chapter
4 Pages

Introduction

ByToby Burrows

British university libraries have begun to face major financial, technological, and organizational challenges. Cuts in funding, the spread of new technology, and changes to the provision of university education as a whole are combining to alter fundamentally the circumstances in which university libraries operate. As a result, the services they provide are being re-examined, from a need to manage with fewer resources as well as from a desire to improve the range and quality of services. The relative priority of collection-building compared with providing access to external resources is also being reconsidered. Automation, with its new possibilities and new requirements, is rapidly affecting all aspects of library activities. The way in which libraries are organized, especially in relation to financial management and administrative structures, is also being critically examined. As a result British university libraries in future decades will be very different from what they were in the recent past.