Providing Effective Library Services for Research

Jul 2007 | 296pp

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Providing Effective Library Services for Research

Jo Webb, Pat Gannon-Leary and Moira Bent

The emphasis on principles and techniques in the book means that it is perfect reading for busy practitioners but it is also eminently suitable for students and researchers trying to get to grips with this tricky area.

Researchers rely on libraries to provide the information they need; equally, supporting research is a fundamental reason for libraries' existence. This book is first to explore the crucial relationship between libraries and researchers, focusing on developing and managing effective library services to support research and researchers. It covers researchers' information-seeking behaviour, their needs and wants; reviews the management and service response; and then places these issues into a wider strategic context.

Key topics are:

  • what is research?
  • current issues in the research community
  • defining research and researchers
  • collection management in support of research
  • the researcher's toolkit
  • the information literate researcher
  • the role of the library in supporting research activity
  • futurewatch. 

Readership: This book will inform and advise all those who work with researchers in libraries, combining practical advice with an exploration of fundamental issues relating to the relationship between research and libraries. It will be essential reading for all who work in academic and research libraries.

1. Supporting research and researchers: some perspectives

  • Introduction
  • Context
  • Let us tell you some stories…
  • How this book is organized  

2. Current challenges for libraries and research support

  • Introduction
  • Scholarly communication
  • The language of scholarship
  • Academic freedom, funding and research ethics
  • Copyright and plagiarism
  • Freedom of information
  • RLN, the British Library and national libraries
  • E-science
  • Conclusion

3. Defining research and researchers

  • Introduction
  • What is research?
  • History of the PhD
  • Training and skills of research students
  • The Roberts Review, the postdoctoral student and CRS
  • Research selectivity
  • Research and teaching
  • Third strand activities
  • Working away from the university
  • Research issues and what they mean for libraries
  • Conclusion

4. Collection management

  • Introduction
  • Researchers’ use of libraries and information
  • Reports, programmes and networks: the strategic background
  • Case studies in collection management
  • What is a collection?
  • Key components of a collection
  • Collection management in practice
  • Conclusion  

5. The researcher’s toolkit: resources

  • Introduction
  • Influences on resource use
  • Learning styles, habits and attitudes
  • Resources
  • Conclusion
  • Further reading  

6. Services to support research

  • Introduction
  • Keeping in touch with the research community
  • What does the research community want from the library?
  • Research support at Newcastle University
  • Services and support: some specific considerations
  • Conclusion

7. The information-literate researcher

  • Introduction
  • Starting to teach
  • Researchers’ training needs
  • Information literacy: key areas of knowledge
  • Motivation
  • Andragogy: a brief introduction
  • Training and development opportunities
  • Communities of practice
  • Conclusion  

8. Facing the future: key challenges

  • Introduction
  • The research information environment of the future
  • Competition and collaboration: research in universities
  • Scholarly communication, open access and intellectual property
  • The research library of the future: some themes
  • Conclusion  

9. Key principles for supporting research

  • Introduction
  • Laws, values and principles
  • Principles of library support for researchers
  • Conclusion  


Useful websites

"This book is more than just a guide to providing effective library services for research. It suceeds in setting up issues for debate while moving well beyond scholarly deliberation, bringing in voices and experiences of those working in the field today."
- Information World Review

"In fact, I enjoyed all the quotations which are liberally scattered throughout this book. One was left with the impression at the end - that this simply was a labour of love for all involved."
- MmIT

"Every profession needs to understand its clientele. Rarely does library literature do so as successfully as the authors of this unexpected little gem."
- Australian Library Journal

Jo Webb MA MLib MBA FHEA FRSA MCLIP is a National Teaching Fellow and Academic Services Manager at De Montfort University in Leicester.

Pat Gannon-Leary BA MA PhD is Research Associate, Learning and Teaching Support, at the University of Northumbria.

Moira Bent MA BSc PGDip FHEA FRSA MCLIP is a National Teaching Fellow and Science Faculty Liaison Librarian at the Robinson Library, Newcastle University.