Following the publication of the report, this blog will now remain as an archive of contents and discussion. For further information on the report and subsequent research studies, please visit the SAGE library research page here


Podcast summarising the findings now available!

Claire Creaser and Valérie Spezi, authors of the report, have now recorded a podcast summarising the main findings of the project report:

Presentation of final report

The authors, Claire Creaser and Valérie Spezi, were invited to present the final report of the Working together: evolving value of academic libraries project at Sage HQ in London on 14.08.12.  The slides for the presentation are available here

Opinion piece in the Guardian Higher Education Network

Followers of this study might be interested in this opinion piece published in the Guardian Higher Education Network on Monday 20th August 2012.

The final report

The final report from this project was released last month.

Findings from three geographic areas, the United States, United Kingdom and Scandinavia, indicated that there is no systematic evidence of the value of academic libraries for teaching and research staff. Despite this, librarians noted that they receive positive feedback about the support the library provides, but there is a perception that academic staff do not really know how to use all that the library can offer.

Read more about the findings, and download a copy here.

The response from the library community has been exceptional. We have had more than 16,000 visits to our blog, and many more people attend the presentations held on the report’s findings. We will continue to update this site with other output generated from this project, and hope that you will consider sharing your best practice and experiences on the site too.

Case study findings at a glance!

As we’re now in the process of analysing the qualitative data collected in the 8 case studies, we thought it would be interesting to create a word cloud for our readers to visualize the preliminary findings of our research.

Word clouds represent the frequencies of words appearing in a textual document. They generally give a good overview of the recurring topics in your qualitative data, thus they usually give a good indication of the main themes devloped in the document. It can also be used as a visual indicator of topics that may be worth exploring further.

As usual we welcome your thoughts on the main themes that have emerged in our word cloud!

Survey about the value of academic libraries to teaching and research staff

We need your input!

We have conducted 8 case studies in three regions – the UK, USA and Scandinavia – to uncover examples of good practice in relation to raising the profile and value of the library within the institution, and to teaching and research staff in particular. 

This survey is the final stage of the project, and aims to explore some of the case study findings in the wider academic library sector. We want to know whether our findings resonate with librarians’ experience at their institution.

To this end we invite you to complete this short survey (10 minutes) and share your views and experiences at your library. 

This survey is open to all higher education librarians. We particularly encourage academic liaison librarians, or individuals in a similar position, to complete the survey.  Please feel free to distribute this survey to colleagues at your library.

Please follow this link  to take part.

 The survey will remain open until 16th May 2012.

 For any questions please contact us at

Thank you.


Embedded information skills training

We have found UK librarians providing library skills teaching not as a stand alone session, but embedded into academic modules, designed in conjunction with the teaching staff. These sessions run at all levels from 1st year undergraduate to doctoral level. For undergraduates, academics/faculty from the subject department provide the 1st hour of the lecture and the librarian provides the 2nd hour, so that sessions are ‘very joined up.’ Following success in one department, there is now demand for the programme to be extended to others.

We want to know whether this is widespread, or could it be the start of a new trend? US libarians seem to teach more than in the UK – Let us know your views…

From our case studies…

We would like your views on some of the early findings from our case studies. To start with…

We have been told that  many academics/faculty have difficulty with the term ‘information literacy’ – they don’t understand it, or why they need it. In the past it has been interpreted as ‘how to use the catalogue’, or a ‘research thing’.  (UK)

What jargon-busting terms do you use to get your message across to research and teaching staff?

Initial summary of results published for UKSG 2012

See our Publications page for a new set of slides and summary produced to coincide with the UKSG 2012 conference.


‘Working together: evolving value for academic libraries’ is a six-month research project that will investigate the value of academic libraries for academic departments.

For more information

Please visit this site again soon for updates about the project, and to participate in the project blog.

For details of how you can get involved in the project, please visit our About the project and Contact pages.