Library services and policies are guided by a central Library council and a number of Library committees to reflect the interests of the Executive Board, students and Sciences Groups.
In the current centralised library organisation we have to find an optimum between the interests of the different science groups and the assignment by the Executive Board to develop and maintain a central and highly efficient infrastructure.
The costs for the maintenance of the library knowledge infrastructure are accounted and justified based on a yearly calculation in which collection costs per subject, number of employees/students and publishing and citation behaviour are key elements. The way in which costs for the knowledge infrastructure are justified and accounted is also expressed in the organisation of the services evaluation and guidance. The Library council gives guidance to the policies relating to the basic infrastructure, which is the part financed by the Executive Board. For specific matters a special Students Library Committee supports the Library council. The Library committees of the science groups mainly influence the variable part of the infrastructure, which is the part financed by the science groups. Although there is a strong link between guidance and financing, we expect that the different customer representatives do not occupy themselves only with finance matters. Specially in a highly centralised library organisation there is strong need of feedback concerning the quality of the collection and information consulting services offered.
Wageningen UR Library strives towards optimal use and accessibility of her systems and collections via a shared service model:
- Necessary content is purchased and licensed in packages centrally via long lasting contracts with the most important publishers. This means that we can offer access to huge information collections compared to a decentralised licensing model, but that detailed guidance is hardly possible.
- Qualitative and physical disclosure of information takes place via centralised information systems. The Wageningen UR Digital Library is a high quality, partially personalised way to access all our products and services which can only exist on the basis of a centralised content management system.
- Innovations in the area of information retrieval and transfer are done at central level via a project approach.
The centralisation policy initiated by the Executive Board and executed by Wageningen UR Library leads to economies of scale to the profit of all user groups. But these are only possible if we can reach sufficient volume and bargaining power and a centralised systems maintenance and development organisation. Hence giving guidance to our policy is a highly centralised matter.
Guidance on Sciences Group level: The Library Council
The Executive Board and the Library council give guidance to the basic knowledge infrastructure, which exceeds the science group level. This part of the infrastructure consists of:
- The collection of journals, databases, reports and other documents
- Systems and expertise to give access to this collection; the virtual library and the content management system
- Systems and expertise to collect and dispose the scientific output of Wageningen UR (Institutional Repository)
- Expertise supporting optimal use of products and services; instructions, manuals, courses in information literacy
- Innovation in products and services.
Included in the basic infrastructure are the products and services derived form our nationwide responsibility in the agricultural sciences, such as: the central agriculture catalogue, special collections, our role as a public library, study facilities and interlibrary loans.
Omitting services from the basic infrastructure always has consequences for all of our customer groups, hence guidance and evaluation is a central responsibility.
Guidance on Sciences Group level: Library committee and interest groups
On the level of the sciences groups guidance and evaluation concerns the variable knowledge infrastructure. This part of the infrastructure is unique for every customer group and consists of:
- The part of the collection which is explicitly purchased for a customer group and separately financed by them
- Access to the virtual library
- Maintenance and servicing of a local library including local branches outside Wageningen
- Exclusively requested systems and information management applications.
The Sciences Groups Library Committees all have there representatives in the Library Council.
Based on the further development of management tools including the Service Level Agreements, the Library strives towards detailed differentiation of guidance instruments. However, we do not expect that the development of instruments for measuring personal use, meaning the possibility to attribute costs per use, will take place in a very short term.