Wednesday, 7 October 2009

JISC Report: Library and IT services need to plan for the future

News release:

New research conducted by Ipsos MORI shows how academic library and IT services are budgeting for today’s economic conditions, but are in need of help to scenario plan for the long term impact of the recession.

‘The impact of the economic recession on university library and IT services’ report, commissioned by JISC, SCONUL and UCISA, contains the findings of 40 interviews carried out in 36 universities across the UK.

The research shows that library and IT services are adept at managing their budgets year on year, but acknowledges that there is a need to develop creative solutions to be able to offer the current 24 hour access to resources students, academics and researchers currently expect.

It also warns that the impact of any cuts is likely to have wide implications on institutions’ delivery of their overall strategic aims, such as enhancing the student experience.

“Identifying and addressing the current impacts of the recession is only part of the process. The greater challenges lie further ahead, five or more years from now, so more work is needed to scenario plan for the future if the knock-on effects are to be fully understood and mitigated to any extent.” said Charles Hutchings, market research manager at JISC.

JISC has invested and is continuing to invest a number of areas that will help to address these issues, for example:

JISC Collections continues to play a key role in supporting institutions to achieve the most cost-effective and consistent deals possible. Alongside this, Open Access models should help to mitigate the increased costs in journal subscriptions

Since 2006, JISC has been helping institutions to develop physical spaces that anticipate the pervasive use of technology in education and research

The JISC-led Strategic Content Alliance has produced a number of guides, toolkits and case studies on how to identify the way in which services and resources are used. As well as valued by appropriate audiences, to, among other things, inform long-term planning

The new Green ICT programme is helping universities and colleges estimate the carbon footprint left by their computers, to help target areas for energy saving

Read the full report and briefing paper

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