Lynne Brindley, the outgoing CEO of the British Library, addressed an audience of editors, authors and other interested parties at a SAGE reception held at the Reform Club on 26th April. Her speech reflected on the changing roles of publishers and academic and research librarians – and the relationships between them.
A book or journal can now be created and accessed digitally and content is being liberated from physical space. Meanwhile, as the debate surrounding access continues, intellectual property law has still to catch up.
Academic libraries also have to reassess and articulate their value to their customers and fight for research funding. The debate around open access continues. Data heavy research is not just the new normal in STM – other disciplines including the humanities are joining in too. Lynne urged libraries “to articulate what role they might play in this field and publishers not to lock down possibilities for data and text mining in a too defensive a stance.”
The generation and dissemination of new knowledge is a critical activity and the different stakeholders must work together ensure success. Despite dramatic changes in the wider information landscape, Lynne believes that shared values endure. She called on all interested parties to focus on what they have in common and work together to reach creative solutions and design new business models.