Towards the academic library of the future – expressions of interest by 8 July 09

We’re working in partnership with SCONUL, RIN, RLUK and the British Library on an initiative:

• to gather and analyse evidence about current and future trends that are likely to have an impact on the future of academic and research libraries in the UK; and
• to formulate strategic responses to help libraries respond creatively to key changes in the wider environment, so that they continue to develop and sustain effective levels and types of information services to support students and researchers in the HE and related sectors.

We’re currently seeking expressions of interest to lead and manage the activity which will use a variety of futures tools and techniques, such as horizon-scanning; trend and driver analysis; scenario analysis; attractiveness grids; and/or value chain analysis. Prospective consultants may wish to suggest other approaches. Whatever approaches are adopted, a key feature of the programme should be that seeks the active participation of as wide a range as possible of people in the library and information sectors, along with users and other stakeholders from across the higher education and research sectors, and their engagement in helping to
• identify, review and assess key trends and underlying drivers likely to affect scholarly libraries, and their use by students and researchers in the years ahead;
• formulate and test scenarios to assess current policies, processes and services, the likely impact of future developments, and the issues and choices facing decision-makers; and
• draft a series of authoritative papers setting out possible futures for library and information services in supporting institutional teaching, learning and research strategies, and the steps required if those futures are to be realised.

The success of the initiative will depend on securing contributions from people with a wide range of views and perspectives who are prepared to experiment with ideas, to challenge existing assumptions, to ask awkward questions, and to test possible impacts.

The contract let will be funded up to a level of £120,000 (exlcuding VAT) and will run from September 2009 to April 2011.

Expressing interest:
Expressions of interest should simply take the form of an email indicating a name and full contact details. Following the outcome of this call, the RIN will issue an ITT to those who have expressed an interest. A full project specification and tendering requirements will then be issued.

The deadline for expressions of interest is 8 July 2009.

Expressions of interest should be directed to Aaron Griffiths ( Please also contact Aaron is you have any questions relating to this work.

Further information.

JISC has recently taken forward a campaign to help raise some of the related issues.