Flexibility in higher education hybrid libraries : exploring the implications and producing a model of practice

2008-03-03T10:11:13Z (GMT) by Graham Walton Catherine Edwards
Reports on a literature review of the issues surrounding the call for librarians to have greater flexibility in the skills they acquire and in the services they offer. Illustrates these issues with particular reference to the UK Electronic Libraries Programme (eLib) Phase 3 (specifically the HyLiFe project (HYbrid LIbrary of the FuturE)) where flexibility was found to be central. Includes an analysis of the data on flexibility generated by practitioners who attended HyLiFe regional dissemination workshops in 2000 and the application of this data to produce a model which provides insight into the implications of flexibility for higher education libraries. The model is based on two axes, one (vertical) indicating speed of change from low to high and one (horizontal) indicating the level of flexibility in library and information services (LIS) from low to high. The model also identifies four core areas of learning for hybrid LIS providers, and there is a correlation between the speed of change and the demonstrable level of flexibility needed. Concludes that, as the pace and intensity of change accelerates, LIS structures and staff will have to show greater flexibility to serve a user population demanding flexibility.