Publishers 'must work with academic libraries'

Publishers need to work more closely with academic libraries in developing countries, a report by Sage has concluded.

The academic publisher commissioned a six-month research study with institutions in 12 developing countries to explore how teaching and research staff valued their academic libraries and how their value could be better communicated.

Library Value in the Developing World concluded that greater collaboration between publishers and institutions in developing countries was needed to understand the ongoing needs of libraries and their work.

In particular, the study advises that publishers and librarians needed to work together to build awareness of existing routes to international journals and books for academics. Publishers could also think about adapting their websites to enable greater access for libraries in developing countries, the report said. "Part of this includes the adaptation of marketing and online resources to enable greater access," the report said.

Librarians told interviewers for the study that whilst they receive positive feedback, communicating the value of their role was challenging. To improve the situation, the report recommended that libraries should increase engagement with their staff, develop research partnerships and "reinvent" the librarian role beyond providing access to resources. Universities should also support their libraries by investing in the professional development of librarians, enabling them to have more contact time with research and teaching staff.