The British Library, Research Paper Example
Words: 4306Research Paper
It is a tough economy right now, and institutions are facing decreases in budgets left and right, and the BRITISH LIBRARY is no different. The UK government that pays a large portion of the BRITISH LIBRARY’s budget has decided to decrease the British Library’s budget by 15% over next 4 years, and there are proposals by the UK government to cut even substantially more than that amount. This paper plans to show how the British Library offers value to the UK government, UK industry, and/or the UK public to argue that the British Library should not get further cuts, should not have a 15% cut over the next 4 years, and should not suffer any more worse substantial cuts that are being proposed on top of the already 15% cut. Mainly, this paper will make its point by demonstrating how the British Library offers (1) economic, (2) academic, and (3) cultural value/impact to the UK. Also, this paper will share HOW the decrease the British Library will experience to their budget will affect the UK such as in what ways the British Library will not be able to perform the same tasks they used to be able to do and what does the decline or loss of those tasks actually mean for the UK public.
The global crisis of finance is still threatening the welfare of citizens and their jobs, and as a result, their probabilities to access and utilize private and public facilities. In rigid fiscal times, people are mainly mindful of spending their tax money intelligently (Brindley, 2011). National libraries obtain state funds need to demonstrate how the money is utilized to profit both the communities and citizens in which they function. The present economic and political condition involves a strong demand to file the value of national libraries. In addition, national libraries are undergoing elementary transformations globally caused by essential adjustments of society, particularly the development of IT and digitizing, fragmenting of local communities and the development of multiculturalism and, not least, the constant monetary pressure on the public sector (Debono, 2002).
The crisis of finance has a weighty effect on all these matters and is escalating the pressure on the public economy radically. How national libraries encompass value and impact and in the multicultural and digitized communities are being investigated in modern research plus by area of qualified librarians. In these conditions, calculations of value and ROI – Return on Investment instruments can give dominant points of view for continued backing. On the whole, a snapshot of the value that the British provides will essentially look rearward, taking into consideration current facilities and resources (Throsby, 2001). Nevertheless, are there methods to compute value going forward? In a landscape, of information that transforms every day; a view of the future of the Library value might be a significant contemplation for budgetary planning and analysis.
Prior study has revealed that the British Library encompasses economic and social impact and takes part in a responsibility, in community development. The Library contributes to the economic growth by sustaining the school readiness and early literacy, by promoting personnel involvement by offering enrollment information and ICT abilities, by being a purchasing power in markets of publishing and by escalating local affluence through restoration of town centers (Brindley, 2011).
The British Library does have an impact effect on the community in which they work. They maintain local society and distinctiveness, support citizens whose key actions are outside the labor market, promote cultural diversity and enrichment, encourage a sense of societal solidity, grow confidence in people and societies, encourage creativity and imagination, health and welfare (Pung, Clarke and Patten, 2004).
The broad range of the impact of the British Library shows an elementary attribute of the Library, namely its involvedness. Contrary to other public establishments for instance, hospitals or schools that generate health care and educational facilities correspondingly, the British Library, provides a broad range of facilities directed towards extremely diverse fields of life – towards adults and children, local businesses, facilities to disabled or aged people, and the entire sector of education from play schools to universities. It as well provides a variety of facilities for relaxation time actions, individual development and improvement of personal and community abilities. Additionally, the British Library has impact and value by being a cultural and social place for meeting, a physical place, a place for studying and contemplation, and a public room.
Such a composite institution requires to be studied from a number of perspectives, and in establishing the value of the Library both its cultural, educational, informational, social and economic scope are of considerable significance.
Background Information on the British Library
The British Library was initially a division of the British Museum, and it occupied the popular circular British Museum Reading Room from mid 19th century (Pung, Clarke and Patten, 2004). It developed to be lawfully separate in 1973 and by 1997; it had relocated into its novel state of the art building. Currently, the British library is United Kingdom’s national library and the world’s biggest library on the basis of the entire number of materials. The library is a key library for research, holding more than 150 million materials from a lot of nations, in numerous languages and in a range of layouts, both digital and print: manuscripts, books, journals, magazines, videos, newspapers, sound and music recordings, patents, maps, play scripts, databases, prints, stamps, drawings (Pung, Clarke and Patten, 2004). The collections of the library comprise of book amounting close to 14 million, second just to the Library of Congress in the United States of America, along with a considerable holdings of chronological materials and manuscripts dating back to the extent of 2000.
Given that the British Library is a legal deposit, it obtains copies of all books published in the United Kingdom as well as in the republic of Ireland, and a considerable percentage of titles from overseas supplied in the United Kingdom. It as well encompasses a program for acquirement of content. The British Library puts in approximately three million materials each year taking up 6.0 mile, which is equivalent to 9.6 kilometers of novel shelf room.
