Welcome to Kuopio-5!

Already many libraries globally have decided, or had decided for them, to reduce their print collections in favour of more space for their users. This re-allocation of space has not been a bad thing but the consequences of the loss of print are yet to be determined or fully understood. Fundamental amongst these is diminution of the role of libraries as a free source for information for their communities.

The Lyon Declaration [1] on Access to Information and Development prepared for the years 2016 – 2030 by IFLA states in part:

We…. believe that increasing access to information and knowledge across society, assisted by the availability of information and communications technologies (ICTs), supports sustainable development and improves people’s lives.

Libraries are developing new relationships to content and the delivery of that content. They have to re-subscribe to the digital copies of the print titles which they had previously held on open shelves. They are having to re-pay for these digital copies year after year, after year. The rise and the rise of Open Access in the form of Institutional Repositories has created a new approach where content can be made available across new digital media. How these tensions play out between the print repositories, digital copies and Open Access work through to a sustainable future remains to be fully seen. Public funding, especially in this global economic climate, is far tighter seeking sustainable questions for solution. Effective use and delivery of resources is crucial.

This fundamental move to banish much print from libraries is having consequences that are far reaching fusing print and digital which is born in an IR or in a commercial enterprise. The role and bibliographic wealth of the Print Repositories internationally need to be fully explored.

This conference will offer a fertile field in which new ideas can be sown to achieve what Lyon declaration aims at. The form of the future environment will be moulded comprising all three creations of content, print, digital and OA. There will be Keynote speakers who understand the environment and are keen predictors of the future but there will be a very extensive opportunity for younger members of the profession to speak on and debate the future of this profession which they are inheriting. Thus the theme of the conference: What is the role of Information through our print repositories?

[1] This is the fifth of a series of Kuopio conferences exploring many different facets of the purpose and growth of repositories globally.

These conference papers are mostly available at http://www.varastokirjasto.fi/calendar-of-events/ and in the pages of Library Management.

[1] http://www.lyondeclaration.org/