Hans Geleijnse
Libraries and Library Networks at a Crossroads

Changes in the use of library services, user expectations, external factors and the development of cloud based services will stimulate libraries to leave important traditional systems and services to trusted organizations and to benefit more from network cooperation.

All important library networks in Europe have extended or are extending their roles and are employing new activities. In some countries library networks are discussing with libraries a joint acquisition of a new generation of back-end systems and discovery systems. A few libraries and library networks have already made this decision and are now engaged in the implementation process. This development could reduce the (traditional) tasks of libraries and library networks and give more room for new activities, such as the development of high quality research infrastructures and the support role of libraries in e-learning.

In this context the recommendations of the Wissenschaftsrat and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft on the future of the library networks in Germany are very relevant and challenging, not only for Germany but also for libraries and networks in other European countries.

Bielefeld University Library - last update: 29/02/2012