Number 9

Issues in English Number 9

Supporting English Studies? Reflections on the Changing Academic Library, by Tom Lockwood, Oliver Pickering and James Fitzmaurice, edited by Oliver Pickering

As in all other areas of life concerned with information handling, academic libraries are changing rapidly, and not everybody likes it. Research activity and student learning are equally affected. In the services and resources they currently offer, are libraries providing appropriate support for university English studies?

This booklet arose out of a concern expressed by the HE committee of the English Association that this support may indeed be less good than it once was, for a variety of reasons. Libraries have changed their style, librarians have changed their ways, information comes in new forms. Is too much being lost, or are libraries in some respects failing to anticipate new developments? Generalization is difficult, as the perception of worse or better service depends not only on the individual need or on the starting point (or on the level of funding, or degree of reorganization), but on the optimism or pessimism of the observer. Libraries, after all, have always varied greatly.

 

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