RLUK Newsletter December 2013
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Dear colleagues

It's the time of year when we often think of the future and last week, I am fairly sure I had a preview! I had the privilege to represent RLUK at the launch of the new Janet6 network by Jisc at the British Film Museum. Two musicians from the Royal College of Music gave a sublime performance with a third in Edinburgh Napier University in real time via audio-visual streaming. See for yourself at It was a truly amazing feat of technology. 

It is also a time of year when we review the past year and I would like to thank all of you for your support for RLUK's activities and services. Thanks particularly to Board members for their time and energy. Also to David, Mike and Melanie for consistently moving us forward. 

Over the next few months the Board will be developing the new strategic plan for 2014-19. We hope to share with you the ideas generated from the Board's awayday (5-6 December). Our aim is to strengthen RLUK's role in realising distinctive library services delivering the highest possible value to both our institutions and the wider academic community. 

But in the meantime it gives me great pleasure in wishing you a joyful Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

With best wishes


Dr Stella Butler, University of Leeds
Chair of RLUK

Copac's Collections Management Tools (CCM) now open as a beta service to RLUK members

The Copac Collections Management Tools project is a prototype collection management support service, based on the Copac database. Initial feedback has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic and this has resulted in further rounds of funding, which will take the project through to July 2014.

The beta service utilises a variety of tools to support library staff in their collection management and development decisions, by using data visualisation techniques to geographically pinpoint the locations and quantities of unique or distinctive items.

We hope the CCM Tools projects brings us a step closer to building the foundations for a national approach to collections. The innovative re-use of the existing Copac database can help libraries to make informed decisions at a time of increasing financial constraints.

To find out how to start with the CCM Tools beta service contact

RLUK Members' Meeting in St Andrews

RLUK was warmly welcomed to beautiful St Andrews for November's Members' Meeting.

The University of St Andrews is celebrating its 600th anniversary this year and as part of the celebrations, RLUK delegates were able to enjoy three fascinating King James Library Lectures from Dr David Allan, John Sutherland and John Wilkin who journeyed from subscription libraries in Georgian Britain through to libraries in the digital age and the potential of open access publishing.

The main meeting kicked off with David Prosser, Phil Sykes (Liverpool) and Hugh Look (Jisc Collections) providing a collective overview of the current open access landscape. The afternoon session was titled, 'Maximising access to our collections in a digital world' and Christopher Pressler began the session by highlighting the key opportunities and challenges in coordinating a national digitisation review. Ben Showers discussed the progress of Jisc's National Monograph Strategy project, which has actively engaged the library community in exploring the potential for a national approach to the collection, preservation, supply and digitisation of scholarly monographs. To close the meeting, Constance Malpas (OCLC Research) talked about shared monographic collections, looking at examples from the US including the HathiTrust, and how they can maximise the value and uniqueness of collections.

We would like to thank John MacColl, Alice Crawford and Kaye Wemyss for their kind help with organising the meeting.

Click here to view the presentation slides from Ben Showers and Constance Malpas.

ADN Autumn Meeting

The Associate Directors’ Network met on 24 and 25 October in the splendid setting of the Royal Society in London, with 19 members of the network present. 

The first afternoon was devoted to the role of the library as publisher. First, we held a debate, at which the motion was “The library should take a lead in the institution by offering an in-house publishing option”. We voted on the motion both before and after the debate, and there was a slight move in support of the motion. We also heard a presentation from Stuart Lewis about the Open Journal System at Edinburgh.

Friday morning was spent looking at change and innovation. Simon Bains and Liz Waller presented case studies from Manchester and York respectively, and the following discussion showed that as well as common problems, there are solutions and examples of good practice which can be shared. After lunch, we heard reports from the strategic strands and spoke about their work.

Thanks are due to RLUK staff for supporting the organisation of the event. We meet again in March as part of the Members’ Meeting in York   

Richard Wake
University of Southampton

RLUK's Diary

RLUK Secretariat member visit to The Bodleian Library, Oxford

RLUK Secretariat member visit to University of Bristol


RLUK Secretariat meeting with The European Library, Amsterdam

RLUK Secretariat member visit to UCL

RLUK Secretariat member visit to the Wellcome Library

Dates for Your Diary


RLUK AGM & Members Meeting, University of York

RLUK Conference (Location TBC)

If you would like to submit an event for the diary in the next newsletter please e-mail Melanie Cheung
What's 'open' about open access? The vital role of copyright and licenses.

Watch David Prosser's keynote presentation from The 8th Munin Conference on Scholarly Publication.

RLUK Workforce Survey Findings

A recent survey for the Redefining the Research Library Model strand shows that "research support is a rapidly evolving area and the profession is responding accordingly to develop its offering". Read more...
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