The library is a public body that is non-departmental and is financed by the Culture, Media and Sport Department. It is situated in St. Pancras, London on the north side of Euston Road amid St Pancras railway station and Euston railway station and possesses a storage center for documents and a studying area at Boston Spa, Wetherby in West Yorkshire (Pung, Clarke and Patten, 2004).
The British Library takes an essential role in the existence of the country as a resource of the cultural heritage by running, preserving, and making sure access in time without end to the national published records and the national depository of sound of UK. The Library is a vital constituent of both the national infrastructure of research and the Base of UK Science, and it takes an equally noteworthy role in making sure of the UK research excellence. The British Library encloses an immeasurable collection of inspirational resources and expertise that hold up the innovative industries and, via the facilities of its Business & Centre of the Intellectual Property, the Library supports capitalists and Small Medium Enterprises in growing, protecting and the making use of their ideas (Pung, Clarke and Patten, 2004).
The British Library generates numerous images of materials in its archives available on the internet. Its online archive provides access to images that approximate to 30,000 from a number of medieval books, plus a small number of exhibition-style materials in a format that is proprietary, for example, the Gospel of Lindisfarne. This consists of the ability to turn the fundamental pages of a small number of documents, for instance, the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci. Record entries for a great number of the collections of illuminated manuscript are accessible online, with preferred page images or minutes from a rising number of them, and there is a significant database of book bindings (Pung, Clarke and Patten, 2004).
Economic Benefits to the UK
Politicians and taxpayers alike are more and more calling for declines in the extent of the public sector, of which libraries are an essential part. Restrictions on the budget have caused cutbacks in financing of public overhauls in particular at the metropolitan degree. National public libraries rival with other public overhauls for instance, public health and schools for their portion of scarce resources of funding and face augmenting demands to document their worth to society (Throsby, 2001). When national libraries promote and report their economic impact, they can obtain currency as significant participants in the development of the economy. An essential challenge for national libraries is to classify and quantify their economic gains to users of the library. As well, national libraries ought to make out and take partly acknowledgment for those social upshots for which quasi-market prices or market cannot be established. Consequently, evaluating the insights of the value of national libraries in the midst of the individual society members, particularly those members who can distinguish the benefits of economic development or benefits workforce development can assist establish the extent to which a library develops a community. The British Library is said to generate the value of approximately 4.4 times the degree of its public finances. To be precise, for each £ 1 of public finances the library acquires on an annual basis, £ 4.40 is created for the economy. If the library’s public funding were to stop, the United Kingdom would experience a loss of 280 million Euros annually. Of the 363 million Euros of value created by the Library annually 59 million Euros originates directly users of the overhauls provided and 304 million Euros originates from wider society (Throsby, 2001). Conversely, the essential part of the value of the British Library reflects subsistence and selection to employ value all regions of the UK. It as well reflects a broad range of positive effects that the library creates for community and that community is aware of.
The potential impact that the Library can have on the growth of the economy cannot be exaggerated. For each Euro invested brings an increase to the gross regional product and the wages of workers. In addition, for each 2500 Euros invested in the Library, one occupation is created, illustrating the increased significance of the Library during recession. The Library makes a fiscal contribution by simply being there. The wages and salaries of the work force and acquisitions the Library do increase activities in the economy (Throsby, 2001). Subsequent to a visit of the Library customers make use of other facilities like restaurants, coffee shops and banks thus causing all of these retail activities to augment.
Following a study carried out in the UK that was in relation to the economic effect on business when a UK library closed down on strike. The revenues at retail facilities close by declined with a percentage of 23. This is referred to as a halo effect. If the British Library was to shut down, this is what could happen or even worse. The British Library has a discernible impact on the economy for instance, in holding up local shopping centers those that are emerging (Howard, 2008). This demonstrates the relation amid visits to the local shops and the use of the Library. The Library as well is seen to support the infrastructure of local tourism as it draws a substantial number of tourists.
Educational and Academic Benefits to the UK-only
The environment of higher education is expansive; customer oriented. The partnerships involving the British Library and the sector of higher education in the manner of the United Kingdom Research Reserve provides to illustrate the incredible effect that partnerships can encompass (Howard, 2008). Not only has it reinforced the collection of the national research, it has as well made possible for libraries to convert room for utilization as learning and teaching spaces, areas of private study, cafes, shared spaces for working and is a demonstration to the success of the project. Considerable savings to estates of higher education costs imply that fundamental financial support can be employed in other essential areas.
A current research from Policy Exchange has recommended that shared overhauls could save the universities of United Kingdom to the extent of 30 percent on commodities and overhauls, however, only if there were a means around the prerequisite to settle VAT on operations that are shared or outsourced. Not just will there be economic implications, however, mutually advantageous projects amid institutions would generate improved overhauls to assist uphold the global position of United Kingdom’s higher education (Howard, 2008).
As finances to higher education libraries are reduced and institutions evaluate where finances can be employed to best effect, there is without doubt a position for the British Library and others to maintain the sector of higher education. In the environment of substantial change in technology and the medium term challenges of finance of today, researchers necessitate pioneering initiatives, for example, a projected online version of the current National Postgraduate Training Days of the British Library that could present customized information to assist researchers obtain the most out of accessible facilities and resources. Projects like this would open up and widen access to an elevated number of researchers and facilitate more partnerships with institutions of higher education (Milne, 2007).
There are complex challenges coming, and in a number of ways, there has never been a greater time for the sector of higher education and the British Library to operate more closely and discover novel techniques of connecting up content, the expertise and data services for the advantage of UK higher education.
There has been strong substantiation for the value of the educational role of the British Library. The Library encompasses the ability to aid the entire course of community development in attempting to assist citizens who are underprivileged, to make the most of what is accessible to them. British Library has had a profound impact on the nation’s education through the events it holds at the library. Namely: the social science events. The team of Social Science Collections in conjunction with the Research panel organizes functions covering a wide variety of subjects in the discipline. These are targeted at an assortment of audiences, consisting of postgraduate scholars, experienced researchers, policy makers, practitioners and the public in general. A lot of these events are organized with associates from professional or academic establishments, for instance, the British Sociology Association (Milne, 2007).
The Library has impacted education in that it has provided Enjoyment and choice of leisure reading material; Academic achievement, particularly in terms of language skills; Broader factors of learning, for example, augmented motivation for learning, self-assurance, sovereignty; Reading development in young children; and acquisition of skills, particularly ICT and information literacy (Howard, 2008).
Social Cultural Impacts to the UK-only
Heritage and Arts in the UK is amid their greatest possessions. They convey both substantial cultural and economic advantages. The function of a library in contemporary society is to tutor the community in the broadest sense. Society comprises of a variety of groups of community fitting in to one or other societal group, for instance, shopkeepers, technicians, businessmen, bureaucrats, students, clerks, educationists, engineers, teachers, doctor, mechanics, intellectuals, agriculturists, labors, farmers, and so on. The interest of information of these various groups of people in the society is extremely much varied in line with their individual desires (Noonan, 2002). The key role of a national library, for instance, the British Library and others is to offer the best facilities of information to all those library utilizers in the community. Library and community are interdependent and interlinked. Society with no libraries has no impact, and a library with no society has no basis- it is considered as societal institution, an artifact of society for its cultural development.
A national library as a local information center has to be organized efficiently by the authority by making sure its ease of access to all segments of the society. A national library serves as a rational medium for socio-cultural expansion by offering services for the function of obtaining information and education in addition to aesthetic appreciation, research and recreation. A national library subsists to provide services for the society. It contains an extremely vital function to play in the future development of the nation predominantly in the educational and socio-cultural enlightenment (Noonan, 2002).
It can be contended that the ease of use of local resources for individual development is one of the vital components in the establishment of a community that is self-confident. This is a society that contains the capacity and skills and to exert an impact on the economic and political environment around it. The British Library has initiated an Asians in Britain Website and a multimedia timeline. These two formations been created for the purpose of bringing these narrations alive for a much broader crowd. Through such actions, the Library has been capable to influence the society through:
- Individual development – consisting of formal education, after-school activities; all-time learning and training; literacy, societal, and cultural purposes through borrowing of books; leisure; development of skills; and accessibility of public information;
- Societal cohesion – by presenting a place for meeting and center of development of the community; boosting the confidence and profile of groups that are marginalized (Aabo, Audunson & Vårheim, 2010);
- Empowerment of the community – by encouraging community groups and establishing a sense of access and equity;
- Local identity and culture – by presenting community information and identity;
- Health and welfare – by adding in to the standard of life and how well citizens feel, in addition to, providing services of health information;
- Local economy – by presenting supporting skills development and business information.
Historical Impact to the UK
The British Library holds one of the biggest archives for oral history in the world, entailing more than 350 collected works of a number of 60,000 recordings. It is the nationalized center for spoken history in the UK and offers counsel and training in methods of oral history whilst preserving close contact with groups associated with oral history both in the UK and overseas. Data regarding the collections of oral history is given through the Sound collection catalogue and listeners can visit the British Library to make use of the recordings. An increasing number of dialogues are being digitized for remote internet access.
The commercial of the British Library, secure electronic service of delivery was initiated at a cost of 6 million Euros in 2003. This provides over 100 million materials consisting of 280000 article journals, 50 million exclusive rights, 5 million reports, 476000 dissertations of the United States and 433000 conference happenings for pollsters and library customers globally which were in the past unobtainable outside the Library as a result of exclusive rights limitations. In proportion to a government decree that the British Library is obliged to cover a proportion of its everyday expenditure, a payment is charged to the customer. Nevertheless, this overhaul is no longer lucrative and has caused a number of reforms to seek to avoid more losses.
In 2010, the British Library established its portal for Management and business studies. This website is planned to permit digital access to reports on management research, working papers, articles and consulting reports.
In 2011, four million pages of newspapers from the 18th and 19th centuries were availed online. The development will upload up to 40 million pages in the next decade. The library is free to search; however there is a charge for making use of the pages themselves.
Conclusion and Recommendations
The key role of a national library, for instance, the British Library and others is to offer the best facilities of information to all those library utilizers in the society. The broad range of the impact of the British Library shows an elementary attribute of the Library, namely its involvedness. Contrary to other public establishments for instance, hospitals or schools that generate health care and educational facilities correspondingly, the British Library, provides a broad range of facilities directed towards extremely diverse fields of life – towards adults and children, local businesses, facilities to disabled or aged people, and the entire sector of education from play schools to universities. It as well provides a variety of facilities for relaxation time actions, individual development and improvement of personal and community abilities. Additionally, the British Library has impact and value by being a cultural and social place for meeting, a physical place, a place for studying and contemplation, and a public room.
The British Library was initially a division of the British Museum, and it occupied the popular circular British Museum Reading Room from mid 19th century. It developed to be lawfully separate in 1973 and by 1997; it had relocated into its novel state of the art building. Currently, the British library is United Kingdom’s national library and the world’s biggest library on the basis of the entire number of materials. The Library benefits from legal deposit and is the key guardian of the written cultural heritage of the nation. The incomparable collections of the Library have built up over two centuries; they envelop three millennia of documented facts, represent each known written lingo, each characteristic of human thought and substantial recordings, sound and music collection.
Sir Isaac Newton believed If he had seen more it was by standing on the shoulder of a monster. This is what the British Library aspires to aid its users to accomplish. In 2007 and 2008, over 8.2 million collection items of the British Library were conferred by, or lent to, intellectual researchers, private individuals and business researchers. An autonomous study on the economic impact commissioned by the British Library proposed that the entire value put into the UK economy by the Library annually is 363 million Euros, or 4.40 Euros for each Euro of public endowment.
The British Library takes an essential role in the existence of the country as a resource of the cultural heritage by running, preserving, and making sure access in time without end to the national published records and the national depository of sound of UK. The Library is a vital constituent of both the national infrastructure of research and the Base of UK Science, and it takes an equally noteworthy role in making sure of the UK research excellence. The British Library encloses an immeasurable collection of inspirational resources and expertise that hold up the innovative industries and, via the facilities of its Business & Centre of the Intellectual Property, the Library supports capitalists and Small Medium Enterprises in growing, protecting and the making use of their ideas.
Ever since the early 1970s, the British Library has complemented Government financial support with additional resources of income in a mixed economy as well as generation of commercial revenue, additional public financial support (for instance, from councils of research) and patronage. Library fund raising has been instituted over the last decade with benevolent income from persons and establishments now supporting a variety of idiosyncratic projects in areas, for example, acquisitions of heritage, conservation, gallery space, digitization, and initiatives of learning. The library as well has a developing legacy program.
At the same time as recognizing that the adjustments to the allotment of shares will encompass an effect on the financial support distributed to charitable and community division institutes by the Big Lottery Fund, the British Library receives the proposal of the Government to re-establish the share of distribution for heritage to 18 percent in 2011 and afterward to 20 percent in 2012. Re-establishing the shares acquired by HLF from the NLDF – National Lottery Distribution Fund will most certainly be advantageous to the broader heritage segment. More in particular, escalating the amount HLF is capable to issue in grants through the re-establishment of the shares to the initial level will encompass a positive effect on the British Library and the broader sector of Museums, Archives and Libraries.
Although there might be a decline in financial backing, there is the probability for the British Library to profit both indirectly and directly and from the re-establishment of shares. The resultant boost in the backing that HLF is capable to issue is likely to augment the percentage of thriving functions from the sector of Museums, Archives and Libraries. An enhanced rate of success for applications could contain an instant and positive effect on the British Library with regard to its own functions to HLF, however, is also expected to profit the Library by offering supplementary support to our present and likely future associates in the division, as augmented funding will put up their capability to work with us.
The timing of the restoration of the shares also has the potential to benefit organizations in the sector, including the British Library, by enabling them to provide opportunities for more people to engage in the Cultural Olympiad, for example. Enhancing the level of funding HLF can make available at a time when other sources of public funding are under increasing pressure will also be of great importance to the sector, as it adjusts to a decrease in statutory funds.
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