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Annual Report 2006/07: Introduction

Introduction from the Director of Library Services Dr Paul Ayris

Paul Ayris Director of UCL Library Services, Paul Ayris

2006-07 has proved to be a notable year in the implementation of the Library's 5-year Strategy (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/Library/libstrat.shtml). Electronic delivery and the complete overhaul of UCL's physical library estate are key deliverables in this Strategy and both are areas where achievements can be reported.

Substantial progress has been made in achieving the first objective with over 40% of UCL's journal subscriptions now available to UCL users in electronic form only - a percentage which is set to increase in future years. The launch of UCL's Digital Collections service is also an important pointer to the future role of academic libraries. This service aims to makes accessible a range of UCL's academic and scholarly assets - from digitised copies of the Library's Special Collections to eprints in the UCL repository. Not only that, the service will also undertake the long-term digital curation of these assets - a vital service when the average life of a web page is around 30 days.

In terms of the physical library estate, UCL has established a Master Planning Team comprising library staff, academic colleagues, colleagues from UCL Estates and Facilities, and external architects from BDP (Building Design Partnership) to advise on what the library estate in the twenty-first century should look and feel like.

The Biomedical Administrative Review reported that all libraries in the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences should merge fully within UCL Library Services. We look forward to even closer working with colleagues in the former Postgraduate Institutes and welcome them into UCL Library Services.

I am always impressed by the significant number of projects for which the Library gains external funding. Project bidding has now become embedded into the Library's culture. One of the ways in which the Library uses such bidding rounds is to identify future development paths for modern library and information services. Our collaboration with UCL SLAIS, and the Library's work on an international Ex Libris E-Books Working Group, underlines for me that E-Books look set to follow E-Journals as a major medium for the delivery of content to researchers, teachers and learners in UCL.

On behalf of UCL, I would like to congratulate all library staff for another successful year with productive progress to report on many fronts. This progress, and the resulting changes in the nature of the Library's services, are reported below in the pages of this Annual Report, available electronically via the Library's website. It is a sign of the changing nature of library provision that no equivalent paper copy of this Annual Report is produced. Digital delivery now underpins much of what the Library does.

Paul Ayris
Director of UCL Library Services

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Last modified 22 February 2008

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