Cambridge University Press and their Library Advisory Boards: an overview
Cambridge University Press is very proud of its library advisory boards, and extremely grateful to the librarians who support them. In 2004 Cambridge was one of the first academic publishers to set up a librarian board and to understand how invaluable the advice of such boards would be. They now have 4 library advisory boards representing regions from across the globe to aid the Press in understanding researcher needs and the changing role of librarians, as well as providing a vital source of feedback on new platforms, products and initiatives.
The first board, the Global Library Advisory Board (at that time called the Librarian Panel), was set up in the spring of 2004, when a small group of UK and European librarians was invited to meet prior to the UKSG Conference, a key library event in the UK. At the same time, librarians from across the world were invited to join this board and to contribute to an email discussion covering a variety of important topics. The global Board now numbers some 45 people. It continues to convene prior to the UKSG Conference in the spring and at a longer, dedicated, one-and-a-half day meeting in the autumn each year. In November 2017 the meeting was kindly hosted by the University of York.
The Cambridge Asian Library Advisory Board (CALAB) was the next to be set up in 2012. It consists of senior librarians from Asian countries including China, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea and others. The CALAB meetings take place annually, are of one day’s duration, and are always preceded by the Cambridge Librarians Day, which is a high-profile event where local librarians are invited to hear talks and panel discussions on pressing topics of interest. The Cambridge Librarian Day features speakers from Cambridge and from the host country, as well as some of the CALAB members and a guest speaker from another region. 80 – 100 librarians from the host country usually attend the Cambridge Librarians Day. The next event will be held in January 2018, and will kindly be hosted by the University of Chulalongkorn in Bangkok, Thailand.
The North American Library Advisory Board (NALAB) was set up in the summer of 2016, and consists of librarians from the USA and Canada. They have engaged in consultation via email from the outset. NALAB had its pilot meeting prior to the Charleston conference in November 2016. Regular meetings are now planned, the first having taken place in New York in May 2017.
In October 2017 the inaugural South Asia Library Advisory Board (SALAB) was set up, with the first meeting held in Delhi in the same month. Some of the important issues that were addressed by the panel include the role played by libraries in enhancing research output and thereby the institutional ranking under the National Institutional Ranking Framework, emergence of open access resources and institutional repositories, the latest trends and challenges faced by librarians and the role of social media in libraries.