UNIVARSITY.ORG | RLUK17 Keynote | A Research Library Commons? – John MacColl, University of St Andrews
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13 Dec RLUK17 Keynote | A Research Library Commons? – John MacColl, University of St Andrews



A Research Library Commons?

We speak today of ‘the commons’, a word which derives from the English legal definition for ‘common land’ – a place to which all have equal and free access. Libraries instinctively seek to convert privately held content into a common resource: that is in fact what a library is for its users. We yearn to provide a common store of collections via open access initiatives, by preserving the long-tail of publications that constitute the ‘scholarly record’, and in many other ways. Increasingly, our commons is a conscious collaboration, and an international endeavour. What are its features, and how do we sustain it?

John MacColl has been University Librarian & Director of Library Services at the University of St Andrews since February 2011. He holds an MA from the University of St Andrews, an MEd from the University of Aberdeen, and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2014.

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RLUK is a consortium of 37 of the major research libraries in the UK and Ireland, whose purpose is to shape the research library agenda and contribute to the wider knowledge economy through innovative projects and services that add value and impact to the process of research and researcher-training.

The RLUK Conference is an annual event, bringing together Directors, Senior Library Managers and key thought leaders from across the national and international HE and research sectors.

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