Academic journal article Alexandria

Editorial

Academic journal article Alexandria

Editorial

Article excerpt

Indian National Bibliography It is now a year since the financial crisis of 2008 enveloped many of the countries of the world. It is not surprising that the resulting financial constraints are being felt by libraries worldwide. National libraries have sometimes complained that they are especially vulnerable to funding cuts since they have no focused constituency of users, such as university libraries enjoy, willing and able to argue on behalf of 'their own' institution. Added to the challenges of continuing technological change, growing user expectations and 'competition' in the form of alternative information resources, such as Wikipedia and Google Books, financial cuts will be forcing hard choices on libraries as it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain traditional services and take on demanding new responsibilities - electronic legal deposit being an obvious example - with diminishing funds.

Against this background, the response of the world's national libraries will be intriguing. Ten years ago, at the invitation of Maurice Line, then editor of Alexandria, a number of national librarians contributed their thoughts on 'The next ten years in national libraries'. In forthcoming issues we will be revisiting this idea as current national librarians, largely from the same institutions, share their ideas on the next ten year period. In Line's summary of the original exercise, he noted a basic similarity in national librarians' hopes and expectations for the future. Financial anxieties were certainly expressed. The 'overwhelming preoccupation', however, was with the advance of Information and Communications Technology, notably as it related to new forms of publication and their selection, acquisition and preservation. …

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