Re-inventing the research library- infrastructure skills and advocacy - New trends in eHumanities

Susan Reilly, Royal Dutch Library (KB), LIBER


February 13, 2014

Re-inventing the research library: infrastructure, skills and advocacy

LIBER, the association of European Research Libraries, is a pan-European organisation with over 400 members. It’s mission is to create an information infrastructure to enable research in LIBER institutions to be world class. Realising such an infrastructure is a complex task requiring a balanced approach to the development of technical infrastructure, defining of new roles and skills, and a programme of advocacy to effect the policy change needed to underpin such an infrastructure. It also requires consultation and cooperation with the stakeholders, such as researchers and infrastructure providers, that form the collaborative data infrastructure.

This session will outline some of the work LIBER has undertaken in these areas.


In particular it will explore the progress that LIBER has made in supporting the development of open access policies and support services. Through the MedOANet project, which produced guidelines for the coordination of open access policies, we have learned  that, even across the South of Europe, open access policies and practices are at a varying degrees of maturity. The Pasteur4OA project will address the challenge of promoting open access policy alignment at EU level. Complementing this policy work is FOSTER, which will focus on developing open access skills amongst researchers and libraries. The success of both initiatives will be highly dependent on community involvement.


The ability to provide innovation ways for researchers to access and exploit content is also key to realising the LIBER mission. LIBER libraries are working together to develop Europeana Cloud; a cloud infrastructure which could potentially provide researchers to opportunity to develop their own tools on top of Europe’s cultural heritage data.


Lastly, a policy area that impacts the ability of the library to provide an effective information infrastructure to researchers, is copyright. This session will close with the narrative of how and why LIBER found itself at the centre of the text and data mining policy debate in Europe and a discussion on the way forward in terms of advocating for change in the copyright framework to facilitate digital innovation in research.



*Susan Reilly is the EU Projects Manager at LIBER. Susan works across a range of European projects related to open access, digitisation, digital preservation and research data management. She also represents LIBER on policy issues at EU level and is involved with several international initiatives such as the COAR interoperability advisory board and the Joint Competencies Task Force with ARL, EIFL, CARL and COAR.