Libraries provide the vital materials and services that enable research across all disciplines to take place. From forming research ideas through to the dissemination of findings, the process of research would fail without a network of well-run libraries and their informed, expert staff. Libraries enable, participate in, and enhance every stage of the research process.
Libraries Provoke and Inspire. Scholarship is cumulative with new discoveries building on work done by others. Libraries provide access to this work, both published and unpublished, allowing researchers to ask what is known, how is it known, what is missing? Without answers to these questions it would be impossible to form new lines of research. The material within libraries, archives, galleries, and museums inspires the next generation of research questions to be asked.
Libraries Enable Research. The collections of libraries are the raw materials of research – manuscripts, letters, diaries, working papers, unpublished reports, theses, various editions and versions, oral histories, recordings and film, photographs, museum objects and art works, and research data. These are the resources that researchers consult and reference in their work. Without these collections – preserved, described, and made available by libraries, archives, museums and galleries – there would be no research.
Of equal importance are the spaces provided by libraries and the staff within them. Libraries create spaces – physical and digital – for ideas to be exchanged and tested, and these ideas are enhanced by engagement with expert library staff who bring their own knowledge and experience to the research process.
Libraries Connect. Libraries bring the world’s scholarship to the local scholar – they select, collect, and preserve materials to be used by researchers at the host institution. They facilitate the discovery and seamless, barrier-free reading of both print and online journal articles, books, and other resources.
Libraries Disseminate. Increasingly, libraries curate, preserve, and disseminate the institution’s research outputs (articles, monograph, theses, data and more) to a wider world. Through open access repositories and university presses they ensure that the intellectual wealth of the institution is shared for wider civic and public benefit.