Based on a paper given at the UKSG seminar 'The radical library: taking up the challenge', London, 13 November 2003
The role of the library has been criticized in the past. Some doubt that the library will survive, at least in the physical form. Online access has hugely increased journal usage, helped by new pricing models, but there are still unnecessary overheads in the system. Publishers have invested in change and made radical cost savings. Will libraries also make cuts in overheads as they take on new responsibilities? Overall, the UK performs well in research and it could do better through publishers and librarians working together, and persuading faculty to understand the benefits of online-only.