This book starts from the premise that the last decade has brought more changes for the academic research library than any ever previously known. The book provides an authoritative overview and analysis of the issues and challenges affecting academic research libraries from the closing years of the 20th century onwards. While the focus on this period of white water change is primarily British, with a number of case studies based on the transformative initiatives of the UKs Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and its seminal Electronic Libraries Programme (eLib), as well as on the Bodleian Libraries far-reaching responses to the complex demands of the digital age, the issues themselves are presented in their global context, with implications drawn for research libraries everywhere.
Dr Reg Carr has spent the whole of his 36-year professional career in academic libraries. He has spent over 30 of those years in the UKs four largest university research libraries, and has occupied a position of leadership in the academic research library world for more than two decades. He became Director of University Library Services and Bodleys Librarian in the University of Oxford in 1997, prior to which he was University Librarian and Dean of Information Strategy in the University of Leeds from 1986. He was Chairman of SCONUL and Secretary of CURL during the 1990s, and from 1998 to 2005 he was a member of JISC and Chairman of the JISC sub-committee responsible for overseeing both the influential eLib programme and the development of the Distributed National Electronic Resource. He was on the Board of the international Research Libraries Group from 1997 to 2003, and served for four of those years as the consortiums first non-North American Chairman. In 2000, he was appointed as an external member of the Board of Overseers Visiting Committee for the Harvard University Library, and from 2001 to 2005 he was Vice-Chairman of the Digital Preservation Coalition, which he helped to found. In his ten years at Oxford, he has presided over the most radical programme of change in the long history of the universitys libraries.