For nearly 50 years LIBER has been the voice of Europe’s research libraries, working for the benefit of our institutions, their staff and researchers. Throughout the years, our Mission and Values have been a key part of who we are: driving our work on a daily basis and informing our long-term strategy.
Because of the critical way in which our Mission and Values shape our work, libraries are now asked to endorse our Mission and Values when they apply to become part of LIBER. This change was unanimously recommended by LIBER’s Executive Board at its February 2017 meeting, and approved at the Meeting of Participants in Patras in July 2017.
The endorsement states LIBER’s Mission — “To Enable World Class Research” — and LIBER’s Values of Collaboration and Inclusivity. It also includes the following six aims:
- High-quality services for all users of library and information services;
- Intellectual freedom and access to scholarship;
- Collaboration with campus, local, national, European and international partners;
- Stewardship of collections and institutional resources, in the most appropriate format;
- Leadership, innovation and a willingness to embrace opportunities for change;
- Inclusivity, equality of opportunity and fulfilment of potential.
The addition of this endorsement to the LIBER Application Form was sparked by recent changes within the European higher education sector. We have had more applications to join LIBER from university libraries which have not traditionally been viewed as ‘research libraries’ but which share a common agenda with LIBER on Open Science. This increase is due to a number of factors, but in particular:
- A significant increase in the number of educational institutions in Europe achieving university status;
- Higher education systems in European countries being reformed, with changes to the binary line between higher and further education, for example;
- Universities with formerly teaching-only remits now changing to introduce a research element;
- Country-specific rules governing which types of institutions may award research degrees.
LIBER’s Executive Board recommended responding to these changes within the European university sector by offering the opportunity to join LIBER to these university libraries. At the same time, the Board considered it very important to retain the focus, value and mission of LIBER as an association of research libraries.
Following approval at the 2017 Meeting of Participants, the text of the endorsement has now been added to the application form and libraries wishing to join LIBER will be asked to endorse this encapsulation of the aims and essence of LIBER.