The Board of the Consortium of University Research Libraries (CURL) has considered the Final Report of the Research Support Libraries Group (RSLG).

The Board believes that the Report provides a valuable and convincing analysis of current research library provision, and a strong case for strategic management and planning of the system at a national level in the future, for stronger advocacy and for both national and international collaboration. It wishes to give its strong support to the concept of the Research Library Network as a means of enhancing the support for research within the United Kingdom. It is greatly encouraged by the RSLG’s call for deeper collaboration between university and national research libraries and other research information providers from a variety of sectors, so that national solutions can be applied to national problems in a more coherent and cost-effective manner.

The task facing the RLN is a massive one. CURL believes that it will both have to build on existing work and to look ahead to future developments. In the former category, this includes work on the development of discovery tools, licensing of commercial content, metadata standards for resource description, authorisation and authentication, the developing Information Environment, much of which has been significantly developed by the JISC. It will be critical to ensure that the knowledge and experience already built up in recent years on this work, and indeed developments led by other bodies, is both utilised and enhanced by RLN’s co-ordination.