While all public libraries have felt the frustration of working with publishers at one time or another, a new report from Sage on the importance of publishers working with strictly academic libraries revealed some of the interesting points behind that frustration.
The report, based on a six-month study and commissioned by an academic publisher, demonstrated that the areas hardest hit by any breakdowns between the publishers and academic or research libraries were those in developing countries where access to up-to-date materials and a wide variety of content can be limited by circumstances beyond the institutions’ control. According to the report based on Sage’s study, faculty members in these areas were asked to rate how high their reliance is upon their libraries, and they scored the libraries as vital.
One key area that the study targeted was in the use of and access to online information, especially in developing countries. This access may be easily taken for granted by academic library patrons, and therefore simply not a focus for publishers. Another major focus was for the role of librarian to garner more much-needed understanding or respect from library users, and respondents sought ways to communicate their effectiveness to the patrons.
Survey respondents cited the importance of university support for professional development and for fostering the relationships between publishers and academic staff as a means to grow their libraries.