University of Essex Library Services announce LIBER membership

  • Date

    Mon 11 Sep 23

LIBER President, Julien Roche, and University of Essex Director of Library and Cultural Services, Jonathan White, stand together at the LIBER 2023 conference.

Library Services at the University of Essex have joined LIBER (Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche) – the Association of European Research Libraries, marking a huge step forward in the Service’s strategic direction to become established as a research university of international renown.

LIBER is a group of European research libraries who champion university, national and special libraries – their institutions and their users – across Europe.

Library and Cultural Services, is led by Director and University Librarian, Jonathan White, who attended the annual LIBER conference in Budapest, 5-7 July, where LIBER President Julien Roche welcomed Essex to the Association: “by joining LIBER, the University of Essex library will surely strengthen its connections with other European academic libraries and help to spread the voice of research libraries in Europe.”

LIBER is a powerful advocate for the role of research libraries and is influential within the European Union and Council of Europe. They contribute to, and lead on, policy developments and projects, and are linked to Open Research Europe, which provides the open publishing infrastructure for EU funded research outputs, including those from Horizon projects.

The strategy of LIBER centres on the advancement of open science, the development of research libraries as engaged and trusted hubs and upskilling of the research library workforce to meet these challenges. 

“Membership of the Association very much aligns with our development as a world renowned research library, the vision for Library and Cultural Services, as well the Library Supporting Strategy” said Jonathan White. “Membership puts us within a grouping of 400 of the top-ranked research libraries across Europe. This includes 45 member institutions from the UK, mostly in the Russell Group, the national libraries, and a small number of medium-sized universities. Many of our YUFE and YERUN partners are also members. The Association is also affiliated internationally and has partnerships with key research and library organisations across the world.”

“Membership will enable us to develop Library services and teams to further support the University’s research strategy. We will be able to tap into a large base of knowledge and expertise to support us in driving open research developments and ensuring our collections, spaces and services are meeting the needs of researchers long into the future.”

“The membership is already extending our influence, as we have been asked to join the Open Research Europe Librarian Advisory Group, facilitated by LIBER on behalf of the European Union.”

University of Essex Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster said: “the work of our Library Services in developing collections and research support programmes, lies at the heart of our research strategy and vision and providing support for our growing community of students and researchers.

“In particular, LIBER membership will boost our commitment to open research, by providing open science training to support the widest dissemination of the knowledge produced by our researchers.

“The whole of our University community is committed to Essex becoming established as a research library of note and I look forward to seeing our Library Services work in greater partnership with research and library organisations in Europe and throughout the world.”

LIBER membership gives the University of Essex Library Services access to the Association’s workforce development programmes, voting rights on key issues, and opportunities to join working groups and projects, in areas such as open research and open access publishing, open education content, research information, copyright and licensing, heritage curatorship and digitisation, digital scholarship, and research library design.