• Changing Norms

    Rossella Black (see profile)
    CityLIS, Library & Information Science
    Library science, Information science
    Item Type:
    City University London
    Library and information science
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    Libraries' current uncertainty about their prime purpose is probably due to insecurity and to the fact that skills of Librarians and Archivists have been changing for a while. Data mining has brought a new age and has had a tsunami wave effect on storage of materials and on weeding of unwanted information. Predictions are always dangerous but the issue of digital abundance means that we are likely to need librarians and archivists more than ever. In the meantime, librarians themselves hold contradictory views about their role, as they go about their daily tasks, often in buildings which are one hundred years out of date, with inadequate staff and never enough money. The main purpose of this study is to define what a collection is nowadays, what it is meant to be and where it will be five or ten years from now. The study is based on research I have carried out in the past year, in some specialist collections and it is driven by an interest in the ideals of the library service and a frustration at its current state. Using a combination of conclusions from personal interviews with professionals and examples of current academic practice, the research tries to outline the benefits of cooperation, the need for standards and where we should be providing access, licensed or unlicensed to the unique materials stored in special collections. The rest of the research elaborates on the scope for future development of such institutions in the light of funding cuts, impact of digitization and conservation issues and for their potential as participants in the cultural sector. The early part of the study is a statement of the current collecting policies of specialist collections in the UK (with one or two overseas examples), together with their application in various areas of collection building. The latter part tries to find common ground among specialist collections and examines their thoughts and plans for the future.
    Last Updated:
    6 years ago
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