This project is part of a wider discussion: how libraries/librarians demonstrate their value to their parent organisations. Being a nice thing or a good thing is no longer enough in times of spending cuts and “marketisation” of higher education: we need numbers, metrics, proof that we are relevant, communicated in the right way.
Like Special Collections services, subject specialist librarians in universities are under particular pressure now: their role could be seen as obsolete when so much can be found by students and staff just by googling. Actually they are needed more than ever: users need help in making sense of the huge and complex variety of information available online free or paid-for and in continuing print collections too.
All of which introduces a new report from RLUK, Re-skilling for Researchers by Mary Auckland, which maps the changing needs of researchers and the skills and knowledge librarians will need to support them. The report overlaps in many interesting ways with UDC and will be a useful source of evidence and ideas for our piece of work.