Based on a paper presented at the 27th UKSG Conference, Manchester, March 2004
The changing demands on research libraries over the last thirty years have resulted in a huge shift in how they are designed, managed and funded. The future promises at least as much change, as we come to grips with new challenges, such as those presented by e-science, resourcing models and the need for entrepreneurial skills among library directors. The Library Service of the new University of Manchester comes into being on 1 October 2004. It will need innovative and effective structures to meet the immediate needs of the University community, whilst remaining sufficiently resilient and flexible to cope with a rapidly evolving external environment. This paper examines and balances the drivers for change, and concludes that the flexibility and initiative shown by librarians has added real value to what their universities have achieved.