New Report from RLUK “Re-skilling for Research” Looks at Changing Needs of Researchers and Effects on Libraries

Posted on February 1, 2012 by


Released today by RLUK (Research Libraries UK).

From the RLUK Web Site:

RLUK has published a major report by Mary Auckland on the changing needs of researchers and the effect on the subject/liaison role within libraries.

As research activities evolve, research support must evolve with them. RLUK has been keen to determine what the new requirements of researchers are, and how best these needs can be met by the library.  We want to place the needs of researchers in the context of the libraries current offering, and look at how we must change to fulfil the new demands placed upon us.

This report, Re-skilling for Research, takes us a long way to mapping these requirements. It looks in detail at researchers’ information needs and begins to outline the skills and knowledge that are required to meet those needs. The Report offers a comparison of different models of library support for researchers, with valuable comparisons of current job descriptions. Finally, issues around the training opportunities for subject librarians to acquire the additional skills and knowledge they will need to fulfill their new roles are explored.

Direct to Report (115 Pages; PDF)

From the Preface (by RLUK Exec. Director, David Prosser):

As research activities evolve, research support must evolve with it. There has been much debate within libraries as to what form this evolution will take -­‐ but little consensus in terms of the part to be played by the library in general, or the role of library staff members in particular. What discussions there have been have tended to focus on support and liaison librarians as the natural constituency to fulfill the new research requirements.

RLUK has been keen to determine what the new requirements of researchers are, and how best these needs can be met by the library. We want to place the needs of the researcher in the context of the library’s current offering, and look at how we must change to fulfill the new demands placed upon us.

This report, Re-­‐skilling for Research, takes us a long way to mapping these requirements. It looks in detail and begins to outline the skills and knowledge that are required to meet those needs (Section 3). Section 4 offers a comparison of different models of library support for researchers, with valuable comparisons of current job descriptions. Finally, the report explores issues around the training opportunities for subject librarians to acquire the additional skills and knowledge they will need to fulfill their new roles.

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