The launch of a two year pilot of the Access to Research initiative, giving users in public libraries access to a wealth of research published in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings.
On 3rd February, Deptford Library played host to the launch of the Access To Research initiative.
Guest speaker at the event was the RT Hon David Willetts MP, Minister of Science and Universities, who introduced the scheme.
Janene Cox, President of Society of Chief Librarians, went on to describe the challenges facing public libraries in the UK, and why the new initiative would help to improve footfall.
The initiative was led and implemented by the Publishers Licensing Society (PLS). Sarah Faulder, Chief Executive of PLS, spoke about how the scheme would be promoted to increase its use.
As well as hearing about the scheme, we were also able to have a preview of the technology and how the site runs. The search delivery software, Summon, was provided by ProQuest. Phil Hall of ProQuest gave us a demo and explained how easy the site was to navigate.
After the demonstration, the floor was opened for questions. These included questions on how the success of the initiative would be measured, both quantitatively and qualitatively, as well as questions on the future of the scheme.
Access To Research is the start of a two year pilot to allow more people to access articles. It has the potential to revolutionize public libraries in the UK. However, there is already some skepticism being expressed towards the lack of remote access.
We wait with anticipation to see how the public responds to the initiative.