest. In the same way that a scholar, a scientist, can publish a series of articles in high impact journals and receive tenure for those publications, even though no one ever reads them—a librarian can write and speak about cooperation and receive all manner of credits and rewards, even though no cooperation ever results. Why? Because writing and speaking about cooperation are viewed as forms of leadership, while the act of cooperating is not. That is why there is so much discussion of cooperation, and so little of it.” Ross Atkinson
“How then could such cooperation be brought about? … such cooperation can only be accomplished by research library collection development coalescing and operating as a group. And that will entail, to my mind, nothing less than a transvaluation or revaluation of some (not all) values, such that it comes to be understood … that, under certain circumstances in collection development, the highest form of leadership or distinction is to relinquish some leadership, to relinquish some distinctiveness. It will entail the creation of a culture in collection development of collective leadership to displace in certain situations the individual or institutional leadership that so characterizes research library culture at the present time.” Ross Atkinson
But who will fund the collaborative (‘network-level’) Library